Alternative Enterprises

 E-mail Newsletter

Vol. 2   No. 2                                         Fall, 2009

This issue is the 3rd installment of the Alternative Enterprises E-mail Newsletter.  It didn't take quite as long this time ;-).

As always, I'd like to remind you to visit the Links page on the website as I have added a few more  useful links to help you in your musical endeavors.  Your feedback on the website and this newsletter is always welcome and appreciated, so let me know what you think!  The website and contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter, or just click on the banner at the top of this newsletter to go directly to the site.

I'll always have this newsletter available on the website, as well as links to the previous editions.

If you are receiving this and are not already an "opt-in" member of the Alternative newsletter email list, please visit my homepage (just click on the banner at the top of this page) and sign up for updates and newsletters.  If you do not, you may not receive any more issues.  I will only issue newsletters or updates a couple, maybe a few times a YEAR as time allows, so I won't be clogging up your inbox like some do.  Your email address is safe with me as we get spammed more than most, and therefore will NOT share or sell your email!

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Alternative News

In the last edition of the newsletter, I announced "Alternative Band Coaching", a new consulting service designed to help bands deal effectively with every day "issues".  In this edition, I am proud to announce a new addition to the website design services, Alternative Hosting.  

Alternative Hosting is now up and running.  I can now host your website for only $15/mo., which includes unlimited email, massive space and bandwidth, incredible statistics, and best of all, ME!  You can call or email me anytime with concerns or issues and I will take care of them promptly.  This also includes periodic minor updates to your site, within reason, of course.  Obviously, more major work involving "hours" can not be covered under the hosting plan.  At this time until the end of the year I will be moving all the existing sites (including mine) over to the new hosting.  New sites are quite welcome during this time of changeover as well.  The "official" announcement will be as of the 1st of the year, when I plan to have all the sites moved by.  As a webmaster, I now have the tools, space, speed, and reliability that was lacking previously, and is needed now that there are 7 sites.  As of this issue, I don't yet have the new web hosting page up on my site, but that will be coming next.  It will be found under the Web Design tab, of course.  To go to the Alternative website, just click on the banner at the top of the newsletter.  News Flash!!!  The web hosting page is now up!

The first site to go up on Alternative Hosting is a brand new one, "Brandon Hills Music Publishing".  Marsha Brown has been a member of SOWI (Songwriters Of Wisconsin International) for many years now, and started her own publishing company in 2005.  She, along with Mike Heath have also had some songwriting success of their own by having several songs recorded and released on the recent David Church CD, including the title cut, "There You Are".  For more information on Marsha and Brandon Hills, please visit the new site:

As we rapidly approach the Holiday season, I would like to remind anyone that is thinking about doing any type of Christmas project that NOW is the time to get a hold of me.  Even still, that will barely give us enough time to not only record, mix, and master, but also leave enough time to make copies for your gift giving, CD Baby, etc. . . .So please don't hesitate, contact me now!

New Releases

Randy VanVooren

Randy VanVooren released a 16-song solo CD in March of 2009 titled "One".  We took 14 of Randy's and several of his co-writers' Nashville demos instrumental versions and recorded Randy singing all of the lead and backup vocals.  Since these demos were from 6 different studios from across the country, and over 10+ years, I had to play them all in the CD player in "real time" and match up the differing volumes and EQs.  The other 2 songs are bonus Christmas tracks that were entirely recorded at the Alternative.  Randy has garnered tons of air and internet radio play, and is an avid member of SOWI (Songwriters Of Wisconsin International) and was named songwriter of the year in 2007.  Randy says, "Pat had to take each "demo" and re-mix them so they all sounded like they were recorded at the same place.  In my opinion,.... that was the real magic he performed to make it sound the way it does by doing his e-q ing and volume parameters and mixing in the vocals at the correct level and effects to make each song sound as if it were recorded by HIM alone.... that right there is cool."

I will have at least one of the songs on my demos page soon, and you can visit Randy's MySpace at or purchase a CD by contacting Randy directly at:

Beyond Fate

Beyond Fate released a 3-song demo CD in May of this year.  They had won a local battle of the bands and had exactly 3 weeks to find a studio, schedule and record 3 songs, edit, mix, and master them, and get 200 copies made in time for their grand prize gig--Playing at the "Music as a Weapon" tour, where Disturbed was headlining in La Crosse.  Since then they have opened for national acts such as Saliva, Primer 55, and more.  We pulled it off in 8 days from start to 200 copies finished and in their hands the night before the gig!  Whew!  Now that's crankin' it out!  A cut from their demo will soon be available on my website demo page.

Tony Ansems Dutch Karaoke #2

Tony Ansems has done it again!  In July he released his 2nd Dutch Karaoke CD entitled "Tilburgse Liekes, American Style, Volume II".  He has been getting tons of press and radio play back in the Netherlands, his home country.  As mentioned in the last issue, Tony is the founder and chairman of Songwriters Of Wisconsin International.  Click the picture or the link below to visit the SOWI website.

Outlaws, Angels, and Heroes

Andy Lorge has finally released his 1st CD, Outlaws, Angels, and Heroes.  Each song has something to do with one of these 3 words.  The long-awaited CD was first pre-released as a 6-song EP called "Forgotten Soldier" in the summer of 2006.  He sold over 350 copies that summer!  Andy still gets radio play, especially around memorial day and 4th of July with his Vietnam veteran songs ("heroes").  The CD, finished in the fall of 2007 is now available for the first time as a full 10-song CD, with a bonus "sneak-peek" 11th track that is a song off of his upcoming 2nd release.  The graphics and duplication were also done here, in-house.  A demo from both CDs is available on the website.  You can demo more of the CD, and purchase it, or downloads at Andy's CD Baby page:


or contact him directly at

The Shawano Combo just released their first full-length 10-song CD.  It includes the 3 songs recorded here at the Alternative in August and September, as well as 7 other releases done by 3 earlier classes dating back to 2001.  The Shawano Combo consists of 24 Shawano High School students, so that's 24 instruments!  Only 16 of the older students recorded, however.  With drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, 4 trumpets, 4 different saxes, trombone and 3 different singers, it was quite the production.  Soon I will be finishing their graphics and duplicating.  I will be putting a demo up on the demo page as soon as I can.  You can visit their website at:

Laurel Collins--Touch the Sound

Laurel Collins is just releasing a new product this month produced here at the Alternative this summer.  It is 26 songs, one for each letter of the alphabet called "Touch the Sound".  The songs feature many different genre's including rap, country, jazz, rock, reggae, folk, and many different types of symphony orchestration, done entirely by myself.  I produced her 1st product, "Phonogram Phun" featured last issue, early this year, as well as her website, Reading Success Press, which you can visit by clicking the picture above, or the link below to learn more about Laurel and check out some demos.

The following is a brief excerpt from a recent interview with the author – a reading teacher in Antigo and a former music teacher.

Editor: Let’s begin with your newest project, Touch the Sound.  Interesting title… but isn’t that rather an oxy-moron?  I mean, how do you touch a sound?

Laurel: Good question!  And one for which a brief response is difficult.  Abstract concepts (things unable to be seen or felt) often prove challenging to a child still young or one who is at-risk.  Hand signals provide something concrete a child can associate with an abstract concept; which in this case are alphabet letter sounds.  When vocalization of the letter sounds (auditory) and alphabet flashcards (visual) are combined with hand signals (kinesthetic/tactile), a multisensory experience is the result.  And since Touch the Sound involves all three, it truly is a multisensory approach to learning alphabet letters and their sounds.

Editor: A music CD is included with the package.  Where does that fit in?

Laurel: The 26 songs on the CD each contain an alphabet letter name and the isolated sound, or sounds, those letters represent.  This permits the child to perform the hand signals while singing.  But the CD serves two other purposes as well. First, music is just plain fun… and fun is good, especially when working with young children.  Second, the repetition inherent in the songs, aids in retaining new information in short-term memory long enough for it to be transferred over into long-term memory where it is then stored for later recall.  It would be difficult, indeed, to find another medium – other than music – where a child can receive the same number of repetitions in the same amount of time and still leave the child believing he or she was just having fun.

That concludes this edition of the Newsletter.  I hope to have the next one out by sometime this coming spring.  Please let me know any comments or suggestions you may have as this is only the 3rd issue of the newsletter, and I'm always looking for ways to improve things.

Have a joyful, wonderful Holiday season, and most of all:  Stay Warm!

Patrick Leigh (Smolinski)      (715) 752-3085