Bloggin' in the Vineyard

January 2017


“Originals Only” Music at the Winery

O-O Music
If you are interested in presenting your original music in live performance I am offering you that opportunity at Lake Cumberland Winery.  I would like to have an hour and a half of music.    

The music played/sung/performed must be original compositions by you or music that is in the public domain.  Sorry no cover songs.

All performers will need to supply the Winery with a playlist of the music to be performed attesting that the music presented is original with them or in the public domain.

The Winery will provide a venue (does not include amplification), a fee for service (to be discussed) and will advertise the performance dates and times through it’s website and email database.  All performances will be recorded for evidence in the event of litigation. 

Why insist on doing it this way:

ASCAP, SESAC and BMI want to charge the Winery over $1,500 annually to cover the royalty that a “cover song” might be due if played by someone performing live at the Winery.  They are quick to tell us that if a song is played at a venue that is unlicensed they will impose fines that can range into the thousands of dollars.  The unreasonable costs and the threat of exorbitant fines have resulted in the suppression of live music at the Winery (and other wineries and public venues across Kentucky).

Sadly The Hills Are No Longer Alive With the Sound of Music!  Music players and music lovers have been hijacked by greedy extralegal organizations that answer to no one, that have zero transparency and whose actions are sanctioned by our own Justice Department and Federal Courts in the name of upholding Copyright Laws.

The only performers/writers that are receiving royalties are the big stars that receive “play time” on the radio but any venue that wants to present live music must subsidize the mega artist regardless of whether or not their music is being played. 

If you are a new musician or performer just trying to break into the business you will find it difficult to find a venue that will be willing to host you due to the threat that I have described.  Why?  Exorbitant fees (and threats of fines) are not affordable and the risk-benefit worth the effort for the Winery; exorbitant fees shut down venues that provide musical outlets for local musicians and public enjoyment; exorbitant fees take money out of the local musicians pocket; only a few big-time names get any performance royalties based on radio plays not gigs at wineries.

I have walked the picket lines in LA for the Guild of Screenwriters (my daughter writes) so I believe that the people who create should be paid for their work.  I believe that a songwriter should be paid for their creation and performers for their
time and talent.  But I think it is wrong to allow ASCAP, SESAC, BMI (who operate with the blessing of the Justice Department) to shakedown, harass and intimidate small businesses into paying exorbitant fees which bears no relationship to the amount of protected music played —Sorry folks but it is not very different than the mafia and it’s protection rackets.   My understanding is that if the music is original to the performer or if it is in the “Public Domain” then a live performance is permitted.  

I would like to fill some calendar spots for this Spring and Summer.  Let me know if you have an interest in performing within the above guidelines.  Strike a blow for freedom and creativity!

Norrie  Wake

March 3, 2016.  I have placed a link on the website banner announcing that the winery, lodge and 52 acres of truly unique  land are "For Sale" on beautiful Lake Cumberland.  There is additional information and video about the property which can be accessed by clicking on that link.  I invite you to take a look and if you have a serious interest call or email me,  606-348-5253 or

February 29, 2016, Spring is just around the corner.  First Daffodil on leap day 2016.  Pruning vines.

November 2, 2015.  I know a long time between posts.  Tomorrow is election day and I hope a lot of folks will go and vote.  We have some serious problems in KY and need thoughtful consideration and creative solutions grounded in experience.  Vote!

February 6, 2014.  Caught the groundhog eating the grape hulls, SPRING IS ON THE WAY!

It is really cold!  Leaves too much time to sit at the computer.

This past year has been remarkable.  We introduced "events" at the winery.  I didn't know that I would need to become a party planner but that is what has happened.  Last February we had a Valentine Dinner. Early in the spring we had a "Sip & Stroke" event with art professor Darlene Libby, later in the summer we introduced our new wines during the Spring Festival.   We have had Country and Folk Music, Rock N' Roll Bands, 50s.60s.70s Music and Solo Musicians.   The Fall Festival had lots of craft people and artisans in attendance.  

I am in the process of lining up musicians and activities for this next year.  If you are interested playing please call me.  OR if you have ideas for functions that will draw a crowd let me know that too.

I am working on an event called "Wine to Water".  It will be a fundraiser.  We have so much water around us that we don't even think about it.  I thought a lot about water this past November as we crossed the Atlantic on a Catamaran  and the generator that powers the seawater purification system which makes drinking water stopped running (we were lucky and got the engine going)  There are places in the world where water is so scarce that wars are fought over it and people walk for hours and miles for a bucket.  Just this winter the quality of water was put in jeopardy in West Virginia and everywhere down stream when an un-inspected chemical storage tank burst and sent toxic waste down the river.    There is a way to provide cheap clean water for a family of ten persons for up to ten years…more about this later as I work out the details.