In addition to the excitement of a new client who fits RajiWorld like a glove, I am thrilled to invite all of my NIVA friends (agents and buyers) to join us at Beachland Ballroom 7/12 for a live performance!

Produced by Don Dixon & Dore; Recorded by Mitch Easter 

Features Jeremy Chatzky (Springsteen) on bass, Peter Holsapple (The dB’s) on guitar, Will Rigby (The dB’s) on drums and Mark Spencer (Son Volt) on guitar

Professor by day and rock star by night, Florence Dore has been dwelling in the space between music and literature for most of her adult existence. All the different strands of her life and career come together on Highways & Rocketships, her first solo album in 21 years. Following a series of singles, the 10-song collection will be out June 10 on Propeller Sound Recordings, the new imprint run by former R.E.M. manager Jefferson Holt and Music Geek Services founder Jay Coyle.

Highways & Rocketships hits the sweet spot between classic rock, Americana and 1980s-vintage college radio. The hooks, ambience and arrangements are impeccable, evoking both modern-day pop sense and vintage blue-eyed soul, featuring contributions from some of leading lights of the past four decades of American indie-rock – Son Volt’s Mark Spencer, sometimes-Springsteen bassist  Jeremy Chatzky, dB’s members Will Rigby (Dore’s husband since 2004) and Peter Holsapple,  Southern Culture on the Skids bassist Mary Huff, Mipso fiddler/vocalist Libby Rodenbough and legendary R.E.M. co-producers Don Dixon and Mitch Easter among them.  

A native of Nashville, Dore made her first album way back in 2001, Perfect City. She was already teaching by then, too, and becoming a mother with the 2005 birth of her daughter took Dore off the road for some years. Literature became more of a focus, and she’s made her living at academic institutions like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her professional address since 2010.

But music has always been a part of Dore’s endeavors, as she taught college classes in songwriting along with contemporary fiction and the American novel. She has also put on programs and conferences at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and National Humanities Center with musical as well as literary stars like Steve Earle, Richard Thompson, Jonathan Lethem, Peter Guralnick and Greil Marcus. She has emerged as an acclaimed author herself, writing and editing books and magazine articles– about rock, the blues, and Bob Dylan, among other things. Her latest book, The Ink in the Grooves: Conversations on Literature and Rock ’n’ Roll, will be published in October 2022 by Cornell University Press, featuring contributions from Daniel Wallace, Rick Moody, Warren Zanes, Dave Grohl, John Jeremiah Sullivan and others.

Most of the material on Highways & Rocketships emerged in a songwriting binge over several months in 2019, “when I decided to play hooky from academic research,” Dore says. What emerged was a set of 10 lived-in, deeply personal songs about crossroads and transitions, mostly based on people she knew. What would eventually be the album’s title track emerged early in the process. 

She and her bandmates convened at Easter’s posh Fidelitorium Recordings studio in the summer of 2021, with Dixon as producer – who Dore singles out for praise, along with multi-instrumentalist Holsapple.

The first single “Sweet to Me” – a song about Dore’s grandmother – also features her 16-year-old daughter Georgie Rigby and sister Katherine Dore on backing vocals. “Sweet to Me” is emotional enough that Dore has difficulty getting through it without crying, and it’s one of several songs written expressly about family members.  

Indeed, the presence of drummer Rigby (who also earned a co-writing credit on the dB’s-styled “Lighter,” for rhythmic mojo that helped shape the song) makes “Highways & Rocketships” something of a family affair. “Wifi Heart” was inspired in part by Rigby’s phone calls home during his years as Steve Earle’s regular drummer. “Rebel Debutante” was written about Dore’s mother.  But the songs are also plenty clever.  Jordan Mainz put it well in his review of Dore’s recent set opening for Steve Earle, saying the new songs are “reflective and funny and semi-autobiographical, while still finding room for a little acid.”

The album’s closing note is a triumphant one with “And the Lady Goes,” which is her band’s usual onstage show-closer; the band keeps playing as she waves goodbye and leaves.  “It’s a pop song about menopause and mortality,” Dore says, laughing. “That was another song where the phrase of the title just sort of visited me and sounded cool. It had to be written. Songwriting puts you in tune with aspects of life and the human condition you might otherwise gloss over. It gets your antenna up, and it’s wonderful to be in touch with those nether reaches again.”


The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) shared a preview of the featured panels for the inaugural edition of their industry conference which will take place in Cleveland in July.

Set for two days – July 11 and 12 – at multiple NIVA member venues around Cleveland, the conference will address multiple aspects of the industry with programming, education, networking, entertainment and more.

NIVA ‘22 featured sessions include: 

A “Lyte” Breakfast and Live Podcast Recording
The illustrious Lawrence Peryer is recording the latest episode of his Spotlight On podcast in front of a live audience. Lawrence Peryer, Chief Strategy Officer, Lyte
Special Guests:
Shahida Mausi, President & CEO The Right Productions, Inc., Aretha Franklin Amphitheater

State of the Union
Rev. Moose, Executive Director, Co-Founder, NIVA & NIVF
Dayna Frank, NIVA Board President and CEO, First Avenue Productions
Hal Real, NIVF Board President and Founder and President, World Cafe Live
Boris Patronoff, NIVA Advisory Board Chair and CEO See Tickets North America
Frank Riley, NITO Board President and Founder, High Road Touring

Backstage with Andrew Dreskin 
The Youngest OG discusses the current state and future of streaming, ticketing and festivals. In conversation with Andy Gensler, executive editor of Pollstar.
Andrew Dreskin, Co-Founder and CEO, Flymachine
Andy Gensler, Executive Editor of Pollstar and Venues Now

Achieving Equity through Programming
Moderator: Marcus Dowling, Nashville Country Music Repotrer at Tennessean/Gannett
Kae Burke, Co-founder and Creative Director, House of Yes
Erika Elliot, Executive Artistic Director SummerStage/Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Ryan Smith, Agent, Liaison Artists
Lachi, Artist and President of RAMPD

National Advocacy in 2023 
Moderator: Casey Higgins, Senior Counsel, Akin Gump
Tyler Grimm, Chief Counsel for Policy and Strategy, House Committee Judiciary
Adam Hartke, NIVA Advocacy Co-Chair and owner of Wave in Wichita
Jamie Simpson, Chief Counsel, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts

Left Out Or Undersubscribed With Sponsorships? 
Moderator: Cathy Applefeld Olson, Forbes
Monika Julien, Senior Manager, Culture Marketing, Red Bull North America
Jesse Kirshbaum, Founder and CEO, NUE Agency
Mikey Lee, Co-founder of Ad.ventures

Effective Marketing: What worked yesterday is obsolete. So now what? 
Moderator: Jamie Loeb,  VP of Marketing, Nederlander Concerts
Adam Gaynor, CRO, Gamut
Betsy Lashaway, Client Solutions Manager, Meta
Alix Rosenberg, Senior Manager of Artist Partnerships, TikTok
Fabrice Sergent, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Bandsintown

The Catch 22 of Venue and Neighborhood Success Threatening Survival 
Moderator:  Marcus Dowling, Nashville Country Music Reporter at Tennessean/Gannett News
Chris Cobb, Owner, Exit/In
Mark Davyd, CEO, Music Venue Trust/Own Our Venues
Rebecca Greenwald, independent researcher and journalist on cities and the creative economy

Backstage with artist Meshell Ndegeocello
With a career spanning three decades starting with GoGo and filled with jazz, funk, poetry, live performances, soundtracks and a Grammy — hear about activism through music plus touring independent venues, and the future.

Enhancing Revenue Streams
Moderator: Cathy Applefeld Olson, Forbes
Allyson Jaffee, Co-owner of The Improv
Andre Perry, Executive Director of Hancher Auditorium and the Office of Performing Arts & Engagement, University of Iowa
Katie Tuten, Founder and Co-Owner of the Hideout
Donna Westmoreland, COO, I.M.P., 9:30 Club, The Anthem, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Lincoln Theatre