Today Guitar Girl Magazine is excited to interview Liz Kamlet, a Los Angeles-based music industry pro, musician, and acoustic guitar aficionado. Over the past decade, she has built up quite a reputation, having worked with some of the industry’s leading artists and music brands. Some of her client campaigns include Phil Collins, Stephen Bishop, BMG, Sony, Jack Temphin (Eagles songwriter), Jimmy Webb, Jackson Browne, David Pack, and more. In addition to handling creative marketing and strategy for superstars via her company Windsong Entertainment, she also has quite the acoustic guitar lineup.
Thank you for sitting down with us Liz, tell us a little about your career
Thank you! Much of my work at Windsong Entertainment involved the overseeing and creation/management of creative content, including handling social media for modern/legacy artists and iconic brands that have a ballpark of 15+ million followers, and 50+ million streams per month. My clients have over two billion combined streams, sold over 100+ million records, and have been up for multiple Oscar and Grammy awards. Other facets of my services include music videos, social media advertising, strategic branding. A&R, sync licensing, tour management, NFTs, website design, Tik-Tok strategy, and more.
I am also the Director of Talent & Marketing at REAL.App, an exciting and innovative music tech startup. Our online platform allows creators to have direct access to fans who can purchase an exclusive and broad range of authentic content. REAL allows music makers the opportunity to offer fans early access to their original content before it is serviced to other platforms, and in another breakthrough, creators can set their own pricing for whatever they upload to the site. A win-win for both fans and artists alike. It’s going to change the game, undoubtedly.
Many musicians and executives have unique backgrounds, where did you go to school and cut your teeth in the industry?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in History and Music Technology from The University of Colorado at Boulder, a Masters in Music Industry Administration (Music Business) from Cal State Northridge and I just graduated with my second Master degree from Harvard in Management + Digital Media Design. It’s safe to say I love learning and diving into different educational platforms to expand my knowledge across the board.
Congratulations on the recent marriage to songwriter and legend Stephen Bishop. We hear you both are working on some exciting projects together. Tell us about it
Yes, we officially married in Summer 2021. Due to the pandemic, we have had a lot of time to work together on exciting projects and ideas in the music sphere. Most recently we minted some NFTs for Steve (Bishop) and are also working on new music releases, creative video/visual content, and much more. You can follow his social media to stay updated on the latest.
Do you have any tips for our readers who are just getting started and want to market themselves online and via social media?
Yes. With social media, being kind attracts more of the people you want to engage and be friends with. Your fans will be incredibly loyal. Starting out, find something that interests YOU. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If there is something interesting that you want to talk about or promote on social media, do it. Eventually, other people will follow. Why? Because they can’t find anyone else who talks about or promotes a product, music, idea, opinion, etc. better than you do. We are all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through our feeds on social media. Ask yourself, what would make you stop and look at content? Collaborating with others who are similar and finding mentors is a great way to get started. OR researching how your favorite content creator got started. There are numerous resource groups on FB that help music industry and social media professionals. Also, make sure you have a plan and are organized. Every creator typically has a team or a few people they trust behind them.
Are there any modern acoustic artists we should be checking out?
The first that comes to mind is Tommy Emmanuel. To me, he is the greatest living acoustic guitar player in the world. Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube and type in “Tommy Emmanuel: Classical Gas.” you won’t be disappointed, plus he is the nicest guy! Others I would recommend include David Wilcox (the one from North Carolina), Marcus Eaton, Jake Allen, James Bourne, Andy McKee, and Mike Daws. I would also recommend Pete Huttlinger. He, unfortunately, passed away a few years ago. But his arrangements on the acoustic guitar were so influential to many artists, and he was the kindest guy.
Okay let’s get to the guitar portion of this interview, we hear you have quite the collection of acoustic guitars which include some rarities. Please tell us about your top 6 acoustics.
John Denver’s 1976 Mossman Golden Era 6 String. Owned between 1976-1984.
I purchased it a few years ago through Walter Carter of Carter’s Vintage Guitar in Nashville. The guitar was used by the late singer-songwriter John Denver for almost eight years. It was initially sent back to Stuart Mossman to add a double pickguard. John never picked it up, and it sat in a closet in Kansas for almost 40 years. With the guitar came the original case and a handwritten letter from the luthier, Stuart Mossman, explaining how he built it for John and then it was returned years later to get a modification. Mossman passed away in 1999, unfortunately. I have had a lot of work done on the guitar to restore it to where it should be—a fantastic piece of history I am honored to own.
Jackson Browne Gibson Roy Smeck Model 1
I purchased this at NAMM, 2011. I saw Jackson doing a demo at the booth and offered to buy the one he played. It was slightly scuffed on the back from him playing at the booth that day. They sold it to me right then and there. It’s a beautiful guitar, with 12 frets, and a warm sound. Plus, the sunburst finish can’t be beaten.
Tommy Emmanuel Maton Signature Model: Model EBG808TE
I purchased it brand new in the US. I say this because only a handful of dealers in the US were selling this Australian guitar. It was Tommy’s signature model. I went to one of his shows and had him sign the back of the headstock. He knew me previously since I was at another show with John Denver’s Mossman and remembered me from the last time. He worked with John Denver in the ’90s and said that guitar was cool to see still around. Oddly enough, when I was traveling to that show, I ran into Judy Collins at the airport. I showed her the guitar, and she remembered when John had it. We took a picture together with the guitar.
Santa Cruz OM Pre-War Cedar/Indian Rosewood
This guitar took me almost ten years to find. In 2011 or 2012 I paid a visit to Gryphon Strings instruments in Northern California. I was looking to purchase a Santa Cruz as a friend had recently purchased one, and I loved the sound. I looked around and found a Santa Cruz Pre-War OM Cedar and Indian rosewood back. When I first strummed it, it was like I had found a mini soulmate. Guitar players can relate. That first strum is everything. You automatically know or you put it back. I loved this guitar and foolishly said to the person helping me that I would be back the next day to pick it up. Due to the high price tag, I thought it would still be there the next day. It had a bunch of modifications on it. I came back when they opened, and it was gone. I have learned to reserve guitars now, haha. Anyways, I had an alert for nearly ten years on that specific Santa Cruz Model. I contacted Santa Cruz to build me the exact model, even though the sound would be a risk. It was almost twice the cost, and I declined. Last year in 2021, I finally got the alert on Google and there it was, at Gryphon Stringed Instruments again. The same model, the same everything. Without hesitating, I called and bought it on the spot. No regrets at all, it sounds just like the first one did.
Ferrington 1984: Stephen Bishop Model
Stephen commissioned luthier Danny Ferrington in the 1980s. Its identifiable blue color has been a favorite among his fans. I babysit the guitar every now and then when it has to go to the guitar doctor for tweaking. It also has his nickname, “BISH” which is inlaid on the back and unique inlays on the frets. Including The Beatles signature, Sinatra, different drawings he has done over the years, etc. The guitar is all maple, which is an odd guitar wood choice. But it still sounds great, and I recently got great new pickups by guitar tech John Caruthers. We bring all of our guitars to him. John’s the best!
1975 Martin D-35 Shadetop
I recently purchased this online. It belonged to Bill Danoff, co-writer of John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads, co-founder of Starland Vocal Band. They had a hit called “Afternoon Delight.” Bill is a great guy, an accomplished songwriter, writing for numerous artists and inspiring others to write songs. The guitar is an excellent piece of history, as are most of my guitars.
Do you own or have any preferences on acoustic guitar amps or accessories for our readers?
I actually don’t own any amps if you can believe it. Almost half of the vintage guitars I own do not have pickups. With the more modern acoustics, I have never had a need to own an amp. But what I do have is a ToneWood Amp, and it’s lighter than five pounds. It has been life-changing for so many artists I have recommended it to. The team at ToneWood has to be some of the kindest people I have ever worked with. If you have an acoustic, check them out, you will be disappointed. Other accessories I recommend are a great capo, if you are a finger picker, Fred Kelly Speed Light or Medium Guitar Pick, a cleaning kit, as guitars can get dusty. Also, one of the most important items is a humidifier for your guitars. I personally use D’Addario Humidipaks. They can be a bit expensive if you have a lot of guitars, but they are worth it. Plus, the refills are inexpensive. If you live in a dry climate, having these is a must OR a large humidifier unit in the room where guitars are stored. It will cost more to repair your guitar than the cost of a humidifier. I had a guitar that was not humidified, and the top caved in, it cost thousands of dollars to fix it. Please get a humidifier!
Any closing thoughts for our readers?
Always compliment people behind their backs. The music industry is like one big group chat, where everyone knows everyone or is related to someone. You do not need a college degree to be successful, it helps, but of all the legendary and successful artists I currently work with and have worked with, none of them have a college degree. They followed their passions, talents and made their dreams a reality through sheer determination and not caring what anyone else thought. They met the right people at the right time and are legends because of this. You can be too, remember that knowledge is power and to ALWAYS be kind. Also, in the guitar world, I’ve been told I have GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). Ha! You can never have enough guitars and I am sure there are other guitar enthusiasts out there like me.