Recording studio sound music mixer control panel. (Contributed)

Kelowna musical entrepreneurs offer one-stop melody shop

LMS Entertainment wants to put professional local musicians sidelined by COVID back to work

For many professional musicians in the Okanagan, COVID-19 public gathering restrictions have taken away their opportunity to play and make a living this past year.

For Mike Schell, the onset of 2020 saw his calendar booked with shows to assemble as a concert promoter, and a lineup of gigs mapped out as a trumpet player in a musical tribute band.

All those plans can to a sudden halt a year ago with the onslaught of the pandemic.

Mike Schell

“Everything was cancelled, so I basically went into a funk over what I was going to do. I was really stung and deflated and didn’t care about music for a while,” Schell said.

Towards the latter half of last year, a request for a horn ensemble backup to a recording in Vancouver opened doors to more work, and Schell began to see an opportunity that could help bring work for his musician friends as well.

That idea evolved into the launch of LMS Entertainment, which Schell envisioned as bringing together the high quality of musicians in the Okanagan with artists looking for a musical backup to their recordings under a cost-effective pricing program.

The LMS focus would be on professional sound recording backed by some of Canada’s finest touring and session musicians. As well as part of its commitment to its artists, LMS will offer branding consultation, PR marketing, industry coaching and radio-tracking connections.

Along with his business partner Lisa MacNeil, the business manager, former Parachute Club member Julie Massi, a long-time Kelowna resident, was also brought on board as an artist relations manager to help make LMS Records, part of the LMS Entertainment hub, get a foothold in the recording industry.

Musical artists from across the Southern Interior have already booked time with LMS to make studio recordings in a variety of musical genres, from heavy punk and rock’n roll to country.

With music at its core, Schell said he envisions the company offering services in a variety of ways, everything from bands playing at weddings to recording and touring support for artists, to assistance in client branding.

“We are part of a throwback in the music industry…I had a friend of mine say you are trying to create your own wrecking crew,” Schell laughed.

The Wrecking Crew was a loose collective of recording session musicians in Los Angeles who performed on thousands of studio recordings in the 1960s and 1970s, recognized with great reverence for their musical talents in the industry.

Keyboardist Leon Russell, singer Glen Campbell and drummer Hal Blaine were among the group who gained the greatest individual fame and notoriety in their careers.

“All I am trying to do is get musicians back in the spotlight, to get back to being creative and honing our art. There is an incredible base of talent in the Okanagan,” Schell said.

While technology has robbed studio musicians of work and reduced recording costs by allowing computerized sound to replace musical instruments, Schell explained s the seeds of a push back to live recordings are beginning to take hold.

“I think with music today you are starting to see songs from the ’70s and ’80s starting to be recreated and brought back again,” he said.

“There is a renewed traction to having musicians play behind you in the studio, and the part I want to convey is that we want artists to come here and get involved in studio recording sessions, to be able to watch these pros play and learn and be guided by that experience.”

READ MORE: Kelowna man’s music video confronts COVID stress with humour

READ MORE: $500,000 more funds available to struggling B.C. musicians amid the pandmic

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo: pixabay.com
Morning Start: Why do dogs like squeaky toys?

Your morning start for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

A new non-profit after school program starts in Revelstoke. The Revelstoke Afterschool Society focuses on spending time outside. school (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Columbia Basin Trust doles out funds for child care providers

Sixteen Revelstoke providers received money

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Jasmyn Yakura’s 2004 Chevy Aveo ended up going off Cosens Bay Road Sunday, April 18, with her behind the wheel, and coming to rest down a steep cliff. Yakura suffered only minor injuries. She was helped back to the road by a friend travelling behind her when the car left the road. (Yakura family photo)
North Okanagan driver credits seatbelt with saving life

Jasmyn Yakura, 17, survived after car went off Cosens Bay Road over a cliff, flipping ‘five or six times or more’

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
B.C. man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Most Read