FREDERICK — Greg Baughman Jr., drummer for Frederick-based The Knolly Moles, has been playing in bands for 17 years. His dad, Greg Baughman Sr., has worked for bands for even longer — playing their music as a college radio DJ, introducing them at shows, managing them and taking care of the legalities musicians face.
About three months ago, the father-son team crossed generations and expertise to revive Morningtown Productions, an artist management business in downtown Frederick.
They call Morningtown Productions a one-stop shop.
“You focus on the music, and we’ll do the rest,” Greg Baughman Sr. said. “Focus on your band because that’s all you want to do anyway.”
Whether artists want to sell songs or go on tour, Morningtown Productions works with them.
Greg Baughman Sr. manages the logistics of the band, such as getting copyrights and turning songs into sheet music, while his son manages all the marketing behind the product.
Technically speaking, they co-manage bands.
Although musicians pay a fee, the Baughmans say they won’t take every band. They’ve got their feelers out for talent in the Frederick area, and they’ve already turned down a few requests.
“We’re looking for the cream of the crop,” Greg Baughman Sr. said.
They aim to manage seven to 10 bands.
The Knolly Moles is one of them.
The band formed in December and “were a street band, at best,” Greg Baughman Sr. said. “But I heard a hook. People were in a trance, dancing.”
Now they’ve booked half of an East Coast tour in the fall and plan to fill in the gaps before they leave.
In addition to The Knolly Moles, Morningtown Productions represents the Golden Butter Band, Frederick singer-songwriter Reid Schoenfeld and the country duo Blaine & Sarah.
Gracious Few — which includes members of Candlebox and Live — is playing concerts for Morningtown Productions.
A big Morningtown Productions concert is slated for Aug. 6 at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, but the company would not reveal the lineup yet. They said it will be a day festival and feature multiple bands.
Greg Baughman Sr., who goes by G, started Morningtown Productions in 2003 and hosted concerts for local bands, but it fell by the wayside for a few years, in part because of the economic downturn.
When he realized his son was heavily involved with the music scene, he thought, “Morningtown Productions is going to be brought back to life,” he said.
“[My son] is meeting Adam Taylor, he’s playing everywhere … He’s coming back and almost taunting me,” Greg Baughman Sr. said, sitting at his desk and eyeing his son from across the room.
Greg Baughman Sr. was attending Penn State University when a local radio station needed a disc jockey to host the 9-to-1 slot. He got the gig, and that led to him meeting musicians and people in the entertainment business. He once picked up the Allman Brothers at the airport, he said, and ended up introducing them for their show at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.
“From that moment, the entertainment and music industry was in my blood,” he said.
“And then he passed that to me,” Greg Baughman Jr. added.
“Around the time I was born, he was a pretty well-known DJ in the [Pennsylvania] area,” he continued.
But then he began to raise a family and got away from his entertainment itch, though he continued to play guitar from time to time for fun.
Greg Baughman Jr., meanwhile, “always had an instrument in front of me,” he said. He played guitar, piano and drums and started performing in bands around age 13.
“Pretty much every picture I have of you, there’s a guitar,” his dad said.
A few things have changed since Greg Baughman Sr., now 57, began working with bands.
Major record label deals have been “totally taken over by the Internet,” Greg Baughman Sr. said.
Greg Baughman Jr. mainly handles the Internet aspect, scouting companies online for the bands with the ultimate goal of getting them signed (The Knolly Moles recently got signed with JMD/Universal Distribution).
But some things haven’t changed: like copyrighting music (not just recording it), forming a band as a legal entity and the logistics of touring.
And if a band or musician needs professional shots, in-house photographer Erick Gibson takes them.
Morningtown Productions staff also includes Kristen Sutphin and Ben Goldsmith.
“The relationship shouldn’t carry over into the business, but it does,” Greg Baughman Jr. said of working with his father. “We have our tiffs, but we usually make up the next morning.
“It’s definitely brought us together after not being together for so many years.”