NAME: Russ Madry
COMPANY: RAM Entertainment
TITLE: Founder, Event Producer
YEARS IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY: 25+
NAME: Russ Madry
As you browse through many of the finest weddings in Alabama, you’ll find that each event distinctively reflects the tastes, dreams, and personalities of the individual brides and grooms. Beyond stunning dresses, beautiful flowers, and touching ceremonies – each one of these dream weddings has a common element that creates unique memories for the bride, groom, their families, and all of their guests – professional, live music.
To explore the latest trends and get tips for finding and hiring the best live musicians in Alabama, we turned to Russ Madry, Event Producer and Founder of RAM Entertainment. Over the past 25 years, Russ has provided first-class, live entertainment for thousands of weddings and special events all over the Southeast and beyond. This past year, RAM Entertainment produced over 500 weddings, including many in Alabama.
Q: WHAT ARE THE LATEST TRENDS IN LIVE MUSIC FOR WEDDINGS?
A: We’re seeing a lot more requests for versatility from the bands. For example, play a more relaxed, traditional dinner set; then let the party loose for the rest of the night. For a lot of weddings, we’ve added DJs for continuous music with no breaks all night. Some weddings are now even incorporating party hosts to keep the dance floor active and fun.
Q: HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT BAND?
A: Today’s weddings are big events, and you need professional musicians who know what they’re doing to expertly create the celebration you want – one that you and your guests will remember forever.
We’ve put the best available bands in Alabama on our website: http://www.RAMentertainment.com/Alabama — including video, audio, and sample song lists that make the research easy and fun. A typical process: Bride contacts us via website, phone, or e-mail; we get a feel for her needs (musical tastes, date, venue, budget) and vision for the event; we respond with a tailored list of artists within budget (e-mailed); client chooses a band; contract executed; we handle all advance details right up to wedding day.
We also provide turn-key service to clients looking for nationally-known acts for private events.
Q: HOW SHOULD COUPLES BUDGET FOR LIVE MUSIC?
A: The band will be one of the larger line items in your budget. But consider you’re hiring up to a dozen or more top-notch, professional musicians who play instruments, sing, dance, provide sound and light, transportation and perhaps even more – it’s a lot of bang for the buck.
Live musicians create a certain ambiance and energy that cannot be replicated by recorded music. A live band makes an event. It is the most talked-about aspect of the whole wedding reception.
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS?
A: Only work with professionals. Always use a contract. As event producers, we offer expert advice and coordinate key details well in advance so there are no surprises. The FAQ section on our website is a great starting point for anyone who’s interested in the live music booking process for weddings.
So as you plan your big day, remember the trends and expert advice. And make lasting memories with live music. Russ added at the end of our recent interview, “We consistently get feedback from couples and parents that the band made all the difference for them, and they felt a magical experience they’ll cherish forever.”
“Just wanted to let you know how wonderful Dance Street Band was Saturday night at our wedding!!!!!! We loved the way they entertained as well as great music!! I can’t tell you how many people said how much they enjoyed the band.”
– Sheila Groshart (Mother of Bride) – Wedding Reception
“WOW, what can I say, The SoulSations were a hit. They had the dance floor rockin’. I am still getting calls about what a great party it was and how good the band was. The bride & groom were very pleased. Thank you so much for all of your help!”
– Becky Hawkins – Wedding Reception
“The band was great and fun was had by all. They were very professional. I will spread the word about The Party Jammers. They were fantastic! Thank you.”
– Marietta McElroy – Wedding Reception
“RAM Entertainment was great to work with, and the Memphis Soul Revue did an outstanding job. Their energy was contagious, and the dance floor was packed. They did an excellent job reading the crowd and playing the right songs at the right time. The band rocked. I would highly recommend them!”
– Lesley A. – Fundraiser
“You guys ROCKED our wedding tonight. You blew everyone away with classy song selections infused with as much energy as the room could handle. And then you added more. I’ve never been to a wedding with a better band, and I am SO glad you played ours. You took our night over the top.”
– Chris & Beth – Wedding Reception
Thank you so much for the suggestions, and working with you guys was unbelievably easy. I will certainly recommend RAM and “Dance Street” any time! Thanks again”
– Jill Iglehart (Mother of Bride) – Wedding Reception
Founded in 1898, The Country Club of Birmingham offers superior social and recreational services to its members and their families.
B&A Warehouse is Birmingham’s finest gourmet catering company and event facility. It has the historic early 1900’s personality enhanced with many modern amenities.
Mountain Brook Club is a member owned, private country club, organized in 1929 whose members and their families enjoy a long tradition of excellence in an atmosphere surrounded by beautiful architecture and genuine southern hospitality.
Nestled atop the mountains of Vestavia Hills and spanning over 340 acres, Vestavia Country Club offers a rich tradition of hospitality, recreation and family focus for all ages in a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere.
Montgomery Country Club is a member-owned, private country club organized in 1903 and located in the heart of the capital city. The Club’s members and their families have enjoyed a long history of excellent cuisine, welcoming atmosphere, and friendly Southern hospitality.
Iron Cityb is Birmingham’s newest wedding venue for the bride and groom that want something more. From a ceremony under the lights on our amazing stage to a casual rehearsal dinner on our outdoor patio, Iron City has numerous options for events to make yours unique, exciting, and a something to remember.
The SoulSations… When you have to have the BEST! The SoulSations have become one of the hottest bands in the country and a must have!
Over the last 20 years, Memphis Soul Revue has played every conceivable type of event; from countless wedding receptions, private parties, corporate functions and gala fundraisers to exclusive soirees for past Presidents and celebrities!
Bamboo Forest is a High Energy Party Band that specializes in music and formalities tailored to wedding receptions, private parties, corporate events, and fund raisers.
This Superstar, high-stepping band features 3 beautiful and talented female lead vocalists, 2 dynamic male lead vocalists backed by an all-star rhythm section!
It didn’t take long for The DMP Band to quickly become one of top premiere party bands of the Mid-South. Lead vocalist, Jeremy Jones delivers a memorizing performance that will have your dance floor packed all night.
Hailing from the great “Natural State” of Arkansas and the city of Little Rock, Funkytown has exploded onto the music scene, bringing forth an exciting stew of Funk and R & B Classics!!!
The Party Jammers are the hottest new party band on the scene! This high-energy band is based around the dynamic Neal brothers. Lead singer, Javis Neal’s smooth, melodic, voice effortlessly transitions through any genre.
Growing up, Ernest Williamson Jr. sat on the ront pew of his father’s church watching the organist play soulful gospel music. That was the old Olivet Baptist Church on Calhoun in Memphis, where Williamson dreamed that one day he might be able to play so effortlessly.
Alabama Theatre Event Complex
Anderson Gail Farms
Antebellum Weddings at Oak Island
Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center At Grand National
Birmingham Athletic Club
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Country Club
Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex
Birmingham Museum of Art
Cahaba Grand Conference Center
Craft Farms Golf Resort
Creekside Lodge & Paradise Lake Catering
DoubleTree by Hilton
Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa
Greystone Golf & Country Club
Hilton Hotel Birmingham Perimeter Park
Hotel Capstone – Tuscaloosa, AL
Huntsville Country Club
Huntsville Museum of Art
Hyatt Regency Birmingham
The Wynfrey Hotel
Inverness Country Club
Iron City Bham
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
Limestone Bay Trading Company
Limestone Springs Golf Club
Mimosa Ridge, Livingston Oxmoor Valley Golf Course
Pelham Civic Complex
Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club
Perdido Beach Resort
Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge
Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel
Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa At The Convention Center
Robert Hill Antiques
River Heights Weddings and Events
Rock Creek Golf Club
Rocky Mount Weddings & Events
Russell Lands On Lake Martin
Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham Sturdivant Hall
Sweet Apple Farm
The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
The Chapel Somewhere In Time
The Grand on Foster
The Harbert Center
The Hotel at Auburn University
The Sweet House
The Westin Birmingham
The Westin Huntsville
Vestavia Country Club
Victoria Belle Mansion & Vintage White Barn, Auburn & East Alabama
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel
Weddings at Pursell Farms