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 Mississippi, 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 Mississippi, 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 Mississippi.
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 Mississippi on our website: http://www.RAMentertainment.com/Mississippi — 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
Enjoy the companionship of your friends in the most elegant surroundings and an unsurpassed view of downtown Jackson Mississippi at the Capital Club.
Oxford University Club has set a new standard of excellence in club tradition, offering fine cuisine and personalized service, making you and your guests the center of attention.
Cotton Market is a relatively new venue in Rankin County with rustic flaire, featuring a 10,000 sqft main building and an old-fashioned barn on beautiful surrounding gardens and grounds.
The different rooms in the clubhouse at Clarksdale Country Club serve your needs from small private business lunch, to a beautiful wedding in the dining room overlooking our beautiful driving range and golf course.
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.
Powerhouse Community Arts Center
Colonel’s Quarters at Castle Hill Resort
Tupelo Country Club
Country Club of Jackson
River Hills Club
Bolivar County Expo
Old Waverly Golf Club
Canebrake Country Club
Mississippi Crafts Center
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
The Mill at Plein Air Oxford, MS
Perrry Creek Golf & Racquet Club Grenada, MS
Tupelo Country Club Tupelo, MS
Bridlewood Farms Hattiesburg, MS
Hilton Garden Inn Tupelo, MS
Bancorp South Center Tupelo, MS
Providence Hill Farm Jackson, MS
Thompson House Leland, MS
Greenville Country Club Greenville, MS
Elkin Place Tupelo, MS
River Hills Country Club Jackson, MS
Canebrake Country Club Hattiesburg, MS
Barksdale – Isom House Oxford, MS
211 Main Building Como, MS
Hewetts Barn Starkville, MS
Starkville Country Club Starkville, MS
McClain Lodge Brandon, MS
Horseshoe Casino – Bluesville Tunica, MS
Old Waverly Golf Club West Point, MS
Wisteria Woods Mooreville, MS
Old Capital Inn Jackson, MS
Mississippi Craft Center Ridgeland, MS
Duling Hall Jackson, MS
Plantation Commons Madison, MS
Yazoo City Country Club Yazoo City, MS
Bolivar Expo Center Cleveland, MS
Bailey Break Hunting Club Charleston, MS
Greenwood Country Club Greenwood, MS
Mississippi Museum of Art Jackson, MS
Gold Strike Casino Robinsonville, MS
Tunica River Museum Tunica, MS
Powerhouse Oxford, MS
Country Club of Jackson Jackson, MS
Grenada Country Club Grenada, MS
Goodlet House Tupelo, MS
Shiloh Ridge Corinth, MS
Jackson Yacht Club Ridgeland, MS
Brandon Hall Natchez, MS
Oak Hill Stables Oxford, MS