He’s represented clients like Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, and The Brothers Osborne. And guess what? He doesn’t wear a suit. There isn’t anything overly “slick” about him. Meet entertainment attorney Chip Petree of Ritholz Levy. I met Chip on John & TJ Osborne’s tour bus in the middle of North Carolina. He was so un-lawyerly that I didn’t even think he was in the industry. I just assumed he was a friend of the band hanging out after a show. And he was. And that’s kind of the point. I think you’ll like the perceptive Chip brings as someone who was in a band, and is really passionate about music, to his legal work representing creative people.
Also, this is what his office looks like:
I’M NOT JOKING. CAN I PLEASE LIVE HERE?!
I’d say that my job on a given day is 30-50% therapist.”
I ask him to describe his job, and he answers, “I’d say that my job on a given day is 30-50% therapist, and 50-70% is legal and business analysis …. of whatever the situation is.” He continues, “what I do requires a tremendous amount of being able to listen, and take it in, and sound through things.” And I think this is especially true when you’re dealing with creative types.
On the nitty gritty front I’ll ask Chip to zoom out and look at the state of pub deals and record deals right now in 2017. What should songwriter expect from a first time publishing deal? What are some of the more important deal points? On the record deal front, what does he make of the notorious, and now pretty much ubiquitous, “360 deal?”
Chip says, “there’s a theory that you don’t want to cut the label out completely on the 360 side of the deal because then you’ve disincentivized them from really trying as hard for you as they would for that next act who’s in the same general level as you who, is giving them a piece.” In other words, if your label mate has given the label a bigger piece of the pie than you have, one could argue that the label has a reason to prioritize the other act over you.
Help me help myself! I ask Chip how a client can best help him do his job. Chip jokes, “have your sh*t together.”
have your sh*t together.”
But he says the bottom line is honesty. Don’t try to “sell him a story.” And be honest about where you wanna go.
What does it meant to live “this Nashville life” to Chip? Well, The Bluebird Cafe is part of his answer. Come with us this week as we try to figure out what it means to live This Nashville Life. Follow Chip @chippertee (Insta, Twitter.)
*Also, Chip wanted us to note this minor fact correction. He stated that the revenue split is 90/10 of the monies paid out from streaming and it’s actually closer to 80/20. But he also noted it could get worse before better in light of the new Universal/Spotify deal that was recently announced.