I’ll tell you as a disclaimer right now that I vowed to myself that in my musical career I would never get political. My reasoning is twofold. One, I don’t ever want to isolate a valuable part of my fan-base. Secondly, I never want to boost my own ego to think that I know more about right and wrong simply because I’m a musician with a microphone. To me that seems manipulative in the same way that cult leaders are manipulative. Being given a stage is a dangerous responsibility, and I try to protect myself from letting it get to my head. Why is my political perspective any better than anybody else’s? Let me assure you right now that it is not. Don’t ever let me fool you into thinking otherwise.
The satisfaction of getting your music heard is easier and more accessible than ever. Labels used to be the only avenue for mass distribution. One reason why so many musicians are broke is because they are shooting for mass distribution without a label, and that takes an office of people who light up cigars rolled in 100-dollar bills and laugh villainous laughs at you crazy hard-working types. So, maybe don’t think about mass distribution. Maybe think about how you can get 100 people in your town to come out for a show. Maybe think about how you can use live streaming to be a part of people’s weekly lives in a meaningful way. Maybe work on the craft of writing songs that folks will keep coming back to when they need those sounds and lyrics to speak to them again. This industry is filled with people who are suggesting last century industry strategies in a new century market.
When I think about genres of music in America that are traditional, few genres come to mind that would outperform Country-western music on that specific characteristic. Perhaps Blues, which traces its origins back to slaves singing old spirituals while working crops in the fields. Otherwise I would think Country-western music is high on the list of traditional genres that American music listeners enjoy. As a good American boy from Texas, it’s easy for me to think that country music has just sort of always been here. But lately, I’ve been learning some history that has caused my perspective to change.
It would be easy to just assume that my career should follow the path template that is provided by the apparent successful in my industry. But I think that blind following of another person’s path is what leads some of us to achieve all of the markers of success, only to find ourselves depressed and empty inside.
It’s weird, you know, because most people, myself included, tend to always want more. We think some long-awaited accomplishment will fix some of our major problems, or solidify our personal success. Then we reach that long-awaited accomplishment, and lo and behold, there are still problems! Seems to be a defining characteristic in the human condition. At least it is in mine!
I will be returning to the studio in May in order to record five brand new songs!
These songs will be released one by one into streaming sources such as Spotify. They will combine to form a second album, EP. Once all the songs are released to streaming, I will look to produce the songs into a CD or vinyl form also for all of you collectors!
Here we are, in the twelfth month of a twelve month year. That means 2017 is over my friends. Did you make it a good one? I suppose a lot of bands blog with some …
It was very surreal performing in front of the crowd at the 2017 4th on the River celebration in Kerrville with Robert Earl Keen. Up to that point it had by far been our largest sound stage, and put us in the same backstage with a couple of my songwriting heroes. And then it was over.
My wife and I attended the acoustic show at Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio this past Tuesday evening to see Wade Bowen perform. My history with Wade is sort of short. I accidentally lived outside of the state of Texas for a little over a decade. When I left Texas I also left behind some of my heroes in the cult-like Texas music scene, Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Cory Morrow, Cross Canadian Ragweed, etc. I returned to the homeland two years ago to find that these heroes had become old-timers. They looked older and those who listened to their music looked older. The only one who didn’t look older was me, right?
I had the honor of being a guest on the Local Licks at 6 segment of KFAN radio out of Fredericksburg a couple of months ago. During the interview I was asked to give any advice to up-and-comers in the music business who are struggling to get a foothold in the industry while living the couch-surfing homeless lifestyle. An ironic question since I am very much an up-and-comer myself, if not a climb-and-struggler.