Yesterday, at 1:34 p.m. here in the southeastern sector of Jacksonville, I got to see something remarkable. The sun was directly overhead. As I viewed it through my special glasses, that big orange orb looked like a mouse had nibbled at the upper right quadrant. By 1:49, the bite got bigger. Then things went south.
In June I wrote about indie music artist Tyler Childers’ new album Purgatory. Childers’ album has just been released, and he must be smiling. Sturgill Simpson, who helped produce it, is probably smiling as well. It’s been a long haul for this country artist who did gigs in a couple of states before seeing the kind of success most indie artists would like to have. The fact he’s an independent makes the story even sweeter.
Traditional radio stations were once the heart of country music, but now, as I’ve written before, you’re likely to hear tunes that come off as pop more than country. Critics abound, and one of the most vocal inside the music business is Aaron Lewis. Lewis earned his stripes playing a different kind of music, alternative rock, with the band Staind. Leaving that genre for country led some of his previous fans to criticize him on social media because he wasn’t born in the South, the region many associate with country music.
Florida is one of the nation’s largest states and we’re a popular tourist destination, so it’s no surprise we have a lot of music going on. Add Island Hopper Fest to the mix of great music events in the Sunshine State. This is only the fourth year for the festival, but it looks like it will have a long shelf life. Performers will be featured at venues including Captiva Island, Downtown Fort Myers, and Fort Myers Beach September 22-October 1. There’s a contest for aspiring songwriter-performers who can vie for a chance to perform.
As the Daysies get closer to finishing their first full-length album, I’m getting closer to a basic education in Music Biz 101. I’ve learned a lot, and I came to one conclusion that is absolute. If you’re an indie musician ignoring the opportunities in Billboard, you’re shorting yourself. Until now, for instance, I didn’t realize Billboard has a chart for up and comers, the new artist Heatseekers chart. Criteria for ranking isn’t out of reach for indie musicians. Another must-site for indies, CDBaby, hosts the DIY Musician Blog. An entry there is required reading.
I enjoy reading at the site Saving Country Music, and I came across an article today that set me thinking. The article is about a couple who make music together, and the writer opined: “Somewhere, the spirit of the country music duo got lost. This isn’t just about the conjoining of two voices. It’s about the mixing of two perspectives on the same theme, telling a story from two angles, making the yearning in the heart that much more aching by adding two sob stories, or uplifting joy that is magnified that much more because it’s shared with someone else.”
The Key West Songwriters Festival will feature more than 200 performers and untold numbers of music fans who will converge on the island May 9-13, 2018. The performers are selected by organizations like BMI, so there’s a selection process that may take some time.
I’ve been helping the Crazy Daysies get ready for their first full length album release this fall. I have come to appreciate the work that goes into something like this as we try to cover all our bases. One of my tasks has been to sleuth the Web for sites that might be useful. I found a few so I thought I’d share them here. One site I found provides average earnings for different types of artists. Who knew?
Update After talking to some people over the weekend, I am adding another option for entering the contest. Note changes to the article below. I added this option because some people were concerned about using their real names on a public forum. So now there are two easy ways to enter to win two tickets to the Bella Donna Project tribute concert to Stevie Nix. Indie Art South is still very new, so to get some additional friendships going, we decided to host a ticket giveaway.
CD Baby hosts the company’s third annual conference August 25-27 in Nashville. There’s plenty in store for indie musicians hoping to increase their earnings from music. Are you getting all the revenue you can?