Tag Archives: Music Industry

WSM’s “Bluegrass Underground” moves to Saturdays

Beginning this Saturday, Feb. 14, legendary radio station 650 AM WSM will move its acclaimed Bluegrass Underground series to a new time slot. The program will now broadcast on WSM every Saturday night from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. CST and stream worldwide at www.WSMonline.com.

WSM A performance by Nashville bluegrass band, The Steeldrivers, will be featured on the first show broadcast at the new time slot.

“Having Bluegrass Underground as a part of the weekly WSM broadcast schedule enhances the diversity of our programming, which no other Nashville radio station can stake claim to,” says WSM program director Joe Limardi.

It is the perfect lead-in to our ‘crown jewel’ of programming, the Saturday Night WSM Grand Ole Opry.”

WSM’s first official broadcast day was October 5, 1925. The Nashville-based station is the radio home for the Grand Ole Opry, which has been broadcast live over the airwaves on WSM since its inception.  The 50,000 watt, low frequency station can be picked up in 38 states on 650 AM and heard worldwide at www.WSMonline.com.

Bluegrass Underground Each Bluegrass Underground show is taped live in the Volcano Room, a naturally formed amphitheater located 333 feet below ground at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tennessee. Since it began in August 2008, the show has featured performances by The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, The Steeldrivers, The Grascals and Cadillac Sky

“WSM is synonymous with the original American music form called bluegrass, and Cumberland Caverns is one of the world’s most unique show caves,” says Bluegrass Underground creator and producer Todd Mayo. “We are proud to broadcast our show from such a magical location as The Volcano Room, and we think our new time slot on legendary 650 WSM provides a great platform for this genre, particularly on the station that’s always been a friend to bluegrass music.”

The unique venue also has surprisingly pleasant acoustics, according to Bluegrass Underground recording engineer Phil Harris. “The sound in here is phenomenal,” he says. “It has a really nice, warm sound, unlike a lot of other man-made things that you encounter. The room is fantastic!”

Upcoming performers scheduled to be on the show include The Travelin’ McCourys with Ronnie Bowman (Mar. 14), Steep Canyon Rangers [April 18] and CherryHolmes [June 27].

Visit Bluegrass Underground for tickets and more information.

 

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The long tail wags the dog! An independent artist succeeds using the Internet

I have often advised my clients in the past that the new direction for independent artists is what I refer to as “guerilla” marketing, meaning finding alternative means of marketing your product.  One of the most explosive methods of doing that over the past few years has been the Internet.  One of the problems with marketing yourself on the Internet, however, is how do you get people to come to you?  The void of the Internet is so vast, that finding an artist whose sound is something that matches your musical taste is even more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack! 

So, it is a beautiful thing to see an artist actually breaking into the Billboard charts catapulted in large part by her success on the Internet, particularly her MySpace page.  Her success story gives hope to every artist whose desire is to put out a record, throw it up on the Internet, and have people flock to listen.

Enter Indianapolis, Indiana singer-songwriter Sally Anthony whose  “eTeam” of over 125,000 fans, including over 40,000 friends on MySpace, helped propel Anthony to stardom.  Thanks in largem_6c31918cf33c79bad2c07905f6783a30 part to that online community, Anthony’s first album, Vent, released in 2004, sold over 175,000 physical and digital copies.  Two releases from that album spent months on the R&R pop chart.

Her new album, Goodbye, released October 23rd, has already sold 14,000 digital copies.  It has already reached the top of the pop charts at walmart.com, FYE Digital and iTunes and on November 7th landed at No. 9 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.  The album is being distributed by her company, Gracie Productions, through Imperial Records/EMI.

Anthony is succeeding because she is treating the music industry as broader than just the radio promoted, hit-driven, plastic disc business the major labels seem stuck in.  She is viewing the music industry as an entire package, generating buzz wherever she can, from the ground up rather than from the top down.

I predict that we will start to see more and more of these types  of breakthrough artist as the popularity of YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and other online communities grow in popularity and as the pioneers of the Internet find more creative ways to index diverse product, match it to the tastes and purchasing patterns of Internet users, and make recommendations – sites such as  LivePlasma, Pandora, Audiobaba, Last.fm, MyStrands and, of course, Amazon,

As radio fades into the annals of history alongside the monolithic corporate conglomerates that are r060719_Books_longtailChartecord labels, these innovative types of indexing sites will help those artists in the deep dark recesses of the “long tail”  find an audience for their music.  By the way, if you haven’t read Chris Anderson’s treatise on this subject, The Long Tail, buy a copy and dissect it now.   The long tail consists of that product that is not in the mainstream — not on the shelves of Wal-mart — but product that is still sought after and purchased by people.  Maybe it’s only ten people per month, but people still want and buy it.  It is the millions of artist that fly below the radar of the “hit-driven majors.”  These are the artists who can benefit from the exposure the Internet can provide.

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