Posts Tagged ‘country music’

Read: Engine 145

No Comments » Written on July 11th, 2011 by Karlie Justus
Categories: READ
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Back in May when country music blog The 9513 closed its virtual doors (tabs?), I didn’t make note of it here on the blog. I didn’t just contribute album reviews, single reviews and a weekly column to the site for more than two years -  I made industry contacts, traveled to Nashville to film a CMT special, hosted a weekly news radio show, improved my writing, connected with a special group of people who treated the genre I love so much with respect and appropriate amounts of suspicion, and even got a bona-fide job in the music business. And loved every minute of it.

That’s why it was so hard to fathom losing all of that – and also why I’m very excited to announce a new collaboration with former The 9513 writers Juli Thanki, Ken Morton, Jr. and C.M. Wilcox: Engine 145 launches today.

Listen: “Working Class Hero,” Alan Jackson

No Comments » Written on June 14th, 2011 by Karlie Justus
Categories: LISTEN
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This performance and song may very well sum up the reasons why I’m such a big fan of Alan Jackson and why he’s one of the best country music has ever seen:

It’s one of his many nineties-era slices of neo-traditional heaven,  but I’d forgotten about it for the longest time. Flash back to Father’s Day last year when I came across one of those musical greetings cards featuring this song – the perfect card for the man who is responsible for my love of country music.

Tech: Country music and social media

These days, it’s hard to escape social media – and that’s reflected in the music industry as well.

In this video recorded by Jason Keath of Social Fresh – Nashville, Ben Bennett, online promotions and mobile marketing manager for the Country Music Association, discusses how the CMA engages its members and music consumers using social media. He offers up some interesting examples, such as an online “meet and greet” the CMA coordinated with several artists during a television broadcast of a pre-recorded tribute show. The artists watched the show along with fans, answering their questions about the taping and offering up their own thoughts.

Check it out:

State of Social Media in Country Music – Social Fresh from jason keath on Vimeo.

A few of my own thoughts after watching:

I think his hopes for older, more traditional artists – your George Straits, your Alan Jacksons – engaging on social media are slim to none. They don’t need to. The Straits and Jacksons of the genre became superstars without any virtual boost, connecting with fans through touring, radio, fan clubs, music videos and albums.

Any online engagement would most likely be handled by a label or publicity conduit, erasing any of the juicy behind-the-scenes draw fans hope to get out of following their favorite artists’ social media channels. Case in point: The fan club-run @OfficialJackson. As a big Chattahoochee fan, do I follow @OfficialJackson? Yes. Do I get any value out of it? No, barring the occasional handler TwitPic. Will I continue to buy his music? Oh yeah.

Even though Jackson and Strait made it to superstardom without social media, is it possible in today’s climate to do that? I doubt it, since so many music consumers look to the Internet to find their music. Like Bennett mentions, Taylor Swift (whether she’s officially country or not – another day, another argument) has set the bar so high for up-and-coming artists that it’s hard to imagine a young country hopeful not testing out the Twitter (or Facebook, or MySpace, or YouTube…) waters during their go at radio airplay.

Will a social media presence become as integral to an artist’s development as songwriting appointments, radio tours and honkytonk circuits reality TV shows? I think it depends on the artist, his or her product and where they are in their career. Does Jamey Johnson need Twitter in the same way that Mallary Hope does? Just like local companies, government organizations and worldwide brands, you have to consider a range of questions – Who is my audience? Do they have Internet access? How big is my current fanbase? What makes me different? – before answering.

H/t to the Theoretical Country blog for this video.