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Radio (&c.)...


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So a writer in Florida posts on a Website out of Indiana that a radio station DJ in Manchester, England is looking for country music for his show, and the DJ gets submissions from folks in Oregon (me), California, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and Nova Scotia (it’s in Canada, but it’s close). Is this a new thing? Not really; 30-plus years ago, myself and another guy would go on the road with a Dodson Drifters single for several weeks, hitting every rural radio station that played country music, and talk to the DJs and give them the record. If they liked it, they’d play it, and if people liked it, they’d request it. This isn’t any different.

It feels different because it doesn’t happen very often. There are few radio stations with live DJs in control of their own playlists any more; where there are, you can still get airplay for good stuff. There’s the Internet now, too; it shortens distance—and that’s a good thing; that radio station is in England, and I couldn’t drive there. I don’t have to. I also know a few people in England (thanks again to the Internet), and if the DJ does agree to play my stuff, I’ll let those folks know, and maybe the DJ will get some calls from “fans.” That kind of deck-stacking wasn’t possible 30 years ago, either.

Is there a lesson here? Maybe; it’s not about the value of the Internet as a marketing tool, though, but rather about the value of “networking,” as it’s called in the Modern Era—people staying in touch with each other, and helping each other out. The Internet, I think, simply allows one to be in touch with a larger number of people over a wider area. From my end, I need to find ways to become more efficient about it, else it will become way too time-consuming. I have not managed that yet.

The Ballad—tentatively titled “Last Song of the Highwayman”—is finished, I think. Of course it’s not hit material; there hasn’t been a market for medieval folk ballads for decades, and even when there was, nobody wanted original ones—they wanted renditions of traditional ones out of the Child and suchlike catalogs. “Last Song of the Highwayman” is just an application of the “write in different genres” item on the 2010 Worklist. (And it’s not the only new genre I plan to write in.) I really don’t know what sort of venue (if any) it might be performable in.

I ran into Jeff Benson in Tillamook; we hadn’t talked since he bailed out suddenly from the First Failed Economy Show, leaving us without a lead guitarist. We sorta made up, I think; he sort of apologized, and I sort of let him know there were no hard feelings. I reminded him there’s been no live music at the Ghost Hole in Garibaldi since he moved, and he and I stopped performing there, and maybe we’ll do it again. Good singing voice, decent lead guitarist, and he’s written a few tunes that are pretty good, and ought to get played more (one of the things I think playing with me did was encourage him to perform his own original material).

The band “Deathgrass” is tentatively being tapped to play a benefit concert in March for our local Port Commission president, who just had a cancer operation; I’m game, and so is drummer Chris, but I don’t know about the rest. Blues harpist “Doc”’s availability gets a bit limited in March. In addition, Terry Kandle, our local fiddle player, wants to assemble a small group of acoustic musicians to jam at the Garibaldi Pub (next door to the Ghost Hole) Wednesday afternoons. Wednesday afternoons I can do—not being employed and all.

Thirsty Lion gig Tuesday night, the jam Wednesday, practice with the band in Astoria on Friday, and music at the library on Saturday, plus a couple of city council meetings to cover for the paper and my column to write. Are we busy yet?

Joe

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