A few weeks back at Greenfest, I was having a conversation with an artist who wasn’t on the bill but was just there to take in all the music. He told me “Galleywinter does it right, man. Y’all are always ahead of the curve.” This is a sentiment I heard several times throughout the weekend and have heard many times before. One time somebody compared us to the old Buzz Bin videos on MTV if you’re old enough to remember that.
Being in front of trends is a dangerous thing on the night you’re promoting a concert, but is a thrilling thing all other 364 days of the year. Heck, it’s even thrilling the night of the big show. Our community has been all about exposing, promoting and sharing music we dig since Pat Green was a newcomer. Over the course of the past 15 or 16 years we’ve seen trends, bands, styles and artists come and go.
This process is very similar to that of a pro sports scout. A grizzled baseball scout looking for that 5 tool player. A hardened football scout seeking that raw, athletic phenom. A gruff basketball scout searching for that versatile player that can fill multiple positions and hit a jump shot. And so on. We’re always simply looking for new bands (and old) that turn our ears. Are they doing something new, unique, different, original, cool?
Over the years, we’ve identified bands we thought were on the cusp and they proved us right. But, just like those sports scouts, we’ve missed on a few too. For every Randy Rogers Band and Turnpike Troubadours that we were first to pimp, we’ve also been all over bands that had all the tools but fizzled out or never caught on for one reason or another. Ryan Turner and 11 Bones come to mind.
The point being that talent is not the end all. Success also requires an imperfect mix of timing, opportunity, tenacity, business sense, marketing, radio support and catching lightning in a bottle. Some are able to maneuver this obstacle course of vague shadiness and others are unable to overcome.
There are bands that have no discernible talent other than fad songwriting and a savvy marketing plan.
That’s not what we’re seeking. We seek the truth. We seek to shine a light on the Sturgill Simpson’s of the world. New artists doing something different and creative. We also seek to continue to shine a light on the Drew Kennedy’s of the world. Established artists doing something different and creative.
The big bands of the scene thrive with or without the support of blogs and radio. Just as Mike Trout, LeBron James and Peyton Manning are going to always make the All Star Game and Pro Bowl. Once you’re established, as long as you continue to work, success can be a formality.
Thankfully, we dig the guys who are still working just to be noticed. Whether it’s their first album or tenth.
-Jerry Jones should’ve drafted Johnny Football just to have a wingman when out in the clubs…or bathrooms of clubs.
-I’ve played more golf this summer than I have in many years. My handicap is slowing coming back down to where it used to reside pre-kids. Hope I can keep it trending downward. Me and Ike Turner Ballou are coming for the Bowen Classic crown next year!
-Greenfest hangover is officially gone. Ready to start cranking out lots of new, non GF related content. Thanks for hanging in there with us. I know you got tired of hearing about it!
-Football is back and it’s glorious. Soon, we will have cooler weather, bird hunting and county fairs. Let’s do this.
-We’ve toyed with bringing the forums back here. Is that something you’d be interested in?
-NYC and Boston were everything I’d ever dreamed them to be. I don’t think we could’ve crammed anything more into our days there if we’d used a shoehorn.
-Traveling is awesome when it’s for fun and on a short timetable. Not so awesome when it’s akin to “Turn the Page”. Still planning our next adventure. Where should we go next?
-My Top 5 TV Show Rankings (drama, subject to change): 1. The Wire, 2. Friday Night Lights, 3. Breaking Bad, 4. The Sopranos, 5. Mad Men
-A sitcom or comedy list would probably be harder to come up with.
–This month’s recommended album: Billy Joe Shaver – Long in the Tooth. Shaver’s always had a way to say more with less than any other songwriter. His folksy, central Texas twang wraps its talons around life, love, loss, and hell-raisin’ with more wisdom and humor than should be allowed. In a career full of gems, Shaver’s still producing quality material. Check this record out.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain