Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Down Period As Seen By An Optimist

Heard last week at the Billboard-CMA Country Music Summit in Nashville:
“In chaos there is opportunity.” - CMA chairman Steve Moore

But, the writers covering the meeting reported that the panic is palpable and quote Anderson Merchandisers CEO Charlie Anderson predicting that the industry will “implode” within three years if it continues to operate in the same manner.

Is this the current decade's equivalent of the legendary 1986 New York Times Robert Hilburn piece which pronounced the country music business dead?

A reminder: that pronouncement came at the very same time that Garth was marrying Sandy and “the class of 1989” was recording and starting to release their early music, which by 1993-1994 drove the format to its highest heights in history!

If so, it seems - while the patient certainly has seen better health nationally than right now - the early signs of a strong recovery are already becoming visible.

Even after all these decades since then, Country remains the #1 adult music format that hasn't fragmented in any major way, still hanging onto very loyal leading edge boomers while attracting passionate teens and 20-somethings too.

More cause for optimism:

Taylor Swift
continues to prove that Country can still sell plastic albums as well as digital downloads when the product and the marketing is right.

While numerous 'wannabe' acts are no-doubt struggling in the 20’s and 30’s on the charts, just this week in Fresno a KSKS-presented $5 concert series show featuring Bucky Covington, Matt Kennon and Jerrod Niemann was a complete sell-out.
“It was incredible,” notes PD Tom Jordan, “This is the first time KISS has ever sold any concert out!”

On the summer superstar touring circuit, a dozen or so major Nashville acts still are packing concert venues.

Give them something that excites them, and they still do respond.

Early indications from the first month's rating trends of spring are that country's national average losses were more in time spent listening, not as much in cume, meaning that - again - the market is largely still there, we simply need to give 'em a reason to spend more time with us.

Country needs a Lady Gaga?

We may already know the names of some of them who will join Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Sugarland and Carrie Underwood, among others, who even now are drawing as well or better than Tim, Toby, Reba, George, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson or Kenny Chesney.

Lady Antebellum? Zac Brown Band? Easton Corbin? Billy Currington? Jason Aldean? Dierks Bentley? Blake Shelton? Miranda Lambert? Luke Bryan? Chris Young? All/any of the above? Someone whose name we don't even know yet?

It's a good time, as always, to listen very carefully to everything.

The country format's issues are nothing that great songs won't solve. It seems to me that we have plenty of very talented artists in the in-basket.

There’s tremendous cause for optimism for country’s future, thanks to the changing of the guard happening on right now.

Who are you excited about?


countryradiois said...

The new artists that I get excited about are...The Band Perry, Jaron and the Long Road to Love, Lady A of course...and a young indie with a big voice, Katie Armiger.

Music Fan said...

The problem with Katie is that she needs a great song, since so many other females have a very similar vocal quality which can tend to repel males. She's talented indeed and glamorous.

Stealing Angels, I think, has a better debut song than The Band Perry has had. Both groups are quite likable, I agree, but for me a new act really has to have a signature tune that sets them apart or they get lost in the crowd.

clustered said...

David Nail! For us, he's done great! Big talent--big looks--great music! Zach Brown has to be considered the top of the new class. Every song is an amazing experience in song writing perfection. Katie A is a superstar in training...definitely the best of all new females, major or indie. I don't know what you're talking about Musicfan...her last single was one of our best songs of the year so far!

now excuse me while I jump on another conf call...can we just get back to music? Clustered to f--in death!

Bear Morning Country Club said...

Lady A--Billy Currington--Dierks Bentley--Telluride--Katie Armiger is "a diamond in the rough," she has great songs...Just needs to send the right ones out to radio. Did one on our morning show that at the time she was pitching it to the Twilight movie franchise. She never released it & it was a "Holy s@!t" this is a hit song!!!!