This is a republished post, backdated to reflect that and posted again for reader visibility, edited for past grammatical errors and sentence structure issues. As for this piece, I guess I got what I wanted, but now that it’s 2020, for Pete’s sake, at least your music on YouTube!
Yes, I know this happened a while ago, but this blog didn’t start until recently, and it’s never too late for a positive post.
Anyway, for country music in 2017, I’m saddened that we still haven’t figured out ways to incorporate lyrical booklets or songwriting credits into the albums we buy on iTunes or Google Play or stream on Spotify (or wherever else).
Truth be told, sometimes covering mainstream albums is more fun (and easier), because, even though there’s a lot of acts I wouldn’t cough up $10+ bucks for to buy their music, for the ones that I would do that for, it makes my listening experience better. I know who wrote what and any other little details about the music at hand.
Even when I stream a mainstream artist’s music, I can at least find what I need at say, Wikipedia, and the lyrics are never hard to track down since more fans are likely to post them. For independent artists, though, it’s tough. Sure, the idea I had earlier with including the digital booklet probably sounds like a horrible idea given that most people stream their music anyway these days, but if there’s one genre where the fans are still willing to pay for what they love, it’s country music – especially independent country music.
I mean think about it, Cody Jinks sold twice what Chris Lane sold in his debut week back in August of 2016 when they both released their albums, and Jinks is still going strong, not just with I’m Not The Devil, but with other albums as well, like 30 and Less Wise. Remember, Chris Lane is that dude with a #1 country single that you don’t remember. I’m also sure you remember the success stories of acts like Aaron Watson, Blackberry Smoke, and many others from 2015.
But even if I’m wrong on every assumption, let’s at least lend a hand to singer/songwriter Jason Eady (who put out one of the best albums of 2017 so far, by the way). Back in April, when he released his self-titled album, he left this post under Facebook:
Now, again, this outlet just launched this week, so I haven’t covered this album yet, but it’s so cool to see who contributed to this project. I mean, how else would you have known that Vince freakin’ Gill provided vocal harmony on “Genie In This Bottle”? And Lloyd Maines on the pedal steel, dobro and slide guitar? And hey, one of the songwriters on “Barabbas”, Larry Hooper, has his own version of the song floating around, and it’s great too.
In addition, there’s also some other heavy-weight songwriters on this record – Jamie Lin Wilson, Josh Grider, and Adam Hood, just to name a few. I’ve also got Kevin Welch to thank for honing in on those warmer tones that make Jason’s music so comforting.
You see? I’m already getting nerdy about the music. The point is, I wish more independent artists chose to do this type of thing (either that or post the lyrics). If there’s one thing country music is guilty of, it’s its web presence. There’s too much music coming out – especially in the independent realm – for artists to just be relying on their music to take them places. Branch out, post the credits …you never know what kind of fun the fans could have (for example, I’m now a Larry Hooper fan).
I get it, fans are picky, but I’m not saying this for my amusement – I’m saying this for the artists. It’s easier for them to talk about their art and do it more justice when fans have the tools in front of them. With how much music is out there, it’s easy to get sucked into the critical abyss and never get noticed. And again, it helps instrumentalists, writers, producers and whoever else helped to craft the project receive proper recognition as well. The fans care about that.