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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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Taylor Swift vs. Ed Sheeran: Models for releasing new music continue to evolve

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Music artists are faced with a conundrum today that is worthy of a song. And it’s not just music artists. Ask anyone who is trying to promote a book or any other form of artistry. Do you give your artistic works away to gain exposure? Or do you try to get fans to pay for your hard-earned efforts, instead?

For example, many musicians these days are giving away new tunes on Amazon Prime, Apple Music, SoundCloud and Spotify, just to name a few, in order to try to build a following in the hopes that the masses will then seek out live shows. Continue reading

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Seven questions with bluegrass master Tim O’Brien of Hot Rize, Earls of Leicester fame

Tim O’Brien has been called a lot of things throughout his musical career, which spans more than four decades: newgrass, bluegrass, singer, songwriter, mandolin aficionado.

He has been called a lot of things because, well, he does a lot of things. Continue reading


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Taylor Swift left Nashville a long time ago folks

It seems Taylor Swift is everywhere these days except Nashville. The guy selling newspapers on the corner in the nation’s capital  listening to gospel tunes through his ear buds has heard her newest ditty “Shake It Off,” even if it was a muffled version in a passing car.  Since her fifth album release and a public battle with Spotify following her decision to remove her music from the free streaming service, something has shifted. Instead of People and Cosmo, this week Swift is gracing the cover of Time and stories about her are littering news sites such Bloomberg and Forbes. It appears she is finally being recognized for the calculating business woman I think she has always been. It’s just taken others time to catch up and realize it. An editorial she wrote in the Wall Street Journal last summer was a warning shot to Spotify: “My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.” Continue reading