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Hey - I am home a little under the weather, so no shuffle to today, but I couldn't let this day go by without acknowledging that on May 15, 2011, I started writing Ear to the Ground. I honestly had no idea what my goals were or what I hoped might come about in doing this, but I can safely say - six years down the road - that I can not imagine my life today had I not started this blog.
For me, it has always been about the music. Music has always been important to me, and for several years, I felt deeply connected to, at least, a sub-set of all of the great music being made. For me, it was never enough to settle on one artist or even a small group of artists, My appetite for something new, something different, and also for understanding what came before - was insatiable. I read everything I could put my hands on about the artists I liked. This was long before the internet put all sorts of music at our fingertips. I read interviews, and I took note of who the artists I liked were listening to, who their friends were, and who their heroes were. I followed rabbit holes and wound through twisted vines of inspirations and influences.
At one point, life happened, and I found myself feeling out of touch... the "new" music I was hearing was not inspiring me - partially I see now because I had lost the context. I thought this was just something that happened with time. Around that time, I finally got a phone that had a music player, and I loaded it with some of my favorite music - a the little bits of new stuff I was able to fine. Then, as now, I had a ten to fifteen minute walk to my office every morning, and I began to hit the shuffle button and to post, on Facebook and Twitter, the music I heard. Just a silly little thing, really. But, through those posts, I began connecting and reconnecting with people through music,
This lead to friends telling about music I needed to hear, and I slowly began to reconnect to music again. People told me that they looked forward to my morning posts, and they encouraged me to do something else with this....
Eventually, that was what lead me to begin Ear to the Ground. As I said, I never really had a plan, but it soon became obvious that even my relatively large music collection was limited, and that I could not hope to compete with the big Brand X music blogs in breaking the latest "hot band", nor did I really want to be an echo chamber for those, albeit, fine outlets. Then, I started noticing that as I edited my profile on Twitter - artists and bands began to follow me, and I started checking out their music, and I liked what I heard. So, I started writing about the bands I was "discovering" in this way, and I started to connect with those bands.
I was thinking, as this anniversary approached, it never really crossed my mind that I would be helping this artists and bands. I just wanted to tell other music fans about them - however few might be reading my little blog.
I decided early on, that E2TG was not going to be about what is wrong with music. I didn't have the time or energy to waste on "bad" music. My approach - for better or worse - was going to be to seek out and write about the value in the music I choose to write about. Don't get me wrong, there is an important function for the critic, to push a band or artist to improve and grow - to guide music fans to deeper appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the music they might be hearing. That just was not going to be my role.
E2TG has taken me places I never thought I would go... it has introduced me to people I would have never met, and it has brought me opportunities I never could have imagined.
So, here at Six Years - I am grateful.
As you know, I am in the midst of a month-long celebration - not of myself or even E2TG, but of the music and people in my life because of the blog. Mark Robinson and his band kicked off this month in fine fashion, and I look at the opportunities that have come about simply because his lovely wife/publicist contacted me,,,,
Here I am thinking about Double Shot with Joe and Sue - on the mighty WXNA-LP Nashville. I get to be on the radio every week! How cool is that?! Which makes it a good time to tell you that WXNA is in the midst of their Spring Pledge Drive. Visit wxnafm.org now to donate!
Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to host an incredible night of music - in what turned out to be an impromptu benefit for another of those wonderful people brought into my life because I started writing this blog six years ago - Jon Latham.
Two days from now, I will get to stand on the stage of The 5 Spot and introduce Sergio Webb and David Olney - and their bands. Something that still seems pretty far-fetched to me.
A week later, I get to introduce the fine folks from Cafe Rooster Records. And a week after that I get to welcome Amelia White and the Blue Souvenirs plus FuzzQueen (from Washington DC),
All I can say right now, is that I do not take any of this or any of you for granted. You are all the reason, I do this and keep doing this.