June 2021: Circles and Cycles
Here at Galleywinter World Headquarters we receive all manner of artist promo emails, packages and assortments. Most recently, this included a very cool package from the Reckless Kelly crew re-issuing their fine double record from 2020. As cool as that was, another recent message stoked my motivation for this month’s corner. It was an email from a publicist (not normally connected to the Texas scene or anything we really cover around here) asking for coverage of a new client of hers. It was in reference to a young female artist who had scored “multiple chart hits in Texas!” I listened to a few tracks, and while they were fine enough, nothing in particular jumped out to me.
And that’s when it struck me. An artist like Kat Hasty has had zero “chart hits in Texas!” but over the past 12 months has earned considerable buzz, fans and cred just by being herself on social media. People found “The Highway Song” on Spotify lists, then found her on Twitter and Instagram and were intrigued. As folks investigated, they found out she had the goods. All the publicists in New York can’t buy you that kind of organic buzz.
That’s the modern game. A game where albums are streaming series of episodes (songs) that promote the live show. The paradigm has shifted. The shelf life of albums has come and gone. That’s the nature of all media. Movies are #1 for a week and gone. TV shows are binged the weekend they release and then gone. As a society, we are hyper focused and hyper active.
Music is far from immune. If anything, its cycles move the fastest.
This hurts me as a true blue, old school album guy. I like to live with an album. Drive with an album. Sit with an album. Decipher an album. That’s becoming increasingly rare. Even for someone like me that enjoys that process. It’s more common to listen through the project, pick out a couple songs you dig, add them to a playlist and move on.
It reminds me of the time a decade ago, a buddy of mine that is not super into this scene but loves music asked me “who’s the band I need to check out right now?” I gave him the name Turnpike Troubadours. He was immediately hooked. He said it reminded him of the things he enjoyed about Jason Boland and Randy Rogers. I gave him a couple other names, but he said he couldn’t get into them because Turnpike was too good to set aside. He didn’t have any other room in his listening habits.
And, that’s kind of where we all are now. We are constantly connected, continually engaged and very rarely turned off.
As we enter the summer season and things are looking and sounding more and more normal, this cycle will continue to speed up. We don’t promote, cover or suggest everything that comes our way. So, it is my continued hope that if you see a song, artist or album on our River Jam lineup or one of our playlists or featured in an article, you know it’s something we’ve truly invested time in.
The cycle of music never sleeps. Neither does Galleywinter.
-Next month brings us River Jam 2021! July 30-Aug 1. New Braunfels/San Marcos. Join us!
-That Mavs exit was a true bummer.
-Finally got to check out the new Globe Life Field. I’m in love. I dug the Ballpark, my heart will always reside with old Arlington Stadium…but this place is nIIIIIIce. And everything the Rangers needed. Mainly, air conditioning.
-It’s too bad AC can’t hit.
-Before you know it, it will be football season.
-With all this rain we’ve been getting, river floating conditions should be gnarly and sublime.
-This month’s recommended album: Red Shahan -Javelinas. Red Shahan is an interesting cat. His Men and Coyotes record remains a beacon of the past decade from this scene. He’s built like a cowboy, sings like a choir boy and writes like a poet. It’s a damn fine combination and he continues that on his latest. It’s unique, sharp, timely and smart.
-”Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain