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The Music Fan - Terri Hendrix
I might have found my match when it comes to being a music fan, in Joe Angel. He helps run Austin Acoustical Cafe. We are both ardent collectors of music.
I used to struggle with how to categorize my album collection. For example, does the duo record Michael O'Connor did with Adam Carroll go under "C" or "O?" When A3 changed their name to Alabama 3 it drove me batty. So, to solve this issue, I'd buy two copies. These days what I can lose sleep over is all the music that will be lost if record labels don't release the masters on now defunct labels (like Deja Disc). Not only is it the right thing to do, it preserves the bloodlines of music that flies well below the mainstream. Music that could spearhead a new generation of songwriters.
I still listen and collect all the songwriters that influenced me when I first started out. Folks like Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, Betty Elders, Terry Allen, Sara Hickman, Joe Ely, and folks you might never have heard of, like San Antonio's Monk Wilson. I have Groobies AND Susan Gibson. I have every single recording Jana Pochop has ever released and collect her demos. The only artist I do not listen to, is myself.
When I'm done recording, I'm done. Sometimes I buy music just for the drum beats or loops. Sometimes it might be one line. And I have to own that one line. Am I a fruitcake? Yep. But I stay inspired. And then I stay writing. Music keeps the darkness from creeping into my soul and masking my feelings. It prevents scars from tackling open wounds and hardening parts of my heart that have to remain soft.
A friend of mine got a job at a radio station. She's now submerged in a sea of folks that don't listen to music. They listen to the bottom line. The budget. And the live music capital of the world is now in the cattle business. Running how many bands a night? Though the gates. Out the gates. I get it. It's expensive to host and promote music. But in order for independent music to survive, consideration must be paid to the bottom line of the artist behind the mic.
This post is not a complaint. It's one written out of love for music. And a deep understanding of the music business. It ain't called that for nothing. The Ken Burns documentary has only enforced what I know to be true. Music holds the fabric of our society together and brings us together instead of tearing us apart.
Somewhere below the daisies or above them is the soundtrack of our lives. May we all find that lyric to embrace or that drumbeat to walk to. Lives are lived for the song and lives are saved because of the song. And as a music fan, I will collect it, share it, and hopefully leave those I share it with, a little better than I found them.