Jesse Colin Young’s “Ridgetop” is a tune that’s always been on my top fave list. Give it a listen:
I’ve always wanted to live in a place like Jesse describes, and that may happen soon, so the tune is even more special.
Talking to my friend Carl Mancuso the other day, he was relating to the fact that so many things that made music like “Ridgetop” exceptional is the layers of instrumentation and deep rich harmonies such as you would find with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
It’s absolutely true that music in the indie movement is stripped back. Only the affordable sketch-bare essentials appear in most production.
Addressing why music isn’t selling as well as it could given we have a gargantuan market in which to sell it: It doesn’t quite make sense there are millions more people in the world since “Ridgetop” was first released. We have a global marketplace instead of a domestic marketplace, yet less music is being sold than ever before.
Everyone has blamed it on the Internet of course, but could it be that music being produced today is just not of the quality deserving a purchase? It crosses my mind daily.
There’s hardly any remarkable music being created these days.
Mixing the old school model with the indie model isn’t working well for most. People are afraid to spend money to create music because they don’t believe they’ll see a return.
So here’s a novel idea: Don’t spend money creating the music.
Gather a great group of players together creating a production. Get two or more great vocalists, a horn section, a violin or cello, guitars, and a fantastic drummer. Every player, even the engineer, has an investment in the project, so everyone collaborates to make it a timeless piece of work.
Spend money on the fees to register the music with the Library of Congress and your PRO of choice (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC). Then carve out a budget and market the collaborative effort. Create a great looking package, write some liner notes, put together a press kit and market a rich wonderful musical project.
This isn’t the cool kids table talking. Street chic is their style hoping to achieve global stardom via osmosis. I’m here to tell you that isn’t working for anyone.
Create art. Make a timeless piece of music. If you just spend the time doing that everything else will fall into place. Break out of the gridlock that is mediocre music and lay down something breathtaking.