TCB’s 12 Step Program for Taking Country Back!

After last night’s CMA broadcast it seemed very appropriate to resurrect this article I wrote in 2005.


So just where does country music stand these days? Precariously, no doubt. But those of us who care passionately about its future can do something about it! A suggested solution: Make your passion viable. It isn’t CMT, GAC or mainstream radio who define country music. It’s the music itself. If you don’t buy the mainstream definition — then put your passion where your mouth is — seek out the artists and bands still making real country music

1. Can’t stand mainstream radio? Are you thinking they just don’t make good records like they used to? Try looking for country music in all the wrong places. Don’t be afraid to look under rocks.

2. You’ve got dance with who brung you. Go to live shows – this is their bread and butter. Purchase music from the artists and bands when at all possible. There are less administration fees for them that way. And please, if they play your favourite song – tip them! I read recently a certain megastar charges $1.1 million for a 2 hour performance. That’s an astounding $31,428.57 a song or $174.60 for each second he sings. Compare that with tossing a few dollars in a tip jar and have your personal request song just for you.

3. Tread carefully in cyberspace – watch out for those message boards and chat rooms. Stay positive – remember – you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar (that is, I guess if you’re interested in catching flies to begin with). Avoid those “my favorite artist’s is the best and has never made a bad record” discussions. It’ll only be futility personified. Instead of getting involved in another endless Shania/Faith debate start a new thread on someone whose music has touched you .Instead of talking about what’s wrong with country music — share with others what’s right about it…

4. Put your money where your heart is. Goodness knows sometimes money isn’t as free flowing as we’d like it to be, but if you’ve got the opportunity making a statement by putting your hard earned dollars towards the kind of music you support speaks volumes.

5. Don’t turn the radio off – just switch the dial. It’s not all bad or mundane. With the emergence of internet and satellite radio there are more options than ever before for finding the kind of music you want to listen to. Of course we recommend TCB’s on webcast on Live365 but we’re not going to pretend that’s not the end all be all. You might also want to give a listen to Roy’s Boot Liquor station on Live365,, and so on….We’ll give you an extended list in a future issue.

6. Bridge your music – old to new. You don’t have to sit in a dark room listening to your 1950 45’s over and over again ‘til they wear out. There’s still great music out there being made – like any good thing, if we don’t embrace it and celebrate it then we’re in danger of losing it.

7. Share the music. No, I don’t mean downloading from Napster. I’m thinking about the days when record collections where family possessions passed down from generation to generation.

8. Follow the trail – check out the link pages of your favorite sites. You’ll discover a wealth of information and music that’s out there just waiting to be stumbled upon.

9. Goodness knows we the industry could use a little mouth to mouth resuscitation at times. Give it to the good folks the old fashioned way by sharing the music word of mouth. Heard a good song? Tell someone. Discover a terrific new artist? Let people know. It won’t cost you anything but your time.

10. If their music touches you, let ‘em know. Goodness knows that most artists trying to keep real country music alive don’t do it for the fame, and they certainly don’t do it for the money. Shake their hand and thank them if you get to their live shows. Most of them also have websites with links available for contact and feedback. Let ‘em know you’re listening!

11. Support those who support the music. Listen to who the sponsors and advertisers are on the stations that play your kind of music. Patronize them. Check out the recommendation links on your favorite artists websites. If you’re able make a pledge during a membership drive for your favorite station. Buy your indie albums from stores that promote and support indie music. Don’t forget online music sources such as Lonestar Music, Texas Music Round Up and CD Baby.

12. Don’t take them for granted. What we all wouldn’t give to see Paycheck, Tammy, Johnny Cash or Waylon perform one more time. If a legend comes within driving distance of your home base make the time to go and see them one more time. Don’t assume that the record they put out forty years ago was the best they’ve ever done. So many are still making great records and writing great songs.


6 Responses to “TCB’s 12 Step Program for Taking Country Back!”

  1. Right on! I love these. Personally, I find a lot of music I love by checking out the “top friends” of a band I dig on MySpace.

    And I’ve personally decided that the vast majority of my music buying dollars will go to artists who can really use it. I mostly buy from the acts themselves at live shows or from CD Baby.

  2. Absolutely MySpace is a treasure trove of indie music! When I wrote this I wasn’t as myspace saavy as I am now 😉 Thanks for mentioning it and adding it into the discussion…

  3. […] Country Back republished their 12 step program for… taking country back. Many of the listed steps are reasons I like writing here, although I don’t follow them all […]

  4. Wow! Very nice article.
    I think that supporting the indie musicians is the number one thing that a music lover can do. Without people like us, they wouldn’t be able to produce such great music.

  5. […] November 10th, 2007 by Nashville I just read an article that I had to share.  Check it out here. […]

  6. texastentialist Says:

    Excellent advice Good on you for putting it all out there.

    And remember, if Chesney, Big n Rich, etc. cheeses you off pick up a guitar and channel that anger into the next “You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”

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