Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Year in Americana Review

My goodness, how time flies when you're having fun.  It's hard to believe that this past May 2011 marked the first anniversary of Americana Review.  

I find it amazing that over the past year almost 1,700 of you have visited the site.  Amazing, considering that for the first month or so, no one came by to read anything.  It's true.  My first three blog entries generated no traffic ... none.  But that's okay.  If you've decided to click on the hyper-link I think you'll understand why I don't mind.  This site has always been about a learning process, and discovery of new music and unheralded artists.  It's also been about my development as a writer, and as I look back on some of the first entries to this blog, I feel my writing has gotten much better.  I've gone from writing about "What is Americana" to doing some fairly comprehensive concert and album reviews.  Even then, as you review those past columns I think you'll see a big difference between the writing of the Elizabeth Cook review to the Jason Isbell review.  I feel my writing is now now at the point where I'm comfortable sharing the site with my family, friends and associates.  I feel like there is a lot of potential for this site going forward, some of which I will share with you today.

Writing this blog has afforded me the opportunity to do a lot of things I would not normally have done in my past.  I publicly aired my feelings of support for Chely Wright, shared a personal story about one of my sports heroes, Sparky Anderson, and visited Chicago for the first time to watch and review the last performance of Cross Canadian Ragweed.  I also became a proud member of the Americana Music Association.  This October, I will be going to Nashville, Tennessee for the first time in 9 years to attend my first Americana Music Conference and Festival.  I look forward to sharing that experience with all of you on this site.

Speaking of the future, what do I see happening down the road for this blog?  Well, my goal is to really start promoting the site.  For those of you who have been reading and keep returning to the site, I encourage you to share the site with your family, friends and acquaintances.  My goal is to continue to write something that is compelling, relevant, at times moving, but always enjoyable for you to read and share.  I thank you for your support and repeated visits.

Another goal I have is to make this site more interactive.  I love receiving comments on pieces, but I don't always share that with you.  Please leave comments as often as you like, I respond to all of them.  If you have suggestions for a column, sampling of music you would like reviewed, concerts coming to your town that you would like reviewed, or want to carry on a conversation, my e-mail address for this site is  Feel free to drop a line anytime.  My pledge is to write back to everyone who comments or writes, whether those comments are positive or negative.  

If you like what you have seen over the last year on this blog, I would be thrilled if you would add this blog to your list of those blogs you follow regularly.  A big advantage of signing up as a follower is that you will automatically be notified of new postings, which is a great convenience.

What else would I like to see improved on the blog?  Certainly some pictures and other items to brighten up the place. But most of all, I would like to bring consistency to the blog with respect to postings.  When I started, my big commitment not only to this site but to myself, was to write every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Sometimes, and sometimes regrettably, life happens and it can get in the way of those simple goals.  I feel I have a better grasp on this now and my pledge to you is to post items regularly on this site.  Starting this Saturday June 4, 2011, you will begin to see the regular postings of a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule.  Three times a week, that sounds like a good plan.  

As always, this site doesn't happen without you who are there to read it.  A former manager that I used to work for once told us at a department gathering, "You can do your job without me, but I cannot do my job without you."  Those words have stuck with me for a very long time now.  I believe those words ring true in this instance.  All of you reading this have so many choices and options of blog sites to read, and it means a lot that you take the time include this site in your cyberspace travels.  You have all the tools to read many opinions and critiques, but without all of you, I would not be able to lend my voice to the masses and actually be heard.  For that, I thank you and God bless.

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