Who does not look forward to a vacation? I just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the Western Music Association Festival, Showcase, and Awards in Albuquerque NM. This is a time of year that many of us involved in Western Music come together for education, friendship, business, meeting friends (new and old), and jamming.
It is always a wonder to me how the music that everyone seems to love can be kept off the radio and the Trashville music business. We find very few who do not simple love the music when they can hear it. It is always a positive, family friendly, and sharing experience. Many of the mega stars in other genre' of music are separated from the fan and try to maintain this bigger than life image. Western Musicians are like the rest of us. At our concerts and events you can find yourself visiting or eating with the headliner. Western music folks are regular people and they enjoy the fan.
I always drive on a lonely highway because I don't like fighting the traffic on I-40. So my drive thru the OK panhandle and NE New Mexico affords me the ability to see where I am. I am amazed that the ditches in the panhandle have names like Creek and River. Even the trees are dead in them. One 'creek' west of Guyman had buildings and a quarry right in the creek bed.
It was especially interesting because of the timing of the Documentary 'The Dust Bowl', driving alone seeing many of the houses and farmsteads that still stand that was from that time.
Radio choices are really limited and what passes as music is beyond me. It was nice to actually hear a live DJ actually in the local station. The FCC has failed to keep the radio business in a true competitive atmosphere. The emergence of huge monopolies would be taken to court 40 years ago. When three or four groups own all the stations in a market and independent stations have been virtually beaten out of business it is not good for the consumer.
I am all for free enterprise but there are limits to keep things accessible.
I don't believe in the music business being controlled by non US companies.
Anyway I had a wonderful time, come home with a fresh attitude, and ready to get back to it. By the way, if you just happen to love music and cowboy poetry, 2013 is the 25th year for the WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION and the plans for it have been underway for three months now. It is going to be something special.
I invite you all t check the WMA website and start planning to go to Albuquerque New Mexico the week before Thanksgiving.