Photo (some rights reserved) by chriszak – Flickr

Music I’m Buying

Since joining the I Care if You Listen team, I have been privileged to have the opportunity to review some great CDs. Often times these are CDs that I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of music. Of course, and I do hope that this comes as no surprise, the other great advantage is that I receive these CDs for free.

Let me say that I do take this responsibility quite seriously, and I’m lucky that our editor, Thomas Deneuville, allows us ample time to get reviews written. Rather than working on tight deadlines, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to each CD I’ve reviewed several times, and I hope that this experience of living with the CD has improved my output. Moreover, having had three of my own recordings released to date, I know very well the effort it takes for these discs to reach my mailbox.

Photo (some rights reserved) by chriszak - Flickr

Photo (some rights reserved) by chriszak - Flickr

There is, however, a downside, in that most of the music that has been recently added to my library has come from these CDs. It would be very easy for me to sort of kick back and see what is available for review (there is plenty, even for our relatively small number of writers), but then my collection would be self-selected. As we are all aware, there is an incredible amount of fantastic music being produced, and I for one am anxious to continue the hunt for gems. Moreover, and this is what has really bothered me, I am quite hesitant to simply stop supporting artists because their producers are sending me their material for free.

I’ve had an idea for a while, then, of reviewing on a monthly basis music that I’ve purchased. What the idea needed in order to come to life, though, was all the great discussion there has been about purchasing music and supporting artists. With so many people talking about an issue that is important to me, I had lost any excuses for not moving forward with this idea.

So I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and I promise to do my best to make these “Music I’m Buying” reviews a monthly occurrence. Hopefully, this will help me accomplish two things. First, and most obviously, I hope to bring to attention some great artists that deserve greater recognition. Second, and perhaps more importantly, I hope that I can, in my own small way, encourage people to buy more music.

Let me leave you with this quote from David D. McIntire, who, you should know, produces my own CDs. I hesitate to quote him as it may seem a bit self-serving, but I truly couldn’t have said it better myself.

So here is one more heart-felt plea from some artists who do not care to get rich, do not want anything more than to be able to continue: If you hear a stunning original recording, a performer that intrigues you, that moves you, perhaps even irritates you; take note. If you truly respect their work, the highest compliment that you can pay them is to spend your own money on their efforts. Go hear them perform, buy their stuff. Give it to others for birthday and Christmas gifts (the only kind of “sharing” that really counts). It will do more than help keep those artists going. You may find that their work will keep you going, too.

(From Words About Music: In Which I Chime in on a Matter Under Discussion.)