Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Random Blog Post: Album Submissions and assorted 'State of the Union' stuff.

A new year, the fresh arrival of new music and the impending continuation of a live music journey. Also an opportune moment to make a rare excursion away from the road tested gig and album review. Although this blog began life seven years ago as a medium to collate some scribed thoughts on the live music experience, circumstances and association quickly led it into the realm of the album review, initially in collaboration before progressing down a solo route.

Together, reflections on music in its two most powerful forms progressed in harness as the published pieces racked up into three figures and beyond. Gig reviews have been the pivotal content, driven by an independent spirit and a desire where possible to log a journey in its near entirety. Over the last seven years, this relentless pursuit has spawned very few gaps in the activity, a testimony to hundreds of artists who pour their heart and soul into a craft, leaving cradles of positivity to inform the retrospective review. A smart ear to choosing music and artists that float your boat makes the process that much easier.

While gig reviews are a fixed beast, the album content is a fluid pursuit down a never-ending road of avenues, crescents and endless highways. From day one, the album review sparked from a submission route, a trend following on to this very day courtesy of artists, PRs and labels who have assessed the prospect of some kind words penned from an independent source. Eventually submissions exceed capacity, to the extent that two hundred CDs and downloads manifested into fifty reviews during the calendar year of 2018. Of course, such a pool eases the process of finding sufficient material flowing with inspiration to enable the desired scribing of positive reaction and feeling.

Review material always has to exist hand in hand with the streamed and purchased variety, and end of year favourite lists have equally reflected both parts of the listening schedule with the perfect complement. Largely, submitted material is not too far adrift from preferred style and there is no doubt many fine records that just fell victim of a finite amount of time.

Towards the latter end of 2018, it was decided to create a directory of all submissions to at least record their existence and provide a link for readers to check them out in lieu of the five hundred word exhaustive review. As we glide into 2019, this process will continue, as the capacity for the written review remains relatively unaltered and there are early signs that submissions will likely match this again. Of course, the latter may tail off, but that development can be lived with.

To open up the process, a new email address 3chordsuk@gmail.com exists to accommodate submissions, with the minimum offer of addition to the directory providing the album/EP falls somewhere in the realm of Americana/country/folk/roots/singer-songwriter. Some reviews in the past have come from left field sources, so while no guarantee on feedback is given opportunities may exist in some format.

Three Chords and the Truth UK (yes I know ‘real’ country music only plays a relatively small part, but hey it’s a great quote) will continue to cultivate a small corner of the web and remain a one-person vanity project blogging about music that matters. If you’re a seasoned reader, in the words of Otis Gibbs ‘thanks for giving a damn’, if you’re a newbie, welcome. A website in America assessed this blog as providing ‘authentic music commentary’. I’ll take that!

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