mudcat.org: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts

MK 18 Nov 00 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Bill Winters 18 Nov 00 - 11:01 PM
Susan of DT 18 Nov 00 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Bill Winters 18 Nov 00 - 11:14 PM
Susan of DT 19 Nov 00 - 11:51 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Nov 00 - 02:10 PM
MK 19 Nov 00 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 19 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM
GeorgeH 20 Nov 00 - 07:02 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 00 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Brian 20 Nov 00 - 08:34 AM
MK 20 Nov 00 - 11:13 AM
Whistle Stop 20 Nov 00 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Matt 20 Nov 00 - 11:26 AM
MK 20 Nov 00 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Brian 20 Nov 00 - 12:48 PM
MK 20 Nov 00 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Bill Winters 21 Nov 00 - 11:08 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Nov 00 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Nov 00 - 11:54 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: MK
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 02:43 PM

I have a question that I am interested in feedback on. Have there ever been any folkies or fingerpickers who've developed a serious following solely through album/CD releases vs. live performances to "encourage" CD sales?

I realize that live performances are almost a must in order to get your name "out there" but I would be interested to know if anyone has ever done this successfully. In other words, not even at the onset of their career did they even perform live as a featured act. Just cranked out CDs, people bought them, talked and speculated about the artist and the artist remained enigmatic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Bill Winters
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 11:01 PM

It's an interesting question, but I think the answer is strictly the reverse. I worked with several Pop and Rock groups a few years ago and the recordings always came first. Often because the band simply didn't have enough material for an evening in a club, we'd keep releasing one or two song CDs until the band had generated a following thru alternate radio, and actually could play a couple of sets. Folk music audiences seem to value live performances more than recordings. Getting to know the artist on a semi-personal basis is very important. Many folk performers sell 90% of their total recording output from the stage after a gig. I suppose if the artist is expert at identifying and reaching their target audience, it might work, but I think it would take more than a couple of CDs. Nice site here.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: Susan of DT
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 11:04 PM

(dick greenhaus speaking:)

The difference is that pop and rock groups get airplay; folk don't. It's very hard to move a CD unless the prospective buyer has heard the performer already.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Bill Winters
Date: 18 Nov 00 - 11:14 PM

Very few people saw Sandy Bull or Dick Rosmini but they sort of became "names". Does anyone know who I'm talking about, or have I dated myself? It's too true tho' that at least Rock or Pop bands get radio airplay and have a shot at video play. Folk bands rarely do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: Susan of DT
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 11:51 AM

Well, I knew both Dick and Sandy fairly well; when did they become "names" and to whom? From what I've seen as a CD retailer, CD sales follow live appearances (or the occasional radio play); NOT the opposite.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 02:10 PM

Sandy Bull? Dick Rosmini? Well Bill W. You're not only dating yourself there, but probably a lot of us. They were certainly well known to me, although I never saw either of them play live. I get your point though...my knowledge of their music came strictly from their solo recordings and ones where they backed up others.

I think the most salient point here, is you're going to get "recognition" without playing live...and retain a "folky" style, you HAVE to have some kind of personal exposure. That's why artists go to the Folk-Alliance, Neffa, Nurfa and the rest. Set up a table, chat with folks, network like crazy and give away a shitload of CDs! It probably woorks for a small percentage of artists.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: MK
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 02:20 PM

I appreciate the responses here and they make perfect and logical sense. My problem at the moment, is that while I would like to consider releasing CDs at some point (once I have homed in on a direction or a concept for said CD(s), I have absolutely no wish, desire nor inclination to pay my dues all over again, which would include doing all the things mentioned above. (I did it for 20 years as a keyboard player. I ain't gonna do it again as a guitar player.) It's just I keep getting told (by several people who's opinions I respect) that I should have "goal" with respect to my playing. It's something I enjoy, something that I continually work at, and something that is thankfully, continuing to improve. Does it have to be shared? Can't I just do it for my own personal growth as a musician without having to impose conditions and goals upon it? Sure recognition is nice...but recognition also equals validation...and I don't need a lot of validation. Guess it's a question of attitude verses ego?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM

In the folk world it seems, unless you're well known, if you don't play live, you don't sell CD's. I know that's true in our case. If you don't care about selling a ton of material, but just want your music on some permanent format, the cost of doing recorable CD's is within easy reach. Go for it. There's no point banging your head against the wall of getting gigs, if it's not important to you, or fun. I know a lot of great musicians who never play out, unless asked and would love a recording of them if they put one out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GeorgeH
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 07:02 AM

To sell cds to the "folk market" you need either to go out there and perform or else to have a VERY strong chain of "personal recommendations".

IMO, of course, and speaking as a purhaser rather than a performer.

G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 08:26 AM

If you want to sit at home and play whatever music takes your fancy to whatever standard pleases you, then fine. Carry on, there's probibly millions of others out there doing the same. You releasing CD's of the music though, would not attract me to buy.

The reasons. Firstly, I see no passion or love for the music (no direction or concept yet), just a way of making money. If I am going to pay out my hard earned, then I want something more than a bit of round plastic in return. So, if you don't love it enough to go out and play it, I can't see why I would want buy it. What you see as paying your dues, I see as selling the music and, dare I say it, earning a living.

If you want to sit at home and make CD's without the road work, IMHO this is the wrong market. Why not do it in a market place where it is seen as acceptable practice, and it's more lucrative too.

I don't mean this to come over as being offensive, it's certainly not meant that way. Just a straight forward, up front honest answer to the point raised.

Good bit of market research, though.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 08:34 AM

Sorry I pressed that damn button before I signed it.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: MK
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 11:13 AM

Guest-Brian what you are talking about is a fancy way of saying MARKETING.

Loving the music and playing it because I love it, AND performing it live are 2 entirely separate issues. You've not read my second response thoroughly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 11:23 AM

Michael, if you don't want to do it, don't. your message suggests that other people feel that you need to do this to legitimize your pursuit. I think they're wrong -- it's legitimate if you feel it is, regardless of what other people say.

Of course, if you want to make a CD because you want to make a CD (because the recording process fosters creativity, or because you want something to listen to in your old age), you should do so. If you want to make a CD because you want to sell CDs, you'll need to think about marketing, including live performance. How much marketing you do, and what kind of marketing, depends on how many CDs you want to sell. If you just want to sell enough to cover expenses (entirely legitimate goal, in my opinion -- makes the process self-sustaining), you may be able to do that just by getting all your friends and relatives to buy one, without necessarily performing the material live. If you want to sell CDs to supplement your income from other sources (i.e., make more money than it cost you to make the CD), you'll have to go a little further in the direction of marketing, including some level of live performance. If you want to compete with Britney Spears and Madonna, better make marketing your primary focus.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Matt
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 11:26 AM

Now wait one damn minute and don't go generalizing again. There have been many MANY rock and pop groups who have played concerts for YEARS and YEARS before they were well known enough to make an album that people would buy. Don't go thinking 'cause you play folk that you're something special.

Hootie & The Blowfish started out as a simple college back in the North Carolina/South Carolina are for a long time before their first album "Cracked Rear View" was released in 1995. They've done almost NON-STOP touring since they began back in the very early 90's. My photography teacher (who is 60 something) remembers when they used to play here before they were famous. He said they were the some of the most friendly and kind-hearted people he'd met. Same with the Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Edwin McCain, and Barenaked Ladies...all bands who played live constantly, totally grass roots in their approach, and only recently have established a big enough fan base that they would be recognized in a record store. And believe me, they NEVER FORGET the fans who got them to where they are now. And not their concerts are filled with the fans who've been there from the beginning, to the only recently converted. And it all makes for a more exciting time and a more expansive feeling of pride for making the fans happy.

--Matt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: MK
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 11:59 AM

Whistle Stop and Matt,
Wise words to be sure. In answer to Whistle Stop, you've nailed it exactly. My goal is NOT for any type of a broad commerical CD release. I understand the importance of getting out there and performing live, in order to get your name out there and develop a following which would lead to CD sales and exposure. That however is not something I want nor plan to do (-performing live for the reasons stated in my second response in this thread.) Rather, I thought that if I did do some sort of a CD, I could make it available to friends and peers that know me, if there was an interest expressed by them in having a sample of my playing. That's really it. I just wanted to explore the notion of how much exposure can actually be generated via "word of mouth"....and the answers here tell me obviously not a whole heck of a lot if you're not out performing somewhere. How are people supposed to find out about you, if you're not out there performing / marketing your talents.

"Don't go thinking 'cause you play folk that you're something special". I appreciate your honesty and, the reality check.

Thanks guys, and to all that offered advice to my initial query in this thread. I understand much better now about all the angles of the "process".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 12:48 PM

Ok, maybe I missed the point, or didn't make mine very well. Re-reading your second posting and my response, I think it was more of the latter. The lack of love comment, was very much aimed at the CD (you can't love something that has no direction or concept). Perhaps, in time, a particular project will inspire you. If so, great.

I don't see a problem with playing for your own pleasure at any standard, if that's what you want. If you want to set no goals and need no validation, then who's to say you are wrong, regardless of how much you respect their opinion. It's they who should be respecting your wishes. I still come back to the point about buying music from somebody who wouldn't go out and play it, though. Personally, I feel the beauty of music is in live performance (but only if the person concerned wants to be there), recordings are merely the shadow. So no, I wouldn't buy on that basis.

As to the attitude verses ego question. No one can answer that one but you. But if other people share my view about not buying what is never taken out and played live, then the ego doesn't get it's airing anyway because as stated by others, folk gets little air time.

Fancy way of saying marketing, God I must be getting old! I usually get in trouble for speaking my mind, not being fancy. But yes, that is what I said, if that is the route you wish to follow, pitch it at a market where it will sell.

Good luck,

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: MK
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 01:10 PM

Understood Brian. Thanks for clarifying. Makes sense to me now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Bill Winters
Date: 21 Nov 00 - 11:08 PM

It might be a good idea to remember that thousands of people who don't follow the rules, make their dreams come true anyway. Make your recordings Michael, and 'see what tomorrow brings'.

Question for Matt. Everytime I stumble on your name, your posts start off with hostility. Strange.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Nov 00 - 07:28 PM

Actually Bill, there ARE some rules that should be followed when you're dealing with as limited a market as the "folky" one. I don't mean one should approach things conservatively, but rarely do folkies have much of a marketing budget, so targeting your audience is absolutely crucial. Same with the indie rock market. If someone mis-reads where their audience is at, it could bust the budget and you may never get another chance.

By the way, don't worry about Matt, he can be jovial at times as well.

Rick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Exposure thru CD sales vs. Live Concerts
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Nov 00 - 11:54 PM

I sang on the road less traveled for just about 40 years. 4 LPs--2 cassettes sold out of my trunk and given away as gifts and promo. Can't travel or pick now so I put together a CD that's been talked about here too much already --- a bit of a look backward. Broke even and was real glad to achieve that. Not much more. Gave away 800 CDs to folk DJs. Another 300 to friends who I wanted to say thanks to. The CD was produced after I had to quit. I suspect they only sold as well as they did (a few thousand) because of the years of concertizing and coffeehouses and church basements and school auditoriums and riverboats and benefit after benefit after benefit. Even did the lion house at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Like the last mentioned gig, it was all pretty WILD. And wondrous.

Folks, go for it. But remember, as Jerry Rasmussen told me, and as I found myself out on the road, "In folk music there is no such thing as a career move." You'll probably find that if you wind up a financial success, you gave up singing real folksongs long ago---about 2 weeks before you moved to Nashville and deleted the words "folksinger" and "traditional" from your vocabulary. And you deny vehemently when Jay Leno asks you on his show, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of an organization called The Folk Alliance ???"

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 October 11:43 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.