In Selling Your Style

I learned that in order to sell your stuff, you need to build an image. Image  is important in marketing.The same reason why I devote this blog to a particular genre and not just put anything  and later on alienate my readers. It’s the same thing with playing music . You can only experiment up to a certain point before loosing your listeners.

We all want be everything for everyone. We all want to be multifaceted-and I think we have that talent. But it does not really help. Why? Because artists who do this-those that are too eclectic lose their fanbase. Even their labels don’t know how to market them anymore. No matter how wide we roam, we should always have an anchor. A base where we can go back when things start to get complicated.

The Chieftains had set this example.They tried to build their signature sound for years before experimenting -and even with that  you can still tell that it’s from them. It’s the same with other artists-Celtic or not. Take for instance Enya. Critics say that she always does the same thing or that ‘you can buy any album and you actually buy everything’. This is not true. Artists have potential for variation. But  with talent comes responsibility. Your fans listen  to your music because they always know what to expect. And it makes them feel good. Feeling good is what we all want after a hard day’s work. If I have to listen to something else then I will pick up a different artist. After all, I know what I will be getting. But NOT up to the point that I will ask my artist to create a different type of music for the sake of shocking or experimenting.

Art is not about just about attitude and facade. It’s about feeling. You do something out of sincerity regardless of whither it will sell, 80,000,000 copies or not. But of course selling that figure is always something everyone wants right?

With traditional music you always know what you’ll get. And that’s what makes it impressive. It is not created to impress but rather to communicate sentiments that transcend time. These are feelings that are not bounded by what’s current. I think at the end of the day one wants to be in the company of people he or she trusts…like family members. And this is what Celtic music is about. A style that never goes out of date, sentiments that always speak the truth.

For the news….

 

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The Chieftains will kick start their US tours this year.  This is an update I got from their website:

Six-time Grammy winners and the world’s most popular Irish traditional music group, The Chieftains, have confirmed an extensive U.S. tour for 2011. The tour will feature an array of surprise guests and local musicians and marks the band’s first return to the U.S. following the 2010 release of their critically acclaimed album ‘San Patricio.’ They’ll kick off a month of shows on Feb 17 in Troy, NY. See below for complete dates.

“In 2011, The Chieftains’ performances could be better described as a Big Show or a Spectacular rather than a concert,” says frontman Paddy Moloney. “There will be upwards of 12 people on stage at all times, with additions of local musicians, special guests I’m not allowed to divulge, anywhere from 6 to 20 local dancers on a couple of pieces, and the Scottish pipe bands performing the ‘March to Battle,’ which was narrated by Liam Neeson for ‘San Patricio.'”

Billboard called ‘San Patricio’ “as thrilling as it is enlightening,” and the New York Times described it as “joy, thoroughly Mexican yet utterly Irish, carried aloft by tin whistles, skin drums, pipes, harps, guitars and stomping feet.”

Since releasing ‘San Patricio,’ the band has collaborated with Herbie Hancock on ‘The Imagine Project,’ and Moloney has been selected as a Medal of Honour recipient by the National Arts Club.

THE CHEIFTAINS 2011 TOUR DATES:

2/17 Troy, NY @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
2/18 New Brunswick, NJ @ State Theatre
2/20 York, PA @ Strand – Capitol Performing Arts Center
2/22 Seattle, WA @ Seattle Symphony Orchestra
2/23 Olympia, WA @ Washington Center for Performing Arts
2/25 Austin, TX @ Riverbend Centre
2/26 Dallas, TX @ Winspear Opera House
2/27 Fayetteville, AR @ Walton Arts Center
3/1 Bloomington, IN @ IU Auditorium
3/3 Madison, WI @ Oversture Center
3/4 Chicago, IL @ Orchestra Hall
3/5 Rockford, IL @ Coronado Performing Arts Center
3/6 Dayton, OH @ Cityfolk
3/8 Morgantown, WV @ West Virginia University
3/10 Greenville, SC @ Peace Center for Performing Arts
3/11 Atlanta, GA @ Woodruff Arts Center w/symphony
3/12 Atlanta, GA @ Woodruff Arts Center w/symphony
3/13 Raleigh, NC @ Pinecone Memorial Auditorium
3/15 Princeton, NJ @ McCarter Theater
3/16 Newark, NJ @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
3/17 Toronto, ON @ Roy Thomson Hall

 

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If you are a busy Clannad fan then you should have seen all the new performances posted in YouTube. They are BACK!

Please consult http://www.clannad.nl/ for updates.

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Thank you Christi for sending this link from Welsh band Mabon. I really appreciate it. Mabon has been making wonderful music and their live performances are really something that keep fans going back for more.

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5 thoughts on “In Selling Your Style

  1. You’re welcome – and I love Mabon too! I also love the other two groups mentioned here. The Chieftains are one of the few groups that began at the forefront of the resurgence of the original Celtic sound and are still wowing all of us!

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  2. Celt-that was a very interesting argument you made in defense of style. I wonder if artists don’t sometimes feel oppressed by that, preferring to strike out in a new direction, but fearing the public’s reaction. I’ve often thought that the best thing for an artist is to be discovered posthumously. That way they can write or paint or compose their music in total freedom without the self-consciousness of having to meet anyone else’s expectations.

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    • That’s what I thought NP. But artists are also bounded by the idea of making it by selling records. And though music is an art, it is also a business. I’m looking at the business side of things. This is where artists decide if they at to be true ‘artists’ or atists who also sell records.

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  3. Y’know, Neil Young managed to record albums stretching over quite a wide variety of genres. I have to say I always admired him for refusing to be boxed in. I understand needing to cater to a fan base, but what about being true to ourselves?

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    • The thing about Neil Young is that no matter how he tries to be eclectic with his music and also his collaborations, he still manages to ‘sound’ like Neil Young. Other artists will sound totally different for the sake of being ‘cool’. As far s I remember, Neil also started by establishing his folk roots before experimenting. But there are simply artists out there who can’t make up their minds on how or what to sound like. And this is a career killer.

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