Five years ago on this day, I finally took a friend’s piece of advice and started a music blog. My only concern at the time was that the market might be oversaturated with local music blogs. Back then, we had The Fine Line, Boca Tina, and We Shot JR each providing their unique twist on the local music scene. Five years later, I’m the only one of those sites still running and posting on a (somewhat) regular basis. Why I'm the last man (or Ghost) standing, I do not know. Some might say it's my persistence, others would say my stubbornness. Either way, it seems this is the last of the truly LOCAL music blogs in the area.
These five years have been filled with everything from joy to disappointment, hope to frustration, optimism to cynicism, and just about every sentiment in between. I’ve seen the best sides of the music scene, as well as the... uh, other sides. Through that time, the one thing that has never disappointed me is the music coming from our area. I could run through a laundry list of flaws with the scene: fickle fans who only support their friend’s bands, venues that don’t pay bands fairly, bands who don’t promote and have unrealistic expectations of payment. Sadly, all of those problems are all too real and common. Still, the music remains, and it remains strong as ever.
As for the scene, it is certainly stronger than when the blog began. My biggest motivation for starting the blog was seeing what a hit the music scene (particularly Deep Ellum) had taken. At that time, the neighborhood was all but a ghost town. Now, people are returning to the area on a regular basis. It’s not what it was in the 1990’s; parts of me doubt it may ever reach that level again. Still, Deep Ellum is alive and well now. People are walking the streets, going from club to club, making it a destination neighborhood again.
My only hope is that I can continue to help the musicians and the community, Deep Ellum and beyond, continue to grow. Between booking and my other job, I often feel that this blog is way underutilized. There are too many bands, shows, and events that it seems I do not have the time to write about. That has become too frequent of a problem over these five years, and for that, I sincerely apologize. I won’t promise that it will get better, simply because I fear that it would be a broken promise. The only thing I can do is try to do more.
Other than that, there’s not much more to say other than this: thank you. I have a long list of people to thank, so bear with me. First off, I have to thank Cindy Chaffin of The Fine Line. When I decided to start the blog, she was the first one I talked to about the idea. She has always been extremely supportive of all my endeavors, and considering what a strong advocate of local music she has been, that has meant a lot to me. Thanks to Neil Connell, owner of The Crown and Harp, for giving me the opportunity to become a regular booker for his venue. I look forward to bringing bigger and better shows to your place in the coming months. To Chad Lovell and Kim Keebler, thanks for letting me be a part of the dysfunctional family unit known as Deep Ellum Radio. Ever since I was young, I’d always hoped to have my own radio show. You’ve given me an opportunity I was thought would merely be a dream for me. I owe an additional thanks to Kim for allowing me to book shows at her store, In Accord. I cannot wait to see what the store looks like after the remodel! To all the wonderful musicians I’ve met over the past few years, thank you for your support. There are too many of you to name each and every one of you that has enriched my life over these years. Just know that you are what keep me going in my journey of local music. Finally, to all of my readers and all fans of local music, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and more than that, thank you for supporting local music. Without you, nothing happens.
And as my way of saying thank you, expect a very major show announcement in the coming days. I’ll give more details soon, but I’ll tell you to mark August 24th on your calendars as the celebration of the five year anniversary of Ghost of Blind Lemon.
In the meantime, enjoy this Polyphonic Spree cover of
Bowie’s classic “Five
Years”. I mean, what else would I play