Riddle: I want to hear local music on the radio

November 8, 2013 

A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak to the House Music Industry Study Committee on behalf of Macon musicians. The committee was traveling to different cities around Georgia and talking with representatives of the music industry in all its forms.

They were compiling information on what was happening in Georgia’s music industry so that they could go back and report to the Georgia House of Representatives about what they learned and what areas of the music industry needed help. The House wants to build an incentive plan similar to what the film industry has been offered to help bring more television and movie production to Georgia.

Speakers spoke on a number of topics including the ability to offer score production for movies and video games; the need for money to offer more music programs in schools; the need for help marketing our musical events such as Bragg Jam and the Cherry Blossom Festival, as well as many other great ideas.

There was even a local drum maker who made drum sets from reclaimed barn wood. You can see his work at www.outlawdrums.com.

I was the last speaker of the day. I had about five minutes to speak. In that short little bit of time I named dropped every Macon band I could. I mentioned how hard Louise Warren works, how beautiful Heather Kemp sounds, and how Steve Moretti and Floco Torres produced an award winning single about downtown Macon.

I told them how Jubee and the Morning After made it on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and how a bluegrass-folk band like Back City Woods has a live show with the energy of a punk rock band. I was sure to mention how Travis Denning gets critical acclaim everywhere he goes, and how DJ Shawty Slim travels the world with a Grammy-nominated Georgia artist.

The problem all these artists face is expanding their fan base right here at home. The lack of radio play for local artists makes it hard to grow as musicians here.

When a band can end up on a popular national TV show and still get no radio play in their home town, there is a serious problem. Our local pride is so much bigger than that. A radio show that played Macon and Georgia musicians would be a step in the right direction. Putting local musicians in regular rotation would be a winning hand.

Contact Roger Riddle at roger.riddle@gmail.com.

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