When Josh Rogers visited Austin, Texas, last year, he was struck by how the city proclaimed itself the “live music capital of the world.”
While Austin did a great job of promoting its local music talent, Rogers, the president and CEO of NewTown Macon, thought Macon and Middle Georgia artists were just as good, if not better.
Producer Joey Stuckey, owner of Shadow Sound Studio in downtown Macon, has believed that for years and was looking for the right partner to create a CD featuring the midstate’s best musicians, regardless of genre.
After 26 artists submitted their work as part of a contest this year, Rogers and Stuckey announced Monday the first 10 music acts who will be featured on the “Macon Music” Volume 1 CD due to be released in September at a free release party.
The 10 winners will receive four free hours of studio time apiece in July with Stuckey, who will then mix the CD and help the artists promote themselves.
“If you look at the music scenes in Nashville, L.A., New York, the only difference they have is the music infrastructure,” Stuckey said. “Look how many people in those places support what’s going on. I feel like we’re really turning the corner here in Macon.”
Stuckey said Macon hasn’t had that infrastructure since Capricorn Records’ heyday from the 1960s to the early ‘80s. But he thinks the music CD could be a big first step in expanding Macon’s music scene.
A thousand copies of the CD will be made, Rogers said. Some will go to the artists, while the rest will be distributed throughout Macon. The music is free, so businesses will be able to play the CD in their shops without paying a license fee.
The music also will be available for free downloads through NewTown’s website, www.newtownmacon.com.
(Click the artist's name to listen to their music.)
Kim Meeks (R&B, jazz);
Stokes & The Guilty Bystanders (alternative, neo soul)
Danielle said that thanks to the contest, she’ll record in a studio for the first time.
“I’m extremely excited,” said Danielle, 34, of Warner Robins. “This will be my first professional recording experience. I’m hoping it will get me some publicity that will allow me to perform more. I’m really excited to get started.”
Rogers said he was very impressed with the both the talent and the broad range of music styles represented.
“We got such an enthusiastic response that I think there’s definitely room to grow,” he said. “It’s all just really good.”
Rogers said there should be a second contest next year, which likely will be announced in January.
“I hope some of these bands will be too big to submit for next year,” he said.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.