And Away We Go ... On The Road Again....
January 14, 2011
Jimmy Carter ... not on the road yet
I heard it when I first came to town ... Nashville musicians are a touring bunch. Rock guys may tour every few years and some hardly at all. Music City USA is Tour Bus Central.
Nashville makes the buses, works on them and has no shortage of customers for them ... Go check this site out sometime: www.hemphillbrothers.com
The truly big shots (Sir Paul) do the charter jet-only thing, but even they often use Nashville-made tour buses as their road headquarters and dressing room. Even the presidential candidates roll with Nashville stock.
The point here: Touring is the healthiest "music" business in Nashville. And the motor coaches are already rolling on this barely second week of the year.
George Strait, Reba, LeeAnn Womack, Rascal Flatts, too many star, band and crew buses pulled out around the 12th for the stops in Austin, Sioux Falls and points beyond.
Aldean, Paisley and many others out next week and still more, such as Lady A, on the taxi way. The 18-wheelers, the jet charters, the buses are going to employ hundreds if not thousands this year. Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney announced over 80 nights' worth of shows just this week ... 80 shows, just 2 artists ... $100 million gross between the two at least! At the least!
I'm not sure where all the money will come from for tickets, but Nashville based tours are asking for the money now and their banks are ready to store the cash.
2011 tours (and major ones, too):
Strait, Paisley, McGraw, Chesney, Swift, Sugarland, Jackson, Aldean. Shelton, Lambert ... and those are the headliner names that come right off the keyboard. The supporting acts are two for each name .. Can't forget Zac Brown, who is an Atlanta-based act ... maybe Sugarland is, too, and OK's Toby Keith is as well. Still the point is: That's a lot of tours; I hope the economy has improved because the stadiums, arenas, amphitheatres, halls, clubs, sheds, fairs, festivals are booked and waiting for customers. The amount of money involved is impressive by Hollywood or any other standard.
With that part of the equation so healthy, the CD sales side of things seems much less ambitious. Or the buzz seems neutral to dead.
Any music in the pipeline you are standing in line to get? Doesn't mean that there isn't going to be any, but the BUZZ seems ... quietttttttttttt.
Maybe it's early and everyone is buzzed out with that train wreck of releases in the 4th quarter. Taylor remains the queen of the chart, but at record lows in overall sales. You have to wonder what's going on.
I've heard a few pop songs that are catchy. Dance things. And The Bellamy/Britney story is fun. Where will 2011 take us?
The past powers the future tours. The future songs, the tours of 2012. Playing the oldies are great for the tour business, but not so much for the sales engine.
Need to get some people excited about new music coming. Brad Paisley and Keith Urban have been burning up the studio. They seem excited. Rascal Flatts and Justin Bieber's collaboration should be newsworthy when it happens. Martina and the Train people? Who knows, but we need to build some buzz.
The CRS will physically exhaust the radio people ... 2011 seems a bit mysterious to me ... The weather this year is too damn cold! That creepy Tucson gunman was an awful first big story of the year ... $3 gas/diesel/jet fuel will not help the tour trade. For the customers or the tour operators ... and while I'm thinking of it ... SOMEONE stop the folks screwing people with $50 to $100 parking fees at their stadiums, etc. VERY bad for business, you greedy crooks!
Fasten your seat belts ... 2011 is underway and we are IFR. Visibility is LOW! Let's hope for warm weather and clear skies sooner than later.