Not So Modern Drummer had to take a hiatus while I was out on tour all summer playing four or five cities a week with Poco and other artists. I also took some time early this fall to hire a whole new staff, and to overhaul the business with a new website, this new newsletter and a new video studio where we are producing videos for our advertisers.
Our new production manager is Christopher Speich, who oversees the website, the monthly newsletter and email marketing. Chris Beals is the new advertising and media sales manager, photographer and videographer. They are both pro drummers here in Nashville and have professional expertise in their respective technical fields. I am still owner, editor and janitor, and I am working full time for the magazine for the first time since I bought it from Bill Ludwig III in 2008. NSMD was mostly a part time, one horse wagon since it began in 1988 but has now grown into my full time job with a full time staff right under my nose here in our Nashville office.
The original form of NSMD was a paper newsletter that later turned into a full color magazine, then into a digital magazine, and now we are back almost full circle as an email newsletter. The subscriber list is so much bigger now - over 30,000! That is up from less than 2,000 in early 2012 when it was still a paper magazine. We may print again at some point, but going to the digital format has allowed NSMD to do things that it could not do in the print format. For instance, we are producing videos for our sponsors. This is a recent demo video we performed and recorded for TheBoxKit.com that was sent out to all subscribers recently, as well as an artist promo video we shot of Rascal Flatts' drummer, Jim Riley, for Booty Shakers.
Other great news - the Nashville Drum Show is ON for 2014! I am scouting new facilities to hold the event in and will announce details soon. The date will still be in the fall, probably September. If you want to reserve a booth, you can contact me now to do so. Payment will be accepted as soon as a facility is contracted and dates and prices are confirmed. This year’s show was postponed due to a lack of deposits from exhibitors, even though I had reservations from more exhibitors than last year. The economy hit us all hard, so I am starting earlier to prepare for next year and establishing new ways to make it profitable for vendors and exhibitors.
Also, the Snare Drum Olympics is ON for 2014! There are some new publicity perks for entrants that will be announced soon. If you want to enter your snare drum(s), you can contact me now and I’ll add you to the list. Payment will be accepted when details are confirmed.
Will you be at Pasic? We will be roaming the halls and hope to bump into you!
My last bit of news is very personal. My good friend Rusty Young, leader of the band Poco, is retiring after 45 years of being the only member of Poco to perform at every concert and play on every recording Poco ever did. Rusty is turning 68 soon and ready to take it easy at his beautiful log cabin home in the Mark Twain national forest, write his memoirs, play with his and his lovely wife Mary’s grandchildren and do some fishing. So Poco is winding down and our last tour date is in February.
I have been very fortunate to play drums for this band on tour and on recordings for the last 9 years. I listened to Poco records in high school and learned George Grantham’s drum licks. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that I would actually be a member of Poco. It is the biggest feather in my cap.
Forty five years is a rare feat for a band. Poco was one of the handful of bands that invented country rock in the late sixties, and had members who later went on to play in subsequent bands like the Eagles, Loggins and Messina, and the Souther, Furay, Hillman band. Besides writing and singing a number one hit song, Crazy Love, Rusty was recently inducted into the Steel Guitar Players Hall of Fame and is known for advancing the art of steel guitar as a rock and roll instrument.
What a career! Congratulations, Rusty, and I am very proud of you. I’ll miss the concerts.
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