WOW, we have made it through our ‘terrible twos’ how cool is that. It is pretty amazing to me how well received Blues411 is throughout the blues framily.
Some of our highlights this past year were our 17 interviews, including Anne Harris in January and Earl Thomas in August, two fantastic artists who gave us a deep look into their lives and music. Philipp Fankhauser, whom I caught up with in June at the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival and Koko Taylor’s former guitarist, Shun Kikuta the ‘shogun of the Blues‘, from the other side of the ocean keeping the Blues alive all over the world.
Keeping the Blues alive is just one of the things we seek to do, keeping it thriving is even better. Interviews with up and coming young artists as Trent Romens, Samantha Fish and JP Soars go a long way to proving that the Blues indeed are all right, and thriving with some super youngsters adding vitality and life into its bloodstream.
There were the Blues411 Jimi Awards that seemed to be precursor of other awards that followed. Featuring awards to BMA winners Johnny Sansone (headed back into studio with Anders Osborne), Bobby Rush (new release out real soon) and others who were nominated for BMAs also. Good calls by us, and we try to go beyond the conventional wisdom’s line of thinking with our nominees and will continue to do so.
As we left the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise in January (we managed to do both January and October last year) I headed to Memphis for my first IBC event. What an exciting time that was. Being able to see hundreds of the up and coming Blues artists all within walking distance on legendary Beale Street was a thrill. Of course the streets were painted with the ubiquitous Blues411 buttons which we gave out to all who would take them. But Memphis was the spot that some dirtbag hacked into the site and it got shutdown. Ah the best of times, the worst of time (someone said that before didn’t they)? But we got home and adjusted, fixed, cleaned, spayed and neutered the site and it came back stronger than ever. We added new photo software to make it easier to view our snaps from Leslie K. Joseph ‘the eyes of Blues411′ as aptly named by Vinny Marini of Music on the Couch which I am honored to be a guest reporter the first Monday of each month.
We had a travelling guest blogger, Ms. Kirsten Thien as she embarked on her ‘C 2 Shining C Tour‘ and reported from around the USA including photos and videos of their adventures. Another guest blogger was Mr. Don Wilcox who provided us a splendid in depth two part interview with Dion DiMucci. Thank you both and come back around any time!
We are currently averaging over 6 thousand unique visits a month and 1,397,419 average hits for this calendar year. Those are some serious numbers, and I wish to thank each and every one of you for the success. We have come a long way from the 1,320 visitors we had back in September 2010. With those numbers we have started to add Tier1 Supporters, these kind folks have signed up to support the Blues411 mission and by being advertisers allow us to continue on unrestrained. I wish to thank each of them publicly and you can see who they are on the right hand side bar on every page of our site.
We have lots in store for this new year, hopefully keeping everyone engaged and positive. We have adopted a new tag line for the site “Where Blues Thrives”. To us it says more about what we need to do as a community – more than keeping it alive, which to me sounds like life support. Thriving is what we want to be as a community and genre, and together we can accomplish this. Let’s be that shiny object that attracts attention everywhere we go, the whispered about BLAMF genre that in one song spreads the words and attitudes handed down by the foremothers and forefathers, and in the next song tells of unrequited love or love so strong that makes a person scream that they can’t quit ya. Let the Blues be open and accepting, let the Blues be strong and forward thinking, and maybe just maybe not take ourselves so seriously all the time.
Big thanks to everyone of you you have allowed us to live the dream. Special thanks always goes out to Mr. Bill Wax of SiriusXM Bluesville, Roger Nabor of The LRBC, and Ms. Janiva Magness for their role in developing our dream.
Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
photos: Leslie K. Joseph
Where Blues Thrives