Monday, May 13, 2019

Hello friends & music lovers!

We'll be updating this blog with ramblings on a semi-regular basis. On this first entry I want to fill you in on how all of this came to be…

So I've been fortunate enough to play music across the US and beyond and have come to know and love different regions for different sounds. For example, when we lived in rural western NC, we could almost hear that old time banjo and fiddle music as we rolled through those hills. And then down in Athens, GA there was more of a big guitars rock & roll feel. In TX I just expect to hear exceptional songwriting and prodigious guitar playing. California sorta has this loose, free sound that makes you feel like you're sitting in the sun. And then when you hear Velvet Underground it reeks of some back alley in NYC.

I've always been told that your personality comes through in your playing. You play how you are. Our environment surely plays a role in who we are and what we become. So I think it's fair to say that over time regions can develop distinct sounds and characteristics unique to the area. As we refined the idea of Black Dirt Records, we started talking about a "Midwestern sound" and thinking bigger picture.

When I hear John Prine sing songs and tell stories, it reminds me of my childhood. I was born about 5 miles from where he grew up. My grandpa worked with his dad at the American Can Co. in Maywood, IL, no shit. His songs are about stuff we can relate to. He's a regular guy capable of extraordinary insight, and, in my humble opinion is a shining example of Black Dirt Music. Same thing with Chicago Farmer. Or Uncle Tupelo.

It's not necessarily a genre or sound as much as it is a state of mind. It's about simplicity and honesty and writing from the heart, out of necessity, not for accolades. It's about working hard and persevering.

Once we solidified the label and the concept of BDM, we reached out to our friends at the Castle Theatre with the idea of putting on an annual outdoor roots music fest in downtown Bloomington, and Black Dirt Music Festival was born.

Can't wait to watch this thing grow (pun intended) in the coming years. We'd like for this to be a point of pride in Bloomington. Something that brings the community together each summer in celebration of music & family & friends!

Edward David Anderson

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