Q&A with Country California, The Gobbler’s Knob and Twang Nation

I interviewed CM Wilcox who lives in Sacramento, California and blogs at Country California about his take on country music. He also takes part in blogging for The 9513, another popular country music blog.

Q: What is your title at Country California?
A: Editor/author/head provocateur

Q: How long have you been blogging?
A: I’ve been blogging for about three years now.

Q: How did you get started blogging about country music?
A: In reading about country music online, I found a site called The 9513 that so spoke to my own sense of what was happening in the music world that I felt validated and inspired to start publishing some of my own thoughts. I started Country California and, within a few months, caught the attention of the editors at The 9513, who asked me to become a contributor there as well. I’ve maintained a presence at both sites ever since.

Q: What’s your favorite part about blogging?
A: My favorite part about the format itself is the relative freedom and lack of oversight. If I hear something I like, I can write about it in whatever way I want on the same day without having to run it by anyone else. Assignments are never assigned, always chosen. The downside of this “every man for himself” arrangement is that, without the whole editorial infrastructure in place, it becomes much easier to publish sloppy or poorly edited work. Every writer has to edit himself or herself pretty scrupulously in order to remain credible, because there are just aren’t other people there to catch the errors before articles go to press. When a writer isn’t putting in the work, it becomes evident pretty quickly in the finished product.

Q: Why do you continue to blog?
A: There’s new stuff happening all the time in country music and it has just become part of my natural rhythm to comment on it and hopefully make some sense of it for like-minded fans. My regular readers still seem pretty engaged, so why not continue?

Q: What have you learned through blogging?
A: Whatever you want to write about, in whatever way you’d like to write about it, there are people out there who’ve been thinking along the same lines and waiting for someone to articulate those thoughts for them. If you become that person, you will have won their loyalty. Once you’ve found your voice, you can’t help but find your audience.

I was also able to interview Kelly Dearmore who blogs at The Gobbler’s Knob. He started out writing about country music and it has turned him into a freelance writer for many different publications.

Q:What is your title at The Gobblers Knob?
A:Basically, I am the Gobblers Knob 🙂 I created it and have been the sole blogger since its inception.

Q:How long have you been blogging?
A: Since May 2007.

Q:How did you get started blogging about country music?
A: I went to a Texas Country festival, (The Larry Joe Taylor TX Music Festival) in April of 2007, and felt inspired to make myself a part of the “scene”. My wife was pregnant with our son, and I knew that I wouldnt be going to as many concerts for a while, and this would be a way to stay plugged-in, at least from an emotional level.

Q:What’s your favorite part about blogging?
A: I love turning people on to new bands. I get emails from all over the world, thanking me for turning them onto certain bands they hadnt heard of before reading about them on Gobblers Knob or Twangville (another blog I write for). I’ve made great friends through connecting with other writers and bloggers too.

Q: Why do you continue to blog?
A: For me, it’s a vehicle for my own ambitions. I love the free CDs, and getting into concerts for free, but I’ve been able to turn the humble little Gobb Knob blog into a freelancing career in music journalism. I write regularly for the Dallas Observer (http://www.dallasobserver.com/authors/kelly-dearmore/), and I now edit and write the blog for Best of Texas.com (www.blog.bestoftexas.com). I’ve contributed to many other publications and prominent websites, as well.

Q:What have you learned through blogging?
A: To be be yourself; find your own voice, but dont be afraid to switch things around if/when adjustments need to be amde. It’s likely that The Gobblers Knob will soon go by another name, just so I can do something new with a new palette to work from. As a freelance writer now, the peices that I find unsuccessful are the ones where I dont come across as “me”. I feel like I’ve also learned how to make strong points without bludgeoning people with thousands of words. In the beginning of my blogging, I was so long-winded, and I didnt realize how dull and self-indulgent it was coming across as. As a blogger, it’s important to properly convery your real voice.

Lastly I talked with Baron Lane who blogs for Twang Nation. Lane works on the blog in San Francisco, California. Twang Nation also has a Twitter and Facebook account.

Q:What is your title at Twang Nation?
A: El jefe. I do everything from posting to web development.

Q:How long have you been blogging?
A: I started twangnation.com in New York City 7 years ago

Q:How did you get started blogging about country music?
A: Technically I cober Americana music. It’s what used to be be called country music before country music became pop music. It’s very complicated…

Q:What’s your favorite part about blogging?

A: Discovering new music and helping to support those musicians.

Q: Why do you continue to blog?

A: See above.

Q:What have you learned through blogging?

A: That even though the music industry is going through seismic industry changes, people ultimately just want great music and will pay for it.

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