Looking Back....

Monday, January 02, 2006

I sent out my 2005 Year in Review earlier this week to my newsletter members and thought it would be a good idea to go into some more detail. A personal reflection if you will, on the past year.

To me, the big story of the year is independent labels. Some of the greatest music of the year came from the independent labels. Broken Bow Records had to be smiling as they look at 2005 with the success of Craig Morgan, having the #1 country single of the year according to Billboard and the great year debut artist Jason Aldean has had. Also, Toby Keith went out on his own. His first single from the upcoming album is playing on XM. Garth Brooks also went independent. Clint Black released his 2nd album on his independent label, and gave Little Big Town a second chance in the industry, creating a great album and had a very successful year.

Also, I have the privilege of reviewing and hearing many artists on very small independent labels. You know what? Some of the best music I have heard this year have come from those artists. Jake Kellen is an example of that. In 2005, that is where the true talent was found...on the independent labels.

Sure, the larger labels did have a few good albums hit stores, but I think those albums were the result of some of the pressures of what is coming out from the independents.

I am so happy to see this turn in the music business. The best thing, I believe, would be for several independent labels to be in the industry. Not too big, but just big enough to be noticed. Broken Bow is a great example. They have room for maybe one or 2 more artists. More than that though would set them up for the possibility of becoming apart of a major label. Not a good idea. Toby Keith's label Show Dog/Big Machine has room to grow as well. 2006 can be an even stronger year for these smaller labels.

In the upcoming days, I will take a look at the best albums of 2005 and predictions for 2006.

Happy New Year everyone and I look forward to a bright 2006.