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INDIE BAND SPOTLIGHT -  Connor Rand of Connor Rand & the Red Dirt Band by Mark E. Waterbury


1. INDUSTRY PROFILE - Eddie Owen of Eddie's Attic by Mark E. Waterbury
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3. ALBUM CAPSULES by Mark E. Waterbury
5. MUSIC BIZ NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES - compiled by Sandy Serge
6. INDIE BAND SPOTLIGHT -  Connor Rand of Connor Rand & the Red Dirt Band by Mark E. Waterbury
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Copyright 2005 by Music Morsels,
a Serge Entertainment Publication.
Editor: Sandy Serge
Contributing Columnists/Writers:
Mark E. Waterbury, Scott Turner

ARTIST NAME: Connor Rand
MUSICAL GENRE: Roots country/Americana singer/songwriter
CDs SOLD: 800
FAN BASE: 200-300
MM: Have you been a professional musician most of your life?
CR: I started playing guitar in seventh grade and I can't really think of any time since then that I didn't want to do this. I was actually writing songs before that, even when I was a little kid. I had a kind of natural ability to write songs, performing and playing I had to learn as I went.
MM: You were in the Athens (Georgia) band Flat Broke and Busted. Did this give you experience about the music business, particularly in performing live?
CR: Yeah, because there is so much music in Athens that it is a great atmosphere to learn. You have to get out there and just do it, but then you can go to other clubs and compare yourselves to everyone else. That makes for a good learning experience.
MM: What made you decide that you wanted to do more your own music?
CR: The drummer and bass player were getting more into this jam band thing which I was never really into. I wanted to do what came more naturally to me, more of a folksy, country-ish direction. I went a bit backwards and started getting into the roots of what I used to listen to. I think there will always be an audience for that type of music, even if there isn't a huge trend with it.
MM: When you recorded your first CD Dry County, what did you do just to let people know your music was out there?
CR: Certainly not enough, but I did a CD release party at the Red Light Cafe. I sold my CDs at shows and put them on web sites like CD Baby. With that CD, it was just something to have and sell at shows. We worked a bit harder with the next one.
MM: Do you feel your live shows are the best way to get your music to the masses?
CR: Yeah. For musicians that don't have a lot of resources available to them, that is the only way. For bands that don't connect with radio airplay or more commercial outlets, this is the best way to do it.
MM: With your new CD, you added a drummer to the band. Is there any reason you wanted to go more plugged with this one than with Dry County?
CR: When I made Dry County, I actually didn't have a drummer which is why I did my more mellow and slow songs. When I found a drummer, I had all these more up-tempo songs saved up. So I did a more honky-tonk type album with a lot of drinking songs on it.
MM: What did you do to market the new CD that was different?
CR: I worked harder with the internet and uploading it on web sites. I worked harder with local retail outlets and am working with a local promotion company. I still have a lot to learn about that side of the business, so I am still selling more CDs at shows than anywhere else.
MM: What is the feedback you get from people regarding what they like the most about your music?
CR: It's not the kind of music that drives people away, which is something that club owners really like about it. It's pretty accessible music. The comments we get over and over again is that they just really like the songs.
MM: What inspires your songwriting?
CR: Most songwriters come from a place where they feel like they have to write autobiographical and personal songs. I think of it differently and like to write stories, and I think I can make it more interesting if I don't make it all about me. The whole idea of waiting on inspiration seems sort of counterproductive to me and is more of an excuse not to write. I have always been influenced by Randy Newman from a writing perspective. He writes stories about lowlifes you normally wouldn't hear anything about. I've always liked Bob Dylan and Texas songwriters. Right now, I'm really into Todd Snider.
MM: What kind of success would you like to see with your music, and what do you think it will take to get there?
CR: I would love to see myself make a living as a songwriter. What it takes to get to that point I am figuring out as I go, but I know I just have to keep playing out and working hard at all the promotional aspects. :->
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