What Else? The Ranch, MMF, Robert Johnson, Believe, Cover Me, Big Machine, Disney+Vevo…

The Ranch: it’s a new music festival happening in the Santa Monica Mountains on March 2nd, with artists like The Internet, Kisses, and Mansions on the Moon.  This is a twenty-acre, double-stage event happening day and night, with camping an optional plus (more at theranchparty.com).

Which brings us to Gary Clark, Jr., who’s the latest artist to start his own festival instead of staging a conventional gig.  The Maverick Music Festival is happening March 23rd in San Antonio, and will feature cohorts like the Toadies and Girl In a Coma.

The enigma of Robert Johnson has always been fueled by a dearth of concrete, surviving evidence of his existence.  For example, photographs: apparently there are only two, though a third has now surfaced and been authenticated and released by the Johnson estate.  It’s an eerily good shot (maybe too good) featuring Johnson’s long fingers in detail…

Rinse, Release: The latest chart-topping album in the US is Justin Bieber‘s Believe Acoustic, which shifted more than 211,000 units (physical+digital) according to Nielsen Soundscan.  That easily beats debuts from Andrea Bocelli, Tegan & Sara, and Charlie Wilson.

And there’s more cover craziness.  Cover Me, currently on Kickstarter, is a planned music series that will explore classics of old, and cover them anew.  “The success of dozens of talent search and music reality shows – from ‘American Idol’ to ‘Glee’ and ‘X Factor,’ clearly demonstrate a mass appeal for modern takes on former hits,” the producers relayed.

So what becomes of all the collective licensing intermediaries?  It’s an interesting question following yet another direct deal between Big Machine Label Group and big radio, specifically Beasley Broadcast Group.  That deal, like earlier tie-ups involving Clear Channel and Entercom, span broadcast and digital licensing, and obviate the need for either legislation or rate-fixed intermediaries like SoundExchange.  “It’s a testament to how the free market should work,” Beasley CFO and EVP Caroline Beasley declared.

First a healthy investment from Google, then this: Vevo has just inked a content-sharing partnership with Disney, one that will find Vevo powering kid-focused video channels on Disney sites, and Disney lending kid-focused content to the Vevo collection.

More ahead!

3 Responses

  1. AnAmusedGeek

    ok…I’ll admit I had to look up the Johnson guy so I’m obviously a noob..

    But how can he be so influential if there’s a ‘dearth of surviving evidence of his existance’?

    And what made him so influential? what was so special about him?

    Sorry for my ignorance, but now I’m curious

    • Visitor

      Mostly a matter of opinion. Robert Johnson is good. But because a bunch of english blues rockers picked him out of the hundreds of early blues artists as being the “best” it gets reported as such in the media.

      To help you get started on making your own informed decisions and opinions, R Crumb has a compilation that is a good introduction titled:

      R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country

      • jw

        For what it’s worth, Lucinda Williams mentioned on Marc Maron’s podcast the other week that the Robert Johnson recordings were transformative to her, early on. I agree that his guitar playing wasn’t necessarily head & shoulders above his peers, like it’s reported, but the mood of his songs set them apart, & that’s often recognized independently by great artists, not just the John Mayall crew.

        But his influence on Clapton, et al. is merit in & of itself.