All According to Plan…

Nice photo, huh?

As I start to write this post I keep seeing that scene in one of the Star Wars movies where the evil Emperor tells Darth Vader that “it is all proceeding precisely as I have foreseen…”

Because, you see, this is how it’s going to work, as the monolithic networks of the past give way to the niche networks of the future. It’s all revealed between the lines of this feature story about Dana Cooper that appeared in today’s Tennessean, as we get ready for Dana’s appearance tomorrow night on WSM radio’s Music City Roots – Live from the Loveless Barn broadcast from the outskirts of Nashville. Peter Cooper gets the essence of it the shift when he writes:

Dana Cooper has been working at this music thing for more than 40 years now, and in that time he’s managed to move from auditorium stages to living rooms.

“I had a duo with Shake Russell in Texas (in the late 1970s and early ’80s), and we had roadies, a light guy, a sound guy and a guy to keep people away from us,” said Cooper, sipping from a coffee cup at Flatrock Café on Nolensville Pike.

“It’s the most financially successful I was in music, and also the most unhappy I’ve been,” Cooper said. “Now, I love playing small places, and I love playing house concerts. It’s about community, potluck, and people talking in the kitchen. They feed you, put you up and give you directions to where you’re going, and it’s interesting to me to see what kind of characters are out there and what they have to say for themselves.”

I think that defines the “new troubadour tradition” as well as anything I could possibly add. Now we just need to use the tools that we’re learning to get more people into those living rooms and kitchens… and then, who knows, concert halls again as well…