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Cowboys In Cyberspace - July 2005

"To Blog or not to Blog?"

That is the question in cyberspace.

Last month I mentioned in passing that fiddler MARCUS HOLDEN had published a Blog of his trip to Ireland in May, so let's find out what in the World Wide Web is a Blog?

The term is short for WebLog and Blog can refer to both a web application used for entering, modifying and displaying periodic posts as well as, more commonly, the actual content of these posts. Initially, they were simply journal entries written on personal web pages, but soon after they began to be implemented from web-based software, the concept proliferated across the web and gained a culture all of its own. It speaks to the nature of humans and their insatiable appetite for gossip and eavesdropping, that seemingly trivial jottings of regular people have become a global phenomenon. Before we go searching for country music related blogs, a word of warning: you may encounter opinions and language of which you may not approve, such is the personal nature of these journals.

The aforementioned blog of MARCUS HOLDEN follows the tradition of a travel diary and relates to one specific tour. One of the attractions of blogging is that entries can be made or modified using just a regular Web browser anywhere, anytime such as an Internet café during your journey. Other blogs take the form of a personal newsletter, including that of JOHNNY CHESTER who uses his blog The Chester Chronicles to inform fans and friends of his current activities and thoughts.

Johnny Chester on a log!
Johnny Chester on a log!

THURSDAY NIGHT FEVER describes itself as 'the blog that Nashville media doesn't want you to know about' and is written by someone known as Mr. Roboto who works in an office that overlooks the downtown Riverstage. From this prime position, Mr. Roboto gives a very candid blow-by-blow run down of each day of the Fan Fair shows at the Riverstage, posted in reverse order with the latest comments at the top as is the case with many blogs. For something a bit closer to home, but still as frank, try FLOP EARED MULE, a blog that describes itself as 'A Country Music Death Beast in Sydney Australia'.

THE BLOG OF DEATH is not as macabre as it may sound but is in fact a catalogue of obituaries, to which you can add tributes or follow links to audio files and other resources. Amongst the country stars listed are Johnny Cash, Chris LeDoux and Slim Dusty. Meanwhile REAL COUNTRY MUSIC leaves you in no doubt that traditional music is alive and well, with tributes to the pioneers alongside contemporary artists who keep the flame burning. This site goes beyond a simple blog and is closer to a discussion forum and also includes its own excellent web radio station.

  • Late addition: DAVE'S DIARY - The prolific writings of Nu Country guru, Dave Dawson.
  • barbed wire
    barbed wire


    DVD cover


    During the eighties, the Peterborough Country Music Festival was the second-largest annual event of its type in the U.K., eclipsed in size only by the Wembley Festival. Peterborough was a four-day spectacular that included acts from the USA, Europe, and the home territories and the concerts were staged beneath a big top. Sadly this DVD shows none of the carnival atmosphere but focuses purely on the centre stage in 1986, a year when DWIGHT YOAKAM had just blazed out of the Los Angeles club scene with his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. In fact, judging by his song introductions here, he was still used to audiences that needed to be sold on true country music, not realising that he was indeed on this occasion, preaching to the converted.

    The no-frills camera work is adequate but the audio lets the package down, being what is known in the business as a 'desk-mix', the same sound that would have emanated directly from the PA system with no allowance for instruments that were loud on stage or audience ambience. The worst effect of this is that record producer-guitarist Pete Anderson, a large part of Dwight's trademark sound even at this early stage of his career, is largely inaudible. Eight songs then, including his first hit I'm A Honky Tonk Man, but even at a budget price really only for die-hard fans and completists.

    MRA Entertainment D0444
    30 Mins


    Until next time, happy surfing!

    If you want to share the location of an interesting site you've seen
    or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me.

    Don't forget to listen out for cyberBob each month on the radio waves with
    Barbara Morison
    on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney and on the Web)
    and listen for Big Bob from Bondi every Saturday night with
    John Nutting on Saturday Night Country (your Local ABC Radio and the Web).



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