cyberBob Howe Each month guitar picker and Webmaster Bob Howe brings you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet.
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Cowboys In Cyberspace - January 2006


2006 equals a lot more to experience on the World Wide Web.

The Web celebrated its fifteenth birthday a few weeks ago so let's look at the way it has grown and what is yet to come. In 1992 there were a mere 26 sites to view and by 1995 there were about 20 million people using the web for entertainment and shopping. In 1998 there were an estimated 750,000 commercial sites and at the end of 2005, one source reports 75 million websites while another claims over 4 billion individual pages!

How many of those relate to country music? Cowboys In Cyberspace has managed to link you to over 700 sites in the past eight years, but that is just scratching the surface. There are probably 100 times more than that waiting to be surfed as almost every artist and record label now has some presence on the Web. Are they all good or even useful? Well, they range from excellent to pointless and from entertaining to annoying, but hey, that's life! x

With more people using broadband these days many sites are becoming more visually attractive and richer with content. A great site though, is one that provides you with up-to-date information and one that makes it easy to find what you need. Frustration is waiting for a stunning introduction to finish loading and then finding out that the artist's gig guide is six months out-of-date.

Advances in technology have brought about a richer experience though; only a short while ago, streaming video clips used to be a blurred mass of coloured blobs but are now often highly watchable; internet telephony was a series of stuttering half-heard words but can now be as clear, if not better than a landline.

REBA McENTIRE The lines begin to blur between different forms of media as cross-promotion takes on a new life. For example, REBA McENTIRE has happily leapt between being a recording star (witness her new CD collection Reba #1's - 33 hits and counting) to stage, screen and television star. Now she wears items of clothes from her own fashion range in each episode of her TV show which are then immediately available for purchase Via on-line.

What will the future bring and how will it deliver more country music to us? I couldn't find a picture of Bill Gates in a cowboy hat, but the next version of Windows to be released is currently codenamed Longhorn. I wonder...

barbed wire
barbed wire


DVD cover


Although the liner notes claim that "...Twentysomething Dwight Yoakam was literally the new kid in country music when he stepped onto the Austin City Limits stage in October (23rd) 1988..." that date would actually have been his thirty-second birthday. Nevertheless, Dwight was definitely in his prime and his third album, Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room, had just been released. Flaco Jimenez makes a guest appearance here on accordion for that title track and for Dwight's first #1, Streets of Bakersfield, a duet with Buck Owens who also makes a surprise appearance during this concert.

It is hard to remember now that twenty years ago the honky tonk/hillbilly sound for which Dwight is renowned was in need of revival; such are the cycles of music trends. The hits from his first three albums are here; covers of the classics Honky Tonk Man, Little Sister, Always Late with Your Kisses plus his own Guitars, Cadillacs. The band are in bristling form with (original) producer Pete Anderson on lead guitar recreating the fabled 'Bakersfield' sound of the 60's and trading licks with fiddler Scott Joss. Remastered, re-edited and remixed, this is one of many Austin City Limits shows from the vaults which, judging by this showing, are full of gold!

New West NW8012 (via Shock in Australia) - 59 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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© 2006 Bob Howe - ShowNet