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Friday, February 14, 2014

Special milestone anniversary edition of Blues Musings!

By Ted Slowik

Welcome to the special anniversary edition of Blues Musings! This week’s retrospective will celebrate a milestone, look back at how far we’ve come and look ahead to the great times we’ve yet to share together.

This is the 90th post of Blues Musings. I started this blog in January, 2010, and in the first month posted 14 stories about my origins in music, spanning the 1980s through the 2000s. But between March 2010 and January 2013 I only published six posts. Then, a year ago, I set a goal for myself: I would reach 10,000 total page views on this blog, and this post puts us over the top! Seventy of those 90 posts have been written and published in the past year, and about 90 percent of the page views have been recorded in that time.

But numbers only tell part of the story. More importantly, in the past year I’ve figured out that to publish more frequently I needed more interesting content to write about. And I discovered that it was better to write about others than myself. So I set out to purposefully engage more with other artists, writers and musicians, to listen to their stories and retell them here, thereby sharing their pearls of wisdom with the world.

I wrote about a Songwriter Circle at Chicago Street Pub led by Alex Hoffer and featuring many talented individuals. I wrote about Open Mic at Tribes Alehouse in Mokena. I was saddened by the sudden passing of Steve Petrusich, better known as Spetrus. I attended performances by John Condron and Cuttroat Shamrock, Joliet bluesman T-Bird Huck, The Michael Heaton Band, Time and the New Romans, Matt Biskie and The Vaudevileins, Jack Be Nimble, Blind Whiskey, Dylan Michael Bentley, bluesman Twist Ferguson, Studebaker John, Mike Farris,  Dan Dougherty and Tone Bone and many, many others.

At times, I wrote about my own journey as well, and the process of writing, recording, releasing and performing my solo studio debut “Comfort Zone.” I also drew upon my 30 years of expertise in writing, media and publicity to share advice for independent musicians about such topics as marketing, professionalism, songwriting, storytelling, web publishing and other topics. I wrote about building a website, which is a lot easier to do than you think and can be done absolutely free. My most-read post was a list of influential songwriters.

I recently started sharing my blog posts on the No Depression Americana root music website, and several have been featured on their homepage. I’m more comfortable writing about music and have found meaning by supporting other artists. In turn, I’ve seen growing support from others through such channels as ReverbNation, YouTube, SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I’ve discovered and felt part of a worldwide community of artists, writers and musicians. I’ve found I can use my writing and publishing talents to contribute to that community and help others.

So thanks, everyone for your support by reading this blog. I look forward to using this platform to grow an audience and provide greater support to other artists for years to come.