For 15 years, the Nashville Music Guide has provided outstanding service to the Music City community of musicians and writers.
But new owner Randy Matthews recognizes that the world of country music expands far beyond the borders of Davidson County, so Matthews and his team have expanded the NMG’s coverage and distribution west and north, where the Nashville Music Guide will now be available in the thriving Texas dance halls, as well as in the exciting country venues in Western Canada.
Another sign of the magazine’s rapid growth, both online and in print, is the relocation and expansion of the Nashville Music Guide offices to 1700 Hayes Street, Suite 103 in Nashville, a bustling place that contains office space for Randy, wife and co-editor Kymberly, nephew and managing editor Joe Matthews, office manager Glenda Montgomery and events & venues chief Amanda Andrews.
“We’ll have 50 percent distribution in Nashville, 25 percent in the Canadian markets, and 25 percent in Texas,” Matthews says in a conversation at those new offices, which even include a writer’s room.
And at a time when most music publications are either cutting back or closing their doors, the Nashville Music Guide is booming. The November print edition contained 40 pages; in the December/January issue that number exploded by an additional 40 percent, as the mag contained a whopping 56 pages, plus a cover story on the just-crowned Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year, Blake Shelton.
The NMG’s online expansion is crucial, since Randy plans to take maximum advantage of Social Media technology from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, both with the Nashville Music Guide and his brand-new TCM Records.
TCM’s first three artists include Chris Caskey, a former Mercury Nashville singer from Kentucky; the Canadian singer and songwriter Craig Moritz, who is now being produced by longtime Music Row studio ace Eddie Gore; and David Ray, a former schoolteacher who became a huge fan and radio favorite in South Florida during his years there.
Randy has also enlisted the help of a leading expert in Social Media, the Arizona-based Jessica Northey and her company Finger Candy Media, who has over 100,000 Twitter followers and has helped breakout artists like Texas’s CJaye LeRose become a YouTube and Web sensation with self-produced music videos made in CJaye’s own living room.
A classic example of the impact the Nashville Music Guide can have for an indy artist is Captain Joe Kent, a veteran Louisiana riverboat captain, singer and songwriter who was featured in a December story. Joe’s fans quickly jammed the NMG message boards with letters of support, and that was just the beginning.
“I am just totally overwhelmed,” he said in a conversation from his boat in the harbor at Port Arthur, Texas, not long after the NMG story ran. “Before that story in the Nashville Music Guide, I done gave up on ever being a songwriter. When that story hit, I had only 1,100 views on YouTube. Now that’s approaching 2,000.”
Captain Joe tells us that his number of Facebook friends zoomed up by 40 percent in four weeks, and his ReverbNation numbers likewise soared.
And NMG’s Texas impact became crystal clear when Curb artist Rio Grand scored its first-ever No. 1 single on the Texas Regional Radio Report – one week after the Nashville Music Guide profiled the band. Cory Morrow and Wade Bowen were other stalwarts of the booming Texas scene whose NMG profiles likewise helped them reach the highest levels of that fiercely competitive chart.
One of the beauties of Matthews’ expansion of the Nashville Music Guide into both Canada and Texas is that unlike the American economy, their economies are thriving. The New York Times 2011 World Almanac reports that while the USA is suffering a huge trade imbalance – importing $1.44 Trillion and exporting only about $998 Billion – Canada’s imports and exports are nearly identical.
Texas, meanwhile, has been virtually Recession-proof. It is one of only 5 U.S. states that enjoyed more than a 20 percent population growth between 2000 and 2009, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Randy has a lifetime of success in the brutally competitive oil and gas industries in his native Oklahoma, so he knows these economic numbers very well. His love for country music and Nashville led him to purchase the Nashville Music Guide in early 2010 from original co-founder Dan Wunsch, and beginning in 2011 that vision will proudly carry the NMG north to Canada and west to Texas.
Story by Phil Sweetland | firstname.lastname@example.org