Two-and-a-half years, Sixteen issues
Lots of Fun
Feedback/Voyager

 

Voyager:
The Epic Story of One Fan's Journey
into the Dark Heart of
Music Journalism

 


Feedback Vol. 1, Issue 1
April 1999

  In April of 1999, bored with my radio job in "glamorous" Cartersville, Georgia, USA and looking for a creative outlet, I introduced a new music publication to Atlanta, Georgia called Feedback. The concept of Feedback was that it would give the Atlanta music community a place where it could discover itself: from the punk bands to the blues bands, they would all exchange information, ideas and philosophies in the pages of Feedback.
 
 

Unfortunately all that really happened was I started losing loads of money printing the thing. On the up side, I discovered the budding musical movement called "jam bands." After 10 issues of Feedback I decided to rearrange my publishing efforts and start Voyager, which focused on this new genre that had caught the attention of myself and tens of thousands of other music fans.

The first issue of Voyager appeared in June/July of 2000 and featured Michael Kang of String Cheese Incident on the cover (photo by Bryan Gay). It was distributed to jam-oriented nightclubs from Atlanta to New York City. Club owners reported the issue literally disappeared within minutes of it's appearance.

 


Voyager Vol. 1, Issue 1
June/July 2000

 


Vol.1, Issue 2
August/September 2000

  The second issue, which covered August/September of 2000, featured Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman on the front (my favorite interview) (photo by Felecia Graham). Unfortunately with this issue I learned that the music business is seasonal (most business is done in the summer), and I couldn't get enough ads together to break even on another issue. Therefore, Voyager Vol. 1, Issue 2 was the last print magazine I did.

However, I had been doing a Web site companion to the `zines ever since Feedback and decided to continue on the Internet.

     
Amazingly, things cranked along better than ever on the Internet. We had interviews with Warren Haynes, Ekoostik Hookah, The Big Wu and Derek Trucks. We also gave away tickets to see Strangefolk, the Emma Gibbs Band and Dr. John.  


Our final "cover": Warren Haynes
July 2001

 
It was in May of 2001 that I found myself, uh...between jobs...and decided to find out if other people would be interested in printing my writing. To my amazement I had interest from Creative Loafing, Relix, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I had never taken being a "writer" seriously, and I definitely hadn't thought I would be taken seriously by publications like these.

But I was, and it began to seem like a waste to put these articles on a fairly obscure Web site instead of into those other publicatons that are read by tens of thousands of people. Plus, those publications at least paid enough to cover a few bills. So I decided to convert my Web space into a rsum site and keep Voyager around as an archive/historical thing for those who really enjoyed it.

See the Archives section at left. All of the stories are still there, from Blueground Undergrass to Iratowns to moe. If you go to www.ArtHoward.com, you can sign up on the Media Updates e-mail list and I'll let you know when I have jam and roots-oriented stuff coming out in other magazines.

Have fun reading, and I'll STILL see you at the show.

-- Art Howard
9/6/01

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Music and More Store closed.


Site No Longer Available

The Breeze Kings

Iratowns

The Emma Gibbs Band


 
 

  F.Y.I.
by Art Howard

28 and Beyond
(Last F.Y.I. column, July 2001)
 
Twenty-eight, not 18, is the age that truly seperates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the satisfied from the restless. This is the time when those who have taken the road less traveled begin to wonder if that road is less traveled for a reason. They also begin looking for rest areas with clean toilets.

Several years ago I was reading a biography of Rush Limbaugh (don't worry, I'm not a "Dittohead," I was just interested in his career). Limbaugh said that several times during his early radio career that old hands in the biz had told him to give it up, that "no one does radio past the age of 28."

Much more recently I have been interviewing and talking to musicians. Most of the up-and-coming musicians you read about on this site are around the ages of 25 to 27. Talking to and working with these people, more than one has told me that they find themselves living on $20 a week, living out of a van, and comparing where they're at in life to childhood friends who may now be making six-figure salaries in more conventional careers. Some begin doubting their choices at this time.

Three years ago, when I was 27, I was in a similar situation. I was working at a small 1,000 watt radio station in a very small town in north Georgia. While I dreamed of stardom, the ladder rungs between me and that goal were evaporating due to the automation of the radio business. Program directors in fairly big California markets like Ventura and Bakersfield even called to tell me that they liked my demo tapes, there just wasn't anything open because their stations were going automated.

Finally I decided that maybe I had been fooling myself all along, and maybe it was time to pack it in and get a "real" job "down at the "ol' sawmill."

Around that same time, out of a frustrated desire for a creative outlet, I started printing a very small local music magazine here in Atlanta, which then turned into this Web site. I never mapped out a game plan for it, never thought it was anything more than a nice hobby. All the way through, though, the whole thing has kept growing, and has reached a far larger audience than my old radio job ever would have. I've moved from just writing about local Atlanta musicians to chatting with people I never imagined I would meet like Warren Haynes, Vassar Clements, Derek Trucks, String Cheese Incident and Steve Morse.

Now professional publications, some of which I've been reading since I was a teenager, are expressing an interest in printing my writing. Even a couple of newspapers and magazines have called to interview me about this site.

Three years after I thought it was time to pack it in and head to the "sawmill," things have gotten better than ever, and in ways I hadn't even considered. I had never even thought about writing before, but its turned out to be the medium I've had the most success in.

All of which means to
you, that if you're 25, 26, 27, and pursuing a calling that isn't returning your calls -- don't despair. If it is truly in you, then you will continue to do it in some way, whether there's money in it or not. And when you're pursuing something not out of a empty lust for superficial rewards, but out of your true nature -- then things have to give way somewhere, somehow. I love to quote George Carlin when he said, "I love to see the blade of grass that grows up through the crack in the sidewalk. Its so fuckin' heroic." That's what its like when you persist and go where your instincts lead you -- you cannot be paved over, and you'll bust through somewhere, somehow, and likely in ways you hadn't previously conceived.

As Robert Hunter said in that Grateful Dead song, "Box of Rain": Maybe you'll find direction/around some corner where its been waiting to meet you.

See you at the show.

Comments? E-mail me.

 

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