After the euphoria of last night’s amazing showcase (Scott Stepakoff) has died down, I find myself with the usual hangover: not literally, but figuratively. I am sitting at Crema, in dowtown Nashville, drinking my (wonderful) Cubano, and reflecting on the State of the Business.

I still have to face the fact that most of the business is, simply put, utter dross these days. The chance for excellence to come to the fore is smaller ^ smaller, as the media are blanket-bombed with crap. And while I agree with the concept that the “cream does tend to rise to the top” there has to BE a “top” for it to rise to. When the entire business is a massive plateau of mediocrity, how do you create a peak? Therein lies the rub.

I’m listening to the sound system playing here at Crema, and nothing so far is less then 20 years old! And it’s ALL great! It is creative, well-played, sung with emotion, beautifully crafted….. ALL of it! Right now AL Green (the Rev himself) is singing out his heart: “I’m so tired……” Hallelujah, reverend. You can say that again!

But people still want to hear good music, right? So why do they put up with the Major Labels TELLING them what is good? Because it isn’t. Let’s face it, all they really have in the way of source material is “The Voice” and “American Idol” – both of which are basically up-market karaoke sessions, featuring their own publishing houses’ respective music being sung (in most cases, poorly) by the contestants. There is nothing creative about this whatsoever. Are they investing a single penny into new talent? I think not.