It’s not a secret anymore: the recording industry is really singing the blues these days. In the 1980s, the majors were predicting that the compact disc would wipe the good old vinyl record off the map.

Thirty years later, the CD is now under siege, taken over by digital downloads, even by its once-condemned predecessor, vinyl! The current digital onslaught has turned everything upside down, but vinyl never disappeared completely like its predecessors, the phonograph cylinder and the 78-rpm record. But if it hadn’t been for DJs, even that peculiar brand of music-lover known as the audiophile, it may well have fallen by the wayside. Read more

Is there such a thing as idealism in the record business?

Well, yes. It isn’t common, but often a new label will come along that only seeks to promote talent or to serve an area it thinks has been neglected.

It’s actually the history of the recording industry. The few big labels get too big. Too conservative. Too slow.

The motivation of the independent labels rarely is purely altruistic, it has to be admitted, but blues, country, folk or any marginal genre wouldn’t have survived without it.

At a time when the record business is reeling and music is marketed in ways that would have been thought radical a few years ago, there should be no place for idealism.

Alternatively, it’s needed more than ever.

Cue the entry of Bronze Age Records, created by sax player Ra Torchinsky and his son Joe. Read more