When your Dad comes back into fashion...
Larry Mistrot, Associate Wrter, 'Music Dish'
Could it be that the Next Big Thing in popular music could come from a completely unexpected direction - mom & pop? That's right kids, your dad may be competing with your favorite pop diva or boy band ? climbing the charts on the Internet. No so! Incredible! Not possible! - you say?

Today more and more baby-boomers are getting back to their roots - musically speaking. Those who gave up the notion of ever having their music distributed at all in the past can take another look at the possibility of claiming their 15 minutes of fame right now. And it wouldn't be a surprise to see them turn some heads - or ears, that is.

Dormant musicians with 30 years behind them in playing, writing, producing and maybe even performing are dusting off their axes, buying new ones and getting into the groove with the latest music production technology. But this time things are different. No more scrimping and scrapping for more available tracks or trying to figure a way to avoid sound degradation due to numerous generations of "ping-ponging." All of that has been taken care of now.

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Empty nesters with time on their hands and money to spend can now make minor (to them) investments in the latest offerings from hardware and software manufacturers that can enable them to pick up a few of those old original tunes and breathe new life into them. So, why would I start harping on this thing now? Just to make myself feel better? Here are a few things to consider.

* Musicians that were born and bred in the 60's were raised on a fundamental understanding of what makes popular music work - since they were there to see it emerge. That's right, even today's music has the same basic components.

* Adult Alternative genre is growing with major talents like Chantal Kreviazuk and Tori Amos. Mature, tasteful, well-crafted production is still appreciated by middle-aged music lovers.

* Classic bands - like the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Moody Blues etc. - are still drawing audiences and are leading the pack in concert attendance records. Both the music and the audience are still viable.

* The eCommerce model for distributing music will make acquiring new tunes more accessible to middle-agers who no longer want to visit retail outlets for their music purchases.

* Baby-Boomers are reaching their empty-nester point in their lives when their children are going off on their own, leaving them with more time to pursue their interests - like making music.

* Empty-nesters have more money to spend on their hobbies - like home studios - and possess more previously acquired resources - like old (but still good) studio gear.

* Street-savvy, successful business people have nothing to lose (except their time) and are often not burdened with the obsession of seeking Record Industry careers or contracts. They are also not as interested in, and have the smarts not to get involved in, legal relationships that are not in their best interests.

* Middle-aged songwriters sometimes have catalogs of material that they can pull from and rework. Some have an endless backlog of songs.

* People in corporate jobs for many years may have a good understanding of market dynamics and strategies for achieving business goals - like marketing music products to the buying public.

As the song goes - Older Women Make Good Lovers, so does it go for the seasoned musician ? as far as music goes, that is. Older musicians make good music-makers. Old demo-jockeys have bags and bags of tricks and techniques acquired over years of experimentation and studio experience. Some of these craftsmen (and craftswomen, of course) are working in the industry, banging out tracks for the current industry fair. It's about time to see some of the yesteryear hopefuls make their way into main stream streaming audio world with song tracks that have both appeal and sophistication.

The Music Industry motivation that embraces the teenager and young adult demographic as the only viable market to pursue is a wholly out-dated idea. The notion that you must sell 4+ million units to have a successful product is quickly becoming an exercise in futility for some major pop icons. The music world is ready for some diversification. Could it be that the next Beatles will be a bunch of Beatles-aged players from out of the woodwork? Works for me.

So stop the music industry bus and move over in your seat, Britney! There a whole crowd of sight-seers waiting get on.

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