Picture the beer taps at your favorite pub for a moment and think about how you always tell the barkeep you want the brew from a particular one.
Now picture the beer taps sans logos but with faces of major country music stars (seriously, stay with us here) – Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Alison Krauss, Taylor Swift, and the Court Yard Hounds for starters. The suds and the stars may have more in common than you think.
To determine which of the up-and-coming country performers of today — Lissie, Sons of Sylvia, Truth & Salvage Co. to name a few – will be tomorrow’s amphitheatre stars, consider their commitment to their fans.
Let’s face it – Taylor Swift didn’t have a 15-hour meet and greet at this summer’s CMA Music Fest in Nashville because she found herself with downtime – she did it because country royalty is made and broken by fan interaction.
Doubt that? Consider the Zac Brown Band. Less than 10 years ago, Zac Brown was just another guy in Georgia with a small family business – Zac’s Place, a restaurant he owned and managed with his dad — and a dream. On weekends he’d grill up food, invite the members of the Zac Brown Band over to play, and create his own mini festival right outside the restaurant. Weekdays the band spent on the road playing concerts and hosting eat-and-greets to build the fan base.
Nancy Dunham writes about music for Country Weekly, AOL Music’s site The Boot, The Washington Post, Relix and others.