Posts Tagged WTMD
Several months back, while shopping in the local Books-A-Million I ran across a music magazine I was unfamiliar with–Dirty Linen. And considering the bimonthly magazine, which describes itself as “the foremost U.S.-based magazine of folk and world music”, has been publishing since the mid-1980s, I’m ashamed to admit I had not read it earlier. After pouring through the issue, I contacted the co-editor Paul Hartman to email interview him about the publication. Here’s the core info on the publication: “It was founded in 1983 by T.J. McGrath of Fairfield, Connecticut, as Fairport Fanatics, a fan magazine for the British band Fairport Convention. In 1987, Paul Hartman took over as editor and publisher, expanded the coverage to include genres of roots music from many countries and cultures, and changed the name of the Baltimore, Maryland-based magazine to Dirty Linen. His wife, Susan Hartman, has served as co-editor for many years. Under the Hartmans’ direction, Dirty Linen grew from a photocopied fanzine to a glossy color magazine with international distribution and sold in chains including Borders Books and Music, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters. It is also available via subscription. There are six issues per year.” My thanks to Hartman for discussing his magazine, as well as his radio work and his love of music in general.
Tim O’Shea: You and your wife, Susan Hartman, have co-edited Dirty Linen since the late 1980s. Other than the increase in downloadable music and the dwindling number of music retailers, what have been the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the folk and world music industry over these past 20+ years?
Paul Hartman: 1) Downloadable music is not the only format change we’ve seen over the years. In the late 80s/early 90s was the change from vinyl LPs & cassettes to CDs. Folk/roots music was a bit slower to switch over than mainstream music, perhaps due to the smaller manufacturing runs making it relatively expensive.
2) These days, anyone can record and make a CD. A decent laptop and software combined with an inexpensive duplication company makes it affordable for the self-produced artist to release a recording. Or even skip the CD part and make MP3s available online.
3) The Internet has made it easier to find obscure CDs. Even imports. Google is your friend.
4) More people want to learn and play music. More participation rather than just passive listening. Almost like going back to the days before TV and radio, sitting on the porch or in the living room and just having fun. Many music workshop camps have sprung up, such as The Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Heritage Center, Lark Camp, Common Ground on the Hill, RockyGrass Academy, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Song School, Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, and many more.
5) Speed. Everyone expects things to happen more quickly.