Posts Tagged With: Ashton Lane

Twitter Has Become My #1 Resource For Discovering Country Music

Getting into country is like opening the wardrobe to Narnia – an amazing world of music and people that I never knew existed!

The above is something I posted on Twitter last night that got quite a few retweets, and it’s absolutely true, in my experience at least. I started this blog and accompanying Twitter account just 6 days ago, and in that time I’ve met a whole bunch of great people and been introduced to more great country music than I’ve had time to check out. What I am about to write is not an exhaustive list of every interaction I’ve had over the last week, but it’s a good indication of how useful my Twitter activity has been.

If you read my article The Marketing Genius of Country Music’s Ashton Lane you’ll see one of my first discoveries and how that came about. After writing this article I’ve had comments from lead singer Esther and Graeme Duffin, the producer. When writing the article it was just something I wanted to share; both the way they marketed themselves and the music – I never expected it to elicit responses from those involved. The country music scene does seem to be a very appreciative community of artists and fans alike.

I’m going to fast forward to just a few days ago when I saw someone retweet a tweet from Jana Kramer and on seeing her profile picture I was sure I recognised her. A few clicks later and I realised that I knew her from One Tree Hill where she played Alex Dupre; a film star turned country singer. It seems that life imitated art, as much like her character, Jana went from acting to country music and has released an album. I remember her singing on One Tree Hill being very good so I thought I’d check her real life music out. Her self titled album is only £6.99 on Amazon MP3 so in my new state of embracing downloads and music videos I got it, and have played it almost non-stop since. While it is definitely a country/pop record, it’s not as mainstream pop as I was expecting. She has a cracking country voice and shows this off on an album of great songs. Her current single is Whiskey, one of the highlights of the album both vocally and lyrically. So a fleeting glance at a photo on Twitter led me to a great country singer and a new favourite album currently doing overtime on my iPod.

One of the biggest proponents of new country music I’ve met so far is Kasey Stone with her blog hitting all the right notes. Kasey not only finds new country artists, champions them (if they are good) on her blog, but on many an occasion she manages to interview them too. Not only do we get great recommendations but we get to know a little more about the artists involved too. Kasey has given me a whole day’s worth of artists to check out, and just this morning she wrote about a young American singer by the name of Raihanna Estrada who has an absolutely beautiful voice. You can check out her videos on her YouTube channel where she has a selection of her own songs and covers.

This next discovery happened when I followed @CountryMusNews and I got a tweet back thanking me for the follow and also telling me to check out a song by their new favourite country artist @SBSwags, so I did just that. That’s how I found SaraBeth’s song Kicikn’ and Screamin’ – a great tune sung really well and with some nice lyrics. The accompanying lyric video is particularly funny when it comes to the doot doo – for some reason seeing that written down tickles me. This song would make for a perfect summer tune, or maybe one to give us a lift in cold gloomy winters. I haven’t yet listened to any more of her songs but the whole Kickin’ and Screamin’ EP, featuring 5 songs, is available to buy – links on her website. Before the night is done I’ll have bought it from iTunes ready for my drive to work tomorrow. Definitely one I’d recommend.

One of the best people on Twitter to follow is @NewCountryUK. To say he is a prolofic tweetter would be an understatement, but he tweets so many facts and figures about country music that it’s like following a country music encyclopedia. He was also the one, who by his tweeting, reminded me that the Lady Antebellum Own The Night World Tour DVD & Blu-ray was out this past Monday. That sent me straight off to Amazon, and a few days later I’d bought, watched and reviewed it. Tour news, release news, birthdays and history – if you are not already following you are missing out.

If you are in the UK and like country music then it’s pretty likely you know about ukCOUNTRYmusic.net – a site run by a team of dedicated country fans updated multiple times daily with news, reviews, competitions and even a regular live streaming radio show. On a Thursday night from 8pm the team all hold a country music chat on Twitter. Just use the hashtag #UKCMchat and you’ll connect with a whole bunch of country music fans, all ready to chat and help with any questions. It was this past Thursday that I joined in and got recommendations for Rascal Flats albums to look out for ahead of a probable UK tour.

I wasn’t the only one who started a country music blog in 2013, and @Em_Tx got there a week or so before me with her 52 Weeks of Country blog. Every week she features a song and writes about why she likes it – great idea right? This week’s entry introduced me to Edens Edge, a band who I’d seen mentioned but never heard any music from. The song in the spotlight is Who Am I Drinking Tonight and I urge you to head over to Em-T’s blog and read all about her thoughts here. Great band, great song and featured on a great blog.

I also have to give a mention to both @Erica2country and her website 2country.net. It was while I was chatting to her, at the same time as streaming radio from her website, that I made the comment at the beginning of this article. We had a good chat about country music and it was from seeing her Twitter account a few days ago that also discovered 2Country.net which plays some great music. Last night I heard The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw and Randy Travis, all within the space of 25 minutes. Perfect.

There are so many other great people on Twitter and I could go on all night, but I’d get sore fingers and you’d get bored! It’s great having @SonyNashvilleUK on Twitter, esecially with their signed CD giveaways, and I even got a follow from the CMA. In the space of just one week I’ve met so many great people and found so much new music. This is just the beginning. If you have any recommendations or just want to to say hello, then you can find me on Twitter here: @4000ToNashville.

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The Marketing Genius of Country Music’s Ashton Lane

This was originally posted on my personal blog here before 4000 Miles to Nashville existed.

A few days ago I was followed on Twitter by @ashtonlane, whose bio reads: If you like LADY ANTEBELLUM, THE CIVIL WARS AND THE BAND PERRY you may enjoy our 7 FREE SONGS!!!: CLICK HERE! ashtonlaneinnercircle.com/7freesongst. Now in spite of the excessive use of capitals I did read it, and I do like Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry, and even The Civil Wars to a lesser extent. So it was only natural for me to click the link on the promise of 7 free songs – who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Ashton Lane on Twitter

Ashton Lane on Twitter

Once on the website I was met with a video of the band, two guys and a girl, thanking me for clicking through and welcoming me. Now at this point the video stopped playing thanks to a less than reliable connection at work, but I was intrigued enough to fill in my name and email address on the accompanying form, after all, they were giving me free songs. The lure of free music must have been pretty strong as this part of the website does look a little too much like those websites offering free trials for all manner of irrelevant products and services we’ve grown used to enduring on the world wide web.

Once I’d gained access to the next stage I was greeted with another video, this time telling me a bit more about the band, who by this point I know are Scottish. Also on the same page as the second video and as part of the video was an offer for me to buy their latest album, 2 EPs, 2 videos, be added to their VIP list and more extras I don’t even remember. Now this whole bundle of Ashton Lane bounty was being sold at the bargain price of $7. I say bargain because the price is stated as $25, but if I act right then and buy, I’d get it for just $7. What you have to understand is there is also a message telling me that I can only accept this offer at this point, and if I decline and continue to get my 7 free originally promised songs, then I won’t be able to get this package at $7 again.

Ashton Lane Welcome Video

Ashton Lane Welcome Video

Before I go any further there’s one thing you have to understand about me; I don’t download music. I have to own the CD or in some cases, and where available, the vinyl copy of albums I like. I’ve not joined the digital revolution for music yet, though I do of course rip all my CDs to put on my iPod, but you know what I mean. Consider that as I tell you that I didn’t download my 7 free songs, but instead paid $7 to get the aforementioned digital bundle of Ashton Lane music. The reasons for that are as follows:

  1. Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry are among my favourite modern country bands, so any comparison to them gets my attention
  2. I like the way the videos were very informal and humble, and they felt very personal and honest. I felt Ashton Lane were talking to me, not just anyone who stumbled upon their website
  3. $7 is £4.34 for us Brits, and that’s a ridiculously low price for all that was on offer
  4. The samplers that I eventually played after reading all the sales notes were very good
  5. In spite of me working in marketing, I’m a sucker for a well marketed product, especially one that appeals to me many levels already

I did it, I paid for and subsequently downloaded my very first digital album: Magic in the Air by Ashton Lane. It’s worth noting that at this point I’d forgotten all about the 7 free songs and it hasn’t crossed my mind until I started writing this article. The album itself is really good, no, I’ll go further than that and say it’s brilliant. The album is very well produced containing songs that are well written, catchy melodies and lead vocals by Esther that you’d expect to hear from a native of Nashville, not Scotland. I’ve listened to it twice in the last few days and look forward to really taking it in with more listens over the coming weeks. They are bang on with likening themselves to Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry and are not just name dropping them for the sake of getting’s people’s attention, which did work in my case.

Ashton Lane - Magic in the Air  album

Ashton Lane – Magic in the Air album

My $7 payment gives me access into the inner sanctum of the Ashton Lane website, but that’s something I’m yet to explore. Since I paid I’ve had a few more emails with links to more songs that are mine to download for free, so it could turn out to be the best $7 I’ve ever spent. From following me on Twitter based on my country music tweets and who I follow, to their very well presented message, and finishing with a superb album; Ashton Lane are to be commended both for their music and their marketing guile. It’s a different world in the music business these days and Ashton Lane are an example of how to do it right. I urge any fan of country music and music in general to check them out now, you won’t be disappointed.

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