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The Notoriety You Deserve

by Marc Gunn, Bard
November 8, 2001

Last night I saw Scottish songwriter, Andy M. Stewart, and Gerry O'Beirne perform at the Cactus Cafe here in Austin. It was a brilliant performance.

For those who don't know him, Andy M. Stewart (not to be confused with Andy Stewart) is one of the premiere Celtic songwriters to come out of the Celtic Nations. He started out in a wonderful band called Silly Wizard back in the 70s. During his 30 year career as a songwriter, he has written songs that are truly timeless.

One of the first songs I ever heard was one called, "Queen of All Argyle". You can hear it at http://mp3.com/AndyMStewart. I heard it at a Renaissance Festival and thought "great song..." Two years later, I got on mp3.com and found out that Andy was the author. I was blown away. The song could've been written three hundred years ago and it is spreading in the great folk tradition. I honestly don't think I'd be wrong in saying that Andy M. Stewart is a living legend.

But you know, despite his many successes, I was appalled last night to hear him joke about following in the great tradition of "starving musicians". That blew me away!

It took me back to when I first got on MP3.com started hearing all about Andy M. Stewart. A Celtic songwriter told me, "Andy's not that famous!"

It occurred to me. He's right. Sure, in the Celtic scene, his songs are fairly well-known, but is he? No. He's struggling like the rest of us...

That made me thankful that he has some great fans, like Kate Akers of http://www.Chivalry.com/. Kate was a fan of Andy's when she contacted him. Next thing you know, she's managing his website AND booking and promoting this U.S. tour he is currently on. She's done an amazing job at helping to establish Andy as a prominent contributor of the Celtic music community.

But that only happened a few years ago. What would've happened if she or some other fan had met him sooner and started promoting him. Would he be as well-recognized as Enya by now?

Who can guess? But the point is, it was just one fan who got the momentum going. One person who was able do do what Andy was unable to do for lack of time or money. One fan, who mobilized the Celtic communities to take enough interest to say, "Hell yeah, we want him to play here!" That's all it took was one fan.

So get to know your fans. Get to know them well. You never know if somewhere among your fans you'll find someone who will help you to acquire the notoriety you deserve.

Oh! And if you want to see a great Celtic folk performance, drop by his website at http://www.AndyMStewart.com or listen Saturday when he will perform on the Prairie Home Companion. If you're a musician looking for great songs, check out his music. I think you will be impressed.

Marc Gunn, Bard of the Brobdingnagian Bards has helped 1000's of musicians make money with their musical groups through the BardsCrier.com and the Texas Musicians Network. Now you can get personal advice by visiting http://bardscrier.com for FREE "how-to" music marketing assistance.

No time to visit the site? Subscribe to The Bards Crier.com distributed weekly for Free: mailto:subscribe@bardscrier.com

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