Ted The Fiddler Music
The term Country-Bluegrass really isn't very good. It gets tossed around a lot up here but, people don't really know what it means. There's a joke in the Blues Brothers movie where the bar tender or somebody says to Elroy, "We have both kinds of music, Country & Western..." meaning, these people are so into it, they can tell a difference! The truth is, there really IS a difference, and there's even more styles than those. All you have to do is move to Nashville or Texas and they'll straighten you right out.
Anyway, the next thing I found out was, it costs about a billion dollars to start your own record label. What with royalties, AFM pension requirements, Bar Code council, you name it, I found someone who will charge you, or sue you for it. The only thing left for little guys like me is to make recordings and sell them at gigs, and now, maybe the Internet!
My company name was "Iron Mountain" originally, but I found two publishing companies already using that name. My royalties for two of my older songs were accidentally assigned to one of them in Nashville. I decided to go with Ted The Fiddler Music even though I hate these guys who name their bands after themselves. Up North here, and especially in New Jersey there are a lot of bands with names like "Bobby Joe and the Country Shakers". "Jack Russell and his Texas Terriers". Most of them are only weekend warriors, and some of them are friends of mine. They love what they do, and I'm not knocking them. I just get a little depressed when our band can't get any work because we don't do "Achy Breaky Heart".
I was talking to John Hartford about this once, and he was saying, "Well, ya know we play the second most universally despised music on the planet, the first being Polka music. Not only do you play Bluegrass, but you've got drums in your band! I'm surprised you can get any work at all.... but, you can take comfort in the fact that it's a small community of fans and pickers, we all know each other, and there's a good chance many of us are related...."
So, with that in mind I will forge ahead and make my own recordings, put the bill on my credit card, and hope some of you readers will buy them as we go along, and if any one wants to give me $30,000 to start a real record label, let me know.
Ted The Fiddler 10/2/96