A Division of The Texas Blues Roadhouse


The Blues Department

Integrity in the Music Business

by Abby Owen


Integrity in the music industry refers to a set of values and principles that guide the behavior of individuals and organizations involved in creating, producing, and distributing music. Integrity encompasses ethical and moral considerations, such as honesty, fairness, and responsibility, as well as professional standards, such as excellence, quality, and transparency. Let’s examine the importance of integrity in the music business and how it affects various aspects of the industry, including artists, producers, label executives, and fans.

One of the most significant aspects of integrity in the music business is the relationship between artists and their audiences. Musicians are often seen as role models, and their actions can have a significant impact on their fans. When artists behave with integrity, they demonstrate that they value their audience and are committed to upholding their trust. This can result in a strong bond between the artist and their fans, which can lead to long-term success. On the other hand, if an artist engages in unethical or dishonest behavior, they risk damaging their reputation and alienating their fans.

The relationship between artists and their producers and label executives is also critical to the integrity of the music business. Producers and label executives play a vital role in helping artists develop and promote their music. They are responsible for making sure that the music is produced to the highest standards and that the artist’s creative vision is respected. To maintain integrity, producers and label executives must be transparent and honest in their dealings with artists. They must also ensure that artists are fairly compensated for their work and that their rights are protected.

Another important aspect of integrity in the music business is the creation and distribution of music. In an industry where piracy and illegal downloading are prevalent, it is essential that music producers and label executives take steps to protect the rights of artists. They must ensure that the music is properly licensed and that the appropriate royalties are paid to the artists. By taking these steps, producers and label executives demonstrate that they value the work of artists and are committed to protecting their rights.

In addition to protecting the rights of artists, producers and label executives must also ensure that the quality of the music is maintained. In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and techniques. By doing so, producers and label executives can help artists create music that is relevant, innovative, and of the highest quality.

Finally, fans also play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the music business. By supporting artists who behave ethically and responsibly, fans can encourage other musicians to do the same. Fans can also help to promote the music of artists who are producing high-quality, innovative work. By supporting these artists, fans can help to maintain the integrity of the music business and ensure that it continues to thrive.

Clearly, integrity is essential to the health and success of the music business. By upholding ethical and moral standards, maintaining professional standards, and protecting the rights of artists, producers and label executives can ensure that the music business remains a vibrant and innovative industry. Fans also play a critical role in maintaining the integrity of the music business by supporting artists who behave responsibly and by promoting the music of artists who are producing high-quality work. By working together, all parties involved in the music business can help to maintain the integrity of the industry and ensure that music continues to be a source of inspiration, joy, and connection for generations to come.

Copyrighted by Abby Owen 2023

Blacktop Mojo – ‘Burn The Ships’ CD Review by Abby Owen

To say Blacktop Mojo’s ‘Burn The Ships‘ has something for everyone is too simplistic. Let me elaborate. If you look for good drumming in your Rock music, this is truly bad-ass.  Nathan Gillis delivers spectacularly. If your favorite instrument is guitar, this far surpasses their peers. Ryan Kiefer flows from eloquence to knife-edge licks depending on what the song calls for, with Kenneth Irwin on as a very capable rythym guitarist. If the vocalist-frontman is who you look for as the standout, he is off the charts. Matt James growls out or softly sings the story with perfect pitch and conviction.  If you need to hear a strong bass-line to appreciate the mix, this is outstanding. Matt Curtis is as accomplished a bass player as he is fun to watch. If production is the thing that makes or breaks it for you, you will not be disappointed. This is top of the line. Right down to the album title and the artwork, this one hits it out of the park.15327426_1319681664730824_1293627615574736380_n

‘Where The Wind Blows’, the first radio single, is astonishingly good, and has been picked up by several media outlets. If you’d like to see the YOUTUBE VIDEO, <—(click here) to see what I mean.

The album lyrics are better than anything I’ve heard in a long while. They draw you in and make you feel you are witnessing a man’s struggle to make it in a restrictive and challenging existence. You feel his pain. The themes are sometimes based in classical literature, as in ‘Prodigal’ with the references to the Greek mythology of Icarus and his tragic fall into the sea after the wax in his homemade wings melted from him getting too close to the Sun. Other times it is a basic struggle between what is expected and what an individual has found for himself. “How do I describe the color of the sky when you’ve never been outside?” This is some of the brilliant introspection in the track ‘Shadows On The Wall’. Another is a warning to someone who never seems to learn in ‘Pyromaniac’. Even though the lyrics can be deep and philosophical, they stop short of being too ‘preachy’ and rather give one room to think and examine their own interpretations more easily. Who doesn’t feel the inner rage and Viking pride well up when singing along with the title track ‘Burn The Ships’, ”As you look into your enemies eyes there’s only one choice left …FIGHT OR DIE!!!”

16487300_10208206442986148_1992459204163220453_oAlthough they all contribute to the writing of the music, I cannot stress enough how impressed I am with the lyrics on all these album tracks. So much so, I had to find out who primarily writes the lyrics for the band, and I learned for this album it was mostly Matt James, vocalist and front-man. I’ve met Matt. It was shortly before the album dropped, in a small club in Baytown TX and he was the nicest, most humble guy in the world, and all the more reason I am thrilled to see them getting so much good recognition with this album. He isn’t the only writer, but he really shines on this one.

14600953_1289072831125041_3154020811934348625_nTheir live shows are incredible too; very professional and every bit as sharp and tight as the studio work. It wasn’t all that surprising to see them picked to open for Bon Jovi in early 2017 after winning a video contest, and then playing behind Sammy Hagar at SXSW in Austin shortly after. Right place, right time? …or competent and capable of stepping onto the ‘Big Stage’ with ease? Maybe a little of both. I mustn’t fail to mention their cover of ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith is…dare I say, almost better than the original. Completely on point and very enjoyable.

Getting back to the production, they spared no expense in getting top notch engineers, production personnel, studios and mixing experts. Philip Mosley produced it along with Jimmy Johnson. Engineers include Steve Melton, Zachary Pancoast, John Gifford III & Spencer Coats. Mixing Engineer was Austin Deptula of Rosewood /Studios. The album was recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville TN, Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals AL & Audioworx Studios in Palestine TX, a small town they call home in a city of roughly 18.5K people. Palestine is about midway and a little to the right (East) between Dallas and Houston.

To recap, GET THIS ALBUM! It hits all the points without a flaw, and believe me I looked.

Copyright 2017 – Abby Owen

Photos Used by Permission – Copyright 2017 – Blacktop Mojo

Billy Gibbons – Perfectamundo…

Blues Magazine’s article on Billy Gibbons – Perfectamundo, debut solo album from ZZ Top guitarist/vocalist. <—(Click to read on their site.)


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