Downsizing Hits The Music Business

“What are you about to do here, Jeff?” I asked.

“I’m about to put some guys out of work,” he laughed, possibly to ease his conscience.  Jeff loves his studio musician friends, he’s a thoroughly nice guy, so he wasn’t being calloused when he said this I’m certain.  It was more like a confession.

I thought it odd that Monroe (producer) only arranged for one musician – Jeff Roach – to meet us in the studio yesterday.  When I’ve recorded in the past, the first day in the studio was for tracking the entire band at once.  An electric guitar player, drummer, bass, keyboard guy – we’d all hang out for an hour or so and then go off into our corners of the studio, put on headphones and do our thing.  That first day was like a party, a reunion of old friends who’ve worked on hundreds of albums together.

Those friends are out of a job now, replaced by Jeff and his box of wonderment. And my upright piano is gone too.  Jeff has his friends and that piano sound I love in his red keyboard now.

The music industry has been downsized.  As profits have plummeted, budgets have done likewise and circuitry has replaced musicians.

I’m a little uncomfortable with this, but I’m not exactly protesting the innovation.  So far, I can’t tell the difference sonically.  And I can’t afford old friends.