In and Out of the "Rabbit Hole": At the Grammys with Buck Howdy

BuckBBGrammy08.jpgBuck Howdy attended this last weekend's Grammy celebrations, a nominee for Best Musical Album for Children for his (and partner BB's) fun Chickens album.

I'll have more thoughts (and photos and comments) from the Grammys later, but Buck had written up some thoughts about his experiences this weekend and I thought they might be of interest to both consumers and fellow musicians. Thanks to Buck for letting me share them with you.


Today I'm feeling a bit like Alice In Wonderland, having just emerged from the "rabbit hole" called The Grammy Awards.

Last December our CD BUCK HOWDY WITH BB - CHICKENS was nominated in the Grammy category Best Musical Album for Children. Now that the Grammys are over I can only say that the experience as a nominee is simply surreal - from the parties leading up to the big event, to the Red Carpet stroll we took (interviewed along the way by CNN, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, MTV), to the marathon award sessions.

One highlight was the nominee reception. Its a gathering where nominee medallions are presented (while everyone still feels like a winner) and where even a turkey-farming-singing-cowboy can rub shoulders and visit with legends like Charlie Louvin; Whisperin' Bill Andersen; young jazz star Eldar; country sensations Montgomery Gentry and too many others to recount It's a wonder BB and I didn't get whiplash, "Look there's the Foo Fighters; wait, look over there, isn't that Taylor Swift? Wow, John Tesh got old and he needs a haircut!"

Another highlight was the Kids Artist breakfast on Saturday morning at the Biltmore Hotel - a wonderful gathering of nominees and other kids artists as well as media, distributors and promoters. It's an event that should be repeated often and attended by everyone who has anything to do with making music for kids or families. Lynn Orman of Orman Music & Media and Beth Blenz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR co-hosted the event, and about 40 artists and industry folks were there.

Grammy day itself was a blur. Just before noon we got all gussied up and headed to the Grammy pre-telecast hall (where winners of most categories are announced). By 1:30 we learned that The Muppets took the prize in our category. And just like that it was over, though the disappointment took awhile to sink in because the Grammy celebrations extended into the wee hours of Monday morning.

But now that I've slept and climbed out of the "rabbit hole" a few thoughts remain. First, it was a experience BB and I were blessed to have. What a thrill to be praised, respected and welcomed with open arms by major stars and the media for the humble little thing we do called "kids music." But more important, I came away believing that EVERY kids/family artist should be involved in NARAS. (All it takes to join as a voting member is $100 and a bit of leg work, but it is well worth it.)

Here's why. Within minutes of the Muppet win I was receiving texts and emails from other artists (though not other nominees) who were unhappy with the result. Frankly, I was too because I believe there were more deserving nominees than the Muppets - indies such as Bill Harley and Peter Himmelman. However, anytime you pit the voting power (not to mention the production and promotion budgets) of an entertainment giant like Disney (the Muppets'
label) against the "little guys" (indie artists), more often than not, the giant will win. BUT . . . it doesn't have to be that way.

If you're an artist, get involved - if there's an artist you love, encourage them to get involved. I'd love for you all to have a chance to take a trip down the "rabbit hole" that is the Grammy experience. And most important, I'd love to see the amount of attention lavished on quality indie music for kids and families that it deserves.