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Best CDs of 2013 Winners

Best CDs of 2013 Winners


The purpose of the Indie Acoustic Project awards is to generate increased awareness of indie artists and record companies by promoting and recognizing outstanding works of innovative, independently produced acoustic music from around the world, and to provide a means of helping the artists to reach a wider audience.


In the twenty-four years that I worked in the music industry, I listened professionally to many thousands of works of music. Of these, I discovered hundreds of truly outstanding, yet unknown recordings. In my opinion, many of these unknown recordings contain some of the best music I have ever heard.

Unfortunately, even though this body of terrific, little-known music represents thousands of innovative, well written, well performed songs, virtually all of them have disappeared from our culture, unheard by more than a relative handful of people.

There are many reasons for this situation, but by far the most significant one is that, as the number of recordings has increased dramatically over the past 25 years, the number of recordings aired on commercial radio stations has plummeted. Presently, few artists ever have their music aired on any of the country's most popular radio stations.

Lack of Commercial Airplay for Indie Artists

In 1999, over 37,000 CDs were released in the U.S., containing an estimated 400,000 songs in all. In that same year, the average Denver commercial new music station added approximately 24 new songs to its airplay rotation--virtually none of them independently produced. Since airplay rotation in a given format is almost identical for all large radio markets across the country, and there are 9 English language new music formats, it is reasonable to assume that less than 216 new songs are given any amount of significant airplay on major U.S. commercial radio stations annually. In fact, many of the songs added to one format are also added to others, thus lowering the number of different songs which actually get aired. This means that less than one tenth of one percent of all the songs released in a given year will receive commercial airplay, and even that number is decreasing.

Put another way, over 99.94% percent of songs released annually will never be heard by a large radio audience. Since commercial radio airplay is not only the most important factor in determining CD sales, but also in attracting an audience for live performances, this lack of access to the airwaves has a dramatic negative effect not only on the artist's CD sales, but also on the ability of the artist to attract a following. Although I and many others have spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to convince or compel commercial radio stations to present a greater variety of music, the situation continues to worsen.

Goals of This Website

Since very few, if any, of the high-quality independent acoustic recordings will be heard or even heard about through any of the traditional commercial mass media outlets, I have created this website to publicize these great works of music. By doing this, I hope to accomplish three things:

  1. Insure that these works and the artists who created them will someday gain the recognition they deserve.
  2. Allow those who might appreciate this music a chance to experience it.
  3. Generate an interest in lesser-known music in general, so that there might be a greater public interest in seeking out diverse, independent music of all kinds.

Since it would be impossible for any one person to have heard even a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of recordings released during this period, my list will undoubtedly be incomplete. Hopefully though, this project will inspire others to publicize their own lists, thus increasing public awareness of yet more great musical works which never received the acclaim they deserved.

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