Many of tomorrow’s popular artists are going to need more than a single and a CD to explode. To find entry into new media, exposure to potential fans and to sell their music it will be necessary to market and brand themselves with innovative means. Multi-level partnerships, sponsorships, new media, special events, sports and mobile based marketing are just a few important ways to reach the targets. Whiskey Falls is already making it happen. Other radio formats are recognizing the opportunities available to them with acts that are offering value not only in spins, but beyond them. When will the Country format do the same?
Here is an article from the current issue of Billboard by Ken Tucker:
Whiskey Falls is not just a band—it’s a four-man marketing machine. Made up of Seven Williams, Wally Brandt, Damon Johnson and Buck Johnson (no relation), the quartet has a history of building support for its career through the unlikeliest of partners. Even before the group released its first single, “Last Train Running,” last year on Nashville-based independent Midas Records, it had already built a network of sponsors. AAMCO, the American Tailgater’s Assn., the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the National Hod Rod Assn. and even NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” are all in the band’s corner.
That’s not by chance—it’s by design, lead singer Williams says.“We realized the more we could do for ourselves, the more that we could help our record label, the more we could help our relationship with radio, the more we could give back to our fans,” Williams told Billboard last year.
Country WSSL Greenville, S.C., OM/PD Steve Geoffries says the band “really understands the new avenues of marketing.” The station recruited Whiskey Falls to document life on the road for a Web site feature dubbed “Road to Fame.” “We post the video online and let our audience follow their long day from start to finish,” Geoffries says. The band also checks in with the station’s morning show each week to update listeners.“They’ve been in the market a couple of times for performances and they have developed a following here,” Country WGH Norfolk, Va., PD John Shomby says. “They really have learned what it takes to get known and they are doing it.”
The band’s appearance at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Mountain Region Heatseekers chart can likely be attributed to a busy week of performances leading up to the Super Bowl in Scottsdale, Ariz., including a gig for thousands of tailgaters outside the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the big game was held.
Geoffries says the band’s new single, “Falling Into You”—No. 46 on Hot Country Songs—is “contagious.” WSSL played the song 16 times during the week ending Feb. 17, according to Nielsen BDS.