Roots music rules, OK!

Wednesday, November 6, 1991

Roots music rules, OK!

By Norm Dixon

Enthusiasts of roots music — blues, r&b, gospel soul, jazz, zydeco, cajun, Tex-Mex, Afro-Latin and music from Africa and the Caribbean — are getting organised.

The OK Music Association has been formed to cater for the growing number of people who feel that the music of their interest is being ignored by the mainstream music industry.

Roots music is the largely unacknowledged source of many contemporary Western music styles. Yet these market-driven, stereotyped approximations have lost the fresh, vibrant and emotional qualities of the original musical cultures — mainly African-derived or -influenced — they derived from.

Yet, while countless musicians produce the genuine thing, most people are denied access to these exciting forms of music because of decrees by recording company executives, commercial radio stations and big-time promoters.

OK wants to prove that roots music can be popular. Despite plenty of eager fans, and potentially many more, records remain hard to find in the shops and, apart from the efforts of a handful of small promoters, concerts are rarely organised.

The objects of the OK Music Association are:

  • To encourage awareness of, and disseminate information about, roots music.

  • To actively promote local musicians through regular concerts and radio programs.

  • To facilitate improved distribution of recorded music by communicating the special interests of roots listeners to record companies, distributors and shops.

  • To accumulate funds through fees and other activities to sponsor concert tours by Australian and overseas artists.

Members of the OK Music Association receive a regular magazine containing interviews, reviews and news. Other benefits include discounts on records, tapes and CDs, reduced admission prices to live shows and regular band and video nights.

To find out more about the OK Music Association, write to PO Box 36, Chippendale NSW 2008 or phone (02) 319 4677.

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