The Great Indie Con!!!

Shot Down & Left for Dead

I want to ride a little on my post last week.  I have been sending out songs to people who are reputed to review material, so I can post the good ones in my Bio.  This is, as far as I am concerned, a good strategy.  Sometimes I need to pay a small amount for the review, but that is OK as well.  I usually get one or two usable reviews for every ten or so bad ones.  Let’s face it, my form of Americana/Country/Honky Tonk/what I sometimes term “Horse Punk” doesn’t fit well with mainline pop music heads.

Bad reviews do not bother me.  I have a thick skin when it comes to reviews and being panned by so-called, and mostly self-appointed, “music industry professionals.”  But sometimes one will stand out because of its disingenuousness nature.  I am going to quote the full review and then discuss it later.  It was off a MusicXray offering.

  • Hi Hilary,
  • my comments:
    • sounds like it would have been a big hit if this had been made in the 50s, like it’s a lost Elvis B-side or something.
    • the vocalist sounds a little bored, i think if it was a bit faster and it was sung with a bit more force and passion (maybe in a higher key) then it could be better. also this could be hidden with vocal effects in the mix.
    • you say it’s in your face, but really its not at all compared to the modern way of producing records. i think it could be remixed really well with a lot more distortion and compression on everything, and some slapback delay on the vocal (like in a lot of tracks by the killers). basically take it to a mix engineer and say “make this sound modern”.
    • a powerful drum track would do wonders for this song as well. do you know any good drummers?

    Potentially this is a really good track if you made the changes i suggested above, but still i don’t know if it would have a chance commercially nowadays. but then again i’m from england and have no idea how big the market is for rockabilly.

    A lot of the success would be about image more than the song with this music nowadays. check out Seasick Steve – a very unlikely global success, but it’s because of his persona more than his songs. i cant remember a single line from any of his songs, but i know i enjoyed it when i saw him play to 100,000 people at Glastonbury festival last year.

    Good luck, and let me know if you have the multitrack files (Wavs) and want a grittier modern mix, I’d do it for $75. Or anything specific you want further advice about, message me back here.


First I’d like to say that indeed he does not understand the genera, but the point is that I believe he ripped me a new one so he could offer to help me for $75.00, which is just not kool in my book–especially when the deal was set up as a simple review.  I call this a “con.”  And I advise my readers that I truly am not a sucker, and not to be one themselves.  Second, I did not post this to get revenge or to get sympathy, I am discussing this as a warning to those beginning in the music industry.

This kind of thing happens to me a lot.  I also get raving comments, and radio stations that ask to put me in their rotation.  Also this particular song get wild response from my crowds.  I am not going to post the song because the song is irrelevant.  If you really want to hear it go to and play “Rock You Up.”  But my question here is,  How honest is a reviewer, and how much trust can we place in a reviewer who sets us up with a bad review and then asks for money to “fix” our music?  I do not mind paying for “fixes.”  I have a friend that says, “I don’t mind getting screwed, but at least give me a little romance when you do it.”  There just was no romance in this con.


5 thoughts on “The Great Indie Con!!!

  1. Hilary, this is one of the most poorly written excuses for a professional critique I have ever read. Perhaps this fellow is looking to be the next Simon Cowell. And to add insult to injury, he tosses in a plug for his ‘services’ towards the end. Does this guy think that you would do him any favors after this sort of review? Especially after admitting to knowing nothing of the genre?? Theeze Eegneesh Peeg-dogs.

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