1- Can you introduce yourself in a few words and explain us what's your job at CountryStarsOnline.com?

Thanks Florent, it's great to be with you. My name is Jim Weaver and I own and operate www.CountryStarsOnline.com. I am a 20 year radio veteran including 6 years in Houston, Texas and 5 at ABC Radio Networks located in Dallas, Texas. While at ABC I enjoyed a weekly radio audience of about 1.5 million country music listeners all over the US.

2- What's the aim of CountryStarsOnline.com?

Simply to promote country music all over the world. A little history about CSO: CountryStarsOnline.com began in October of 2000 as a place on the Web where people could learn about Country Stars Online chat sessions, that's how we got the the. Back then there were several chat sessions going on each week and no central place to keep up with them. As time went on, the chat sessions began to fade and then disappeared altogether. A decision had to be made; do we continue the site and take it in a different direction or toss in the towel? Well, here we are 6 years later and have we changed and grown. Reviews, interviews, the largest and most accurate country artist website listing you'll find anywhere, We feature Indie Artists, contests, interviews and much more! In fact I believe we have some of the most interesting and informative writers in this business.

3- Who are your favorites artists? (country music or not)

Man-o-man that's a hard question for me because my musical tastes are so varied... Martina McBride, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Gretchen Wilson, Danielle Peck, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn, Diamond Rio, Little Texas, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Charlie Daniels, 38 Special, Atlanta Rhythm Section, everything from classical and country to jazz, bluegrass and southern rock. Except maybe opera, but even with opera I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the talent it takes to sing it. I'm really a "mood" music lover, whatever "mood" I'm in, there's a song that fits it.

4- What do you think about country music evolution?

Honestly, I don't think country music has evolved that much. There have always been progressive country artists, pop country artists and traditional country artists. You'll still find guitars, keyboards, steel, twin-fiddles, bass, drums, and an occasional banjo or dobro. The strength of country music has always been the song, even more than the singer. The group Heartland just had the #1 song in America recently, did they take it to #1 on the strength of the band? No, they were an Indie band that very few people had ever heard of, it was the song. The song is what country music lovers latched on to and it took off like a ruptured duck.

Where the real evolution has happened over the last ten to fifteen years or so is in the production. Nashville has jumped light-years from where they once were in making awesome recordings that sound just as good as anything that ever came out of Los Angeles or New York.

The real "evolution" in all music genres these days is the Internet and promotional opportunities that are provided by sites like yours and www.CountryStarsOnline.com. Our sites along with MySpace and other self-promotion sites give the artists, especially the indie artists, a chance to reach people they never could have before. It also means that the record companies are losing the control they once enjoyed, so to are traditional radio stations. This is going to lead to a lot of growing pains or downsizing pains for a lot of big companies that used to enjoy running the show, but hey, that's progress. The benefit for you and I is, we get to learn about all kinds of music and artists that we may have never heard of the old way.

5- What do you think about Americans artists performing in Europe and especially in France, as Hal Ketchum, David Lee Murphy, Marty Stuart, Jace Everett, etc... Do you think it's a great opportunity for artists to come in Europe and try to have more fans, or do you think country music is for USA only?

Heck no... remember, country music is about the "song"... a good country song knows no boundaries. Cheatin' and drinkin' songs are relatable no matter where you're from. I love that there are so many country music fans all over the world, and country music stars emerging from other Nations as well like Australia, England and Canada. I'm sure you have many that we may not have heard of yet in America, but I bet we will one day.

6- How we must work in France to promote country music correctly ? Give us pieces of advices...

Gosh, I wold say just keep doing what your doing and when country music artist come to Europe, go see their shows if possible. The more you support these artists on the road and buy their music, the more they will come and tour there, and the more fans they will attract. People will realize that pop music is just a bunch of mind-numbing garbage most of the time, and the real talented song writers who want to tell a story or convey a thought, write country songs. When people search for music that touches their soul, they usually find country music.

7- Can you imagine that people in the world, and especially in Europe, and especially in France could listen country music...and appreciate it ?

You bet! Again, it's how relatable the song is, when a song reaches in and touches your heart, it doesn't matter if it has a little twang to it.

8- What's your best memory about country music? and the baddest?

I think the most exciting thing I've done in country music besides meeting many stars over the years, is when I got to fill in for Bob Kingsley on his American Country Countdown show back in January or 2004. It was just one countdown, and took about 5 hours or so to record, but that was a huge moment for me as a broadcaster and country music lover.

As for the worst... except for doing a bad interview here or there I really can't think of one.

9- Who's your favorite newcomer?

That is a very hard question. I can think of a lot that I really like, I'll try and name a few here but if I leave anyone out, I'm sorry: Chris Young, Cowboy Crush, Ashley Gearing, Kameron Ross, Ansel Brown, Shannon Mock, Rissi Palmer, Kimberly Jean... just name a few.

10- Some words for FACM and Country music fans in France?

Several years ago I started realizing just how popular country music is becomming in France and Europe in general and I'm really excited about that. It may have started in the US but there is tremendous support coming from our friends across the pond and whatever your political leanings may be, one of the things that brings most of us together is music. Keep spreading the word, Country Music ... ROCKS!

11- Do you want to say something more?

Just one more thing, I am truly humbled and honored that you would ask me to be interviewed by you on your great website. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and we invite you and your readers to stop by and check us out from time to time at www.CountryStarsOnline.com.

Interview: Florent