Can you introduce yourself in a few words and explain us what's
your job at CountryStarsOnline.com?
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?
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)
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?
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?
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
6- How we must work in France to promote country music correctly
? Give us pieces of advices...
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 ?
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?
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?
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?
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.