So Long, Farewell … From The Blue Indian

tbi_farewell

After eight wonderful years, we’re taking a bow and ceasing all publication of content through the site and our social media channels as of today, February 29, 2016.

Simply put, it’s time. We’re all proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with your help and hope that we’ve been able to boost awareness for the amazing music in and around Georgia over the course of the past eight years. As each of our lives have changed, we’ve been able to dedicate less and less time to The Blue Indian and it’s started to show. It’s a difficult place to be in because this means so much to each of us, but it feels right. Between our families, careers, personal projects, and aspirations, there are plenty of things that require our time and energy and we’re all excited to become more dedicated to them.

We’re immensely grateful for what the past eight years have held. Without the readers, contributors, partners, industry professionals, and countless bands, this wouldn’t have been much more than a personal blog shared amongst friends.

TheBlueIndian.com will remain online indefinitely. All content will still be accessible, so take some time to read through the archives! On March 15, all social media accounts will come offline.

Between the four of us, Luke, Andy, William, and Sean, we put together a few personal remarks about what this site and the surrounding community has meant to us. It’s a long read, but a good one.

 

An early version of the site. The first version of the current site had just been launched.

An early version of the site. The format would change once more before reaching the first version of the current site.

Luke

After I completed my Bachelor of Arts in English, I found myself in the unfortunate position of having earned a degree that felt useless unless I went on to graduate school to eventually teach somewhere. That wasn’t happening. So there I was — fresh out of college with nothing but time on my hands. I began messaging my favorite indie bands through my personal MySpace account requesting their time for an “email interview.” With the help of a friend, we put together a humble “store front” to the original 2008 website to, at the very least, appear to the bands that we were somewhat credible. Fake it, ‘till you make it, right? After a few published interviews with some promising indie acts, word began to spread. I got somewhat bored with the email interview format after a while, so I began experimenting with phone interviews. Literally.

Cover art for handwritten interview with Andy Hull

Cover art for handwritten interview with Andy Hull

The new series I began tinkering with was recorded phone conversations. I decided to not transcribe the interviews because I wanted it to have the feel of you listening in on a phone conversation with your favorite frontman or artist. I remember watching The Devil and Daniel Johnston documentary and feeling so inspired. Somehow, I got Daniel Johnston’s father’s phone number and got Daniel on the phone. That interview, and several thereafter, provided for some great content for a while and then suddenly the interview that sort of changed everything: Q&A: Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra). After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the frontman of the soaring Atlanta-based band, Manchester Orchestra, one day while sitting in Wesleyan College’s library waiting on my wife to finish studying for a final, my phone started dancing on the table with constant vibration. Andy Hull sent me 12 photo text message responses, out of nowhere, to questions I sent several months prior, but what made this the single-handedly most popular piece ever published at TBI is the unique format. They were handwritten responses from 40,000 feet in the air while Hull was in the clouds in route to Salt Lake City, Utah for a show. He went so far as to handcraft a “cover page” to the interview with doodles of an Indian, his name, my name, etc.. The interview was really different, really personal, and after a few days, completely put The Blue Indian on the map.

In the middle of trying to nervously follow up that interview with quality material, I ran into Sean Pritchard, who at the time, was working with an up-and-coming, Charleston, SC-based band called All Get Out. After he noticed all the happenings at The Blue Indian, he approached me with the idea of booking shows through TBI—we’d later call it “The Blue Indian Presents.” For some time, Sean merely booked shows. Quality shows. All Get Out. Andy Hull. Kevin Devine. Washed Out. The list goes on. We were making headlines in local papers from the crowds we were drawing. At the time, Sean had a niche for booking big bands in small spaces. His favorite venue to book shows was The 567, not the current location, but the former location— a small 80-ish capacity listening room off of Cherry Street in downtown Macon. It was during a Washed Out show, presented by The Blue Indian, that I ran into William Haun, a local photographer, who happened to be a fan of Washed Out taking advantage of the moment with his camera capturing what happens to be Washed Out’s only show in Macon to date.

Luke, Sean, and friends at Washed Out

Luke, Sean, and friends at Washed Out in 2010

William and I instantly hit it off and after I shared my passion with him while also letting him in on Sean’s endeavors, he was fully on board to take over a very key position, Head of Media. William then founded a very popular video series called, Acoustic Alley. He captured what I call one-shot shoots of popular touring bands in an alley across from the Rookery off Cherry Street downtown. Over time, William did everything from editing every photo published to engineering the multiple design changes that took place at TheBlueIndian.com over the years. Sean began taking on more responsibilities at TBI and soon became the Senior Editor. Then, William delivered the crippling news that he and his family were moving to Africa. Sean and I suddenly had a huge void to fill if we were to carry on what had become not only a well-read indie blog in Georgia, but throughout the country. There was pressure and we had to figure things out.

Hello, Andy Carter. Andy came in with as much passion as I had in the beginning and graciously assumed William’s role. Andy would go on to shoot a slew of Acoustic Alley sessions—further carrying on what was a popular aspect of the blog. I will be forever grateful for Sean, William, and Andy, for their work at The Blue Indian.

Sean

I let the email I sent to Luke initiating the conversation of ceasing publication of the site sit in my drafts folder for a week before I finally sent it. Not because I hoped I’d find a better way to say what I wanted to, or that an alternative would present itself for us to right the course of the site, but because I didn’t want to come to terms with it.

Sean and William at the 2011 11th Hour Awards. TheBlueIndian.com won "Best Blog"

Sean and William at the 2011 11th Hour Awards. TheBlueIndian.com won “Best Blog”

I began working with Luke when I was 18 years old. I shared a small house with my older brother and between working two jobs, I booked shows, wrote about music, and dug deeper into this world that I felt I belonged in. I didn’t know that much but I was eager, as was Luke, and that eager energy connected us, giving us this feeling that the possibilities were endless and maybe we could make some sort of impact– whether on Macon, or Middle Georgia, or the Southeast, or just perhaps on our own lives and those around us. In hindsight, I think we had little idea about what we were doing, but especially about what we would do. Hello nostalgia.

I’m 25 now. I have a small apartment in Nashville; I’m attending Belmont University with plans to complete my undergrad at the end of 2018, and life is very different than when it was when I met Luke, William, or Andy. I’ve covered thousands of miles for music, to experience and embrace it. There are so many numerical figures each of us could list off about our time together as The Blue Indian, but I like to think the community that it created (or created around it) speaks louder than any of those.

In the last few days, I’ve gone back through my email accounts, confirming the fact that we were, for the most part, clueless but eager. We made plenty of mistakes. But we succeeded in so many more ways. Luke and I didn’t really have a plan; we made things up as we went and they usually worked. William helped a lot with that, as did Andy.

The people of Macon and Middle Georgia nurtured The Blue Indian, championed it, and promoted it in ways we never expected. They put up with our mistakes, celebrated our successes, and gave us another reason to tell people, with pride, that we’re based in Macon.

When I texted Luke that I was actually moved to tears by some of the emotions this stirred up over the last few weeks, he echoed my feelings. This is difficult, but it’s time.

Thank you, everyone, for giving us these opportunities. Here’s to the future.

William

Luke & William working on an early version of the site

Luke & William working on an early version of the site

In the spring of 2010, I was wandering through downtown Macon and I saw a poster promoting an upcoming show featuring Washed Out. I was a big fan of the artist who was surging in popularity at the time and I was baffled as to how Macon managed to book him. In fact, I didn’t believe it. Surely some dumb locals had called themselves by the same name. So I checked Washed Out’s MySpace page (yep, 2010) and confirmed that he actually had a show in Macon. Then, armed with my camera, I rushed to the show at 567 Cherry Street. I asked a guy named Luke who was selling tickets if I was allowed to take photos. He enthusiastically agreed and asked that I email them to him to use on a blog he ran.

That day began my wonderful four year journey with Luke Goddard, Sean Pritchard and a dozen others who were The Blue Indian. I would go on to shoot over 70 shows and 9 music festivals, produce nearly 300 videos, design dozens of flyers and posters, and redesign the entire website twice. It was a lot of work but it was a work of passion. I loved seeing & meeting the artists, mingling with fans, and providing quality media that would allow everyone to revisit the shows time and time again. I also grew significantly as an artist because of the sandbox TBI provided for me to play and experiment in.

As it comes to an end, I want to make sure that the great content we produced is available online for music fans to enjoy for as long as possible. Therefore, as noted above, the website will remain online, as is, with all the articles, interviews and reviews available. All the videos I’ve produced are available in HD quality on my Youtube channel. Finally, I’ve released over 3200 of my photos from shows and festivals to the public under the Creative Commons license. This means anyone and everyone can download the hi-res images for free and use them almost any way they want. I hope that the time, energy and love that I put into TBI continues to kindle a passion for music and the arts in Macon, Georgia and around the world.

TheBlueIndian.com original logo and header

TheBlueIndian.com original logo and header

Andy

Luke, Sean, and Andy in August of 2015

Luke, Sean, and Andy in August of 2015

I started my time with The Blue Indian fairly late into the game. Of course, having lived in Macon since 2009, I was aware of the blog, and had been to a few of the shows that Sean and the group had organized downtown. I became friends with Luke at New City Church in 2012, and eventually he asked if I’d like to help out with the site doing photography and video with William Haun.

To be completely honest, it was a bit daunting. William’s collection of show coverage, artist profiles, and collection of Acoustic Alley videos was humbling. One usually has to sacrifice quality or quantity to curate such an impressive portfolio, but he had achieved both. Needless to say, when William announced his move to Africa, the idea of following that up was a huge challenge.

My first video with now-defunct Atlanta band Echo Collection, released in March two years ago, was only the second time I had ever put my camera in video mode. It’s messy, and wrong, and amateurish; but I was proud of it. Working with other artists to create something was a rush that felt new and exciting. Over the next two years, I continued the Acoustic Alley series with some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever heard, local or not.

As TBI winds down, I want to thank Luke, Sean, and William for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself and for a chance to introduce the world to some truly unforgettable music.

So Long, Farewell …

We would love to keep in touch with all of you, should you want to talk about music outside of the blog-realm. You can follow Luke on Twitter or email him. Sean can be reached here, Andy here, and William here.

The Blue Indian began as a Georgia music blog and eventually grew to reach throughout the US, but the state of Georgia and all of the incredible music in it has always been a major part of every phase, even as the focus shifted to reach a broader audience through the years. Friends, as we look back on the past 8 years, it’s not the name The Blue Indian made for itself that makes our chests swell; it’s you. The relationships we’ve made through The Blue Indian will go with us for the rest of our days—at least that is our hope. We personally thank you for your loyal readership through the years. Truly, you enabled a dream become a reality. It’s a bittersweet day and we’d be lying if we said we haven’t shed a tear reaching this decision, but our hearts are overflowing with gratitude because of you.

Lastly, because downtown Macon was sort of our playground for the past eight years, we wanted to leave a parting gift. We are donating close to 100 TBI t-shirts to Daybreak, a project that seeks to give the homeless a home and a place in their community. 

Writers & Photographers

The following wonderful people contributed content to The Blue Indian over the last eight years:

Alec Stanley – Andrew Connor – Andy Barton – Andy Stewart – Arthur Alligood – Ben Eady – Beth Yeckley – Brandon Bish – Brandon Dale – Cameron Barham – C.E. Breslin – Claire Morgan – Cody Avant – Creigh Lyndon – Dawson White – David Dorer – Denny Hanson – Dylan York – Emily Ishihara – Eric Brown – Everett Verner – Gino Orlandi – Grafton Tanner – Halie Johnson – Hannah Cook – Hannah Marney – Hart Roberts – Hinson Hays – Holly Etchison – Ilona Hartwig – John Maddox – Jordan Pritchard – Jordan Welsh – Justin Wiseman – Katie Flint – Katie LeVan – Kyle Barfield – Laura Corley – Lauren Stanaitis – Lee Fowler – Leila Regan-Porter – Michael Hall – Michelle Meredith – Miranda Andrews – Nick Payne – Patrick McAfee – Peterson Worrell – Phillip Stewart – Rhett Shirley – Ryan Smith – Sam Douglas – Sarah Gerwig – Sarah Weitman – Sarra Sedghi – Scott Corkery – Sonya Washington – Taylor Tatum – Will Hawthorne

 

 

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