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the survivors are going to be on the fringe. traditional country, electric blues, and metal have core constituencies that aren't going anywhere. i'm not talking about Brad Paisley, SRV/Bonamassa, and Guns n Roses, either, as much as i love them. i'm talking about REAL country music (Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings), REAL electric blues (the Kings, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T Bone Walker, etc), and REAL metal (Sabbath influenced shit, from which every modern metal sub-genre can trace lineage). there is no room in these slim demographics for big box stores or major online merchants. basically, the new bluegrass, in terms of niche appeal. it may not be much, but what IS there is very sturdy and real.
M11 said:Not to revive an old thread, but I stumbled upon this blog post (from 2015) that talks about this and mentions a lot of the things that were discussed in this thread (and is IMO more insightful than the WaPo article):
so, GC did, in fact put HUGE numbers of these guys out of business, and for the most part, they took with them all their experience, know how, and educational chops with them. fast forward 15 years, and GC is trying to cater to a demand that isn't there. they caused their own extinction. you can blame questionable management and debt leveraging for their downfall, too, and you wouldn't be wrong, but as long as there is a demand for the traditional music store goods and services, those issues can be overcome. the real deathblow was struck FIRST, when they ran all those local shops out of business in the '90s. consequently, they have restructured around a business model they already killed off.