During the month of December, as part of our Giving Rocks! year-end campaign, we’re sitting down with a handful of FMC fans to reflect on why they support our work, and what they see as the big issues on the horizon in 2013 and beyond. Read on!
FMC’s newest board member Tamara Saviano is a tireless advocate of American music and its artists. Saviano is a GRAMMY and Americana award winning producer and a music business consultant, artist manager, and publicist who has worked with many acclaimed artists including Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Radney Foster, Gene Watson, Gretchen Peters, Shawn Camp, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ashley Monroe, and Janis Ian. She was honored with a 2004 GRAMMY Award for Best Traditional Folk Album for producing Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster.
In 2011, Saviano produced This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, for Houston’s Icehouse Music. The double-CD set was honored as the Americana Album of the Year by Americana Music Association and is a nominee for the 2012 GRAMMY for Best Folk Album. Saviano has several exciting releases on the way in 2013, including a tribute to Jackson Browne and her first book, The Most Beautiful Girl, a memoir about Saviano’s tumultuous relationship with her stepfather and how it shaped her experience and led to a career in the music business. Saviano is also collaborating with Guy Clark on a biography about his life.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory is my stepdad singing along to Johnny Cash’s “Orange Blossom Special” on the turntable. He had every Johnny Cash album and I knew all the songs by heart. By the time I was a pre-teen, I was listening to Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Johnny Rivers and all that great Memphis Soul music.
Looking ahead to 2013, what’s one of the biggest challenges facing musicians?
I think the biggest challenge for musicians is to continue to seek out diverse revenue streams. Lobbyists and legislators will continue to debate copyright law and royalty payments from the digital realm. While I think musicians need to pay attention and take an active role in those discussions, it is also within their direct control to take care of business closer to home by engaging directly with their fans through touring, social media and other means of communication. They need to continue to grow that base to develop more creative opportunities to make a living as a musician.
On the flipside, what would you say is the most exciting development?
More than ever the artist’s career is in his or her own hands. For the most part, the gatekeepers are gone. Musicians can engage directly with their fans. They can be as creative as they want to be with how to turn those fans into consumers via special experiences and concerts, gathering research for new merch ideas, giving fans the opportunity to see what’s happening in the studio while a record is being made…the sky is the limit.
Any favorite holiday albums? Favorite seasonal musical traditions?
I love, love, love Christmas albums and have stacks of holiday CDs. I love the standards by Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland and Bing Crosby. But, my favorite Christmas CDs are by Vince Gill, Let There Be Peace On Earth and Breath of Heaven. I love him all year round but Vince singing Christmas songs is glorious and perfect. My husband and I usually pull out holiday CDs and listen to them on our long drive from central Virginia to Nashville after Thanksgiving. Then I play them around the house in the weeks leading up to Christmas while I cook Italian food and bake cookies for Christmas Eve.
What would you tell friends considering a gift to FMC this holiday season?
FMC is a great resource for musicians and artists in a time when they need accurate information more than ever. And, it is the only group I know of that assures that musicians have a voice in the decisions that affect their livelihood. I’m proud to be part of FMC and the work they do on behalf of musicians. If music brings you joy, supporting FMC is a way to give back to those who make the music.