It's time again to look at some of the people behind the scenes of radio. Lindsay Reid is promo guy for the highly respected company Thirty Tigers, which does marketing, promotion, and management for some of the best artists around.
What got you started in the music business?
It was the early 2000s and I was working at a public television station in North Carolina helping produce a newsmagazine program. At that time, I was very active in the local music community and got to know other folks in that world. I got a call out of the blue from a friend, Steve Gardner, who was working at Sugar Hill Records. They had an opening in the radio department and he thought I would be great for the job. I jumped at the chance.
What have you done since then?
Well, I worked four years at Sugar Hill Records. After Sugar Hill, I started my own independent promotion company with the super original name of Reid Promotions. I enjoyed it, and one of my clients was Thirty Tigers. In 2009, they offered me a full-time gig.
What do you do now?
I do all aspects of radio promotion for all of Thirty Tigers' Americana, Triple A, and NonComm releases. My normal workday consists of contacting radio stations, client calls, and coordination of everything that goes along with radio promotions — mailings, eblasts, etc. I also handle coordination of indie promoters when needed.
How do you describe your music?
Thirty Tigers works with all types of artists from almost every genre. We put out a lot of Americana/roots-based records and are probably best known for those, but so far this year we've also put out records from both Lupe Fiasco and LeAnn Rimes.
What was the first artist/band that got you into Americana music?
I was in college at UNC-Chapel Hill in the mid-'90s and a couple guys in my dorm turned me on to Uncle Tupelo. I went out and bought the first Wilco and Son Volt albums and was hooked. I moved to Raleigh after college and got into the roots scene there with bands like Whiskeytown, The Backsliders, Six String Drag, and Two Dollar Pistols. Alejandro Escovedo and the Drive-By Truckers were also coming to town and playing small clubs.
What are you favorite artists of all time?
R.E.M. is always going to top that list. They were the first band that I got super into when I was a teenager. I was also really into alternative bands like the Smiths and the Cure at that time, and those are remain some of my very favorites of all time. After college, it was roots music like Richard Buckner, Robbie Fulks, Dwight Yoakam. I even went through a pretty hardcore Alan Jackson phase.
How do you define Americana music?
Well . . . I know it when I hear it. I think its has to be roots-based in some form. I like a little twang in my Americana, but am also cool with blues, roots rock, etc. In my opinion, Americana music shouldn't be too slick, overproduced, or too commercial.
Where you see Americana radio going in the future?
I hope to see more full-time Americana stations; this will help grow and build the entire genre. It's very exciting to have new stations like WMOT in Nashville and WNEX in Macon doing full-time Americana, and I hope more stations will try this format moving forward.
What recent artists are you excited about?
Colter Wall is an artist that a lot of folks are starting to discover. His debut album just came out. He's very young still but has a very unique voice and is an amazing songwriter. I can't wait to see what he does in the future. Tyler Childers is another young artist we are working with, and his debut comes out later this summer. He's from Kentucky and Sturgill Simpson produced his album. Folks will be hearing more about him for sure.
What are your most memorable experiences from working in the music business?
Meeting everyone from Dolly Parton to David Byrne. Having the Avett Brothers play in my hotel room at IBMA. Meeting my wife at a Frog Holler show. The Two Dollar Pistols at my wedding.
What keeps you going?
The opportunity to get great music played at radio stations all over the country, convincing a station to play an artist I believe in and exposing that music to new listeners.
What are your most proud accomplishments?
I've been able to set some Americana radio chart records — Jason Isbell staying at #1 for 20 consecutive weeks (with his last album Something More Than Free) and most recently, with The Nashville Sound, becoming the first album to ever debut at #1 on the Americana chart with a record number of adds (67). You know, that and holding my daughter for the first time of course ...
How do you want to be remembered?
As a nice guy who worked hard for his artists? Is that boring?