From the Editor

This month’s letter comes from the Associate Editor rather than the big cheese because I’m the guy who first voiced the bright idea that Spree, following in the footsteps of similar city and regional publications around the country, should devote a special issue to the rich and diverse music that our area has generated over the last century or so, and the irresistible new sounds that it continues to produce every year with remarkable consistency.

While our pool of regular freelancers includes many who write often and well about music—among them Bob Davis, Bruce Eaton, Kevin Hosey, Phil Nyhuis, Christopher Schobert, and new contributor Joe Sweeney (to say nothing of several who usually cover other subjects)—we knew that we were taking on a potentially gargantuan task. In the interest of broadening our net as far as possible, we assembled a looseknit team of advisors which included the aforementioned folks plus musicians (Ken Kaufman and Pam Swarts), presenters (Marty Boratin, Don Metz, Craig Reynolds, Dave Kennedy), and record label personnel (Rich Kegler and Susan Tanner). Each of these people proved invaluable in one way or another: pointing out gaps in our coverage, providing contact info for individuals, or uncovering yet another treasure trove of archival photos. We started brainstorming in January and spent the next three months assembling a collage of articles and images we hoped would tell a coherent if fragmentary story. The presence of several shared bylines indicates just how collaborative a process this was.

Although the point is made over and over in the pages that follow, it bears repeating: the local music scene—or, more accurately, the vast number of individual scenes that have taken root here over the years—is far too vast to sum up in a single issue of a monthly general-interest magazine. We did not set out to write the definitive book on every aspect of popular music in Western New York; we just wanted to provide an entertaining and hopefully informative look at a few aspects of the past, present, and foreseeable future. No matter how hard we’ve aimed for inclusion, there are bound to be some glaring omissions and unintended slights (and we welcome you to point them out). But fear not: if you like this one, there are likely to be more Music Issues in the years ahead. That’s because, regardless of the economic or political weather at any given moment, the cultural climate of this region is simply too spectacular to ignore.



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