Episode 152: Circe Link and Christian Nesmith
Air date: 1.27.2016
Technology has changed nearly everything about the way music is made and enjoyed, and it’s easy to lament the ways in which it divides and exploits artists. Illegal downloading and questionable revenue dispensation from streaming services have seen artists’ incomes plummet, and label support has all but vanished in the new paradigm. It’s enough to make musicians hang up their hats and consider getting out of the racket altogether - but there is a light side of The Force. The proliferation of affordable digital audio and video recording gear has made it easier than ever for artists to make high-quality music at home, and the Internet and social media allow innovative artists to find their fans and reach them directly. Circe Link and her partner, Christian Nesmith, would likely have had a successful career in music in any era, but they’ve built a substantial fan base by capitalizing on these new channels better than most performers in the new millennium. Link has nearly ten albums in her catalog and Nesmith’s formidable skills as a guitarist and arranger have accelerated Link’s prolific tendencies as a songwriter. Although their most recent album, Bird’s Amazing Odyssey & The Meaning of Tea, was released in 2015, the pair were already ahead of themselves assembling an album of 18 cover songs called Side Orders - complete with accompanying videos - compiled from the over 90 songs on their YouTube channel. And if that isn’t enough output to appease the ever-hungry maw of the God of Content, Link and Nesmith host regular live video streaming concerts complete with their full band and production staff. And it’s with that full band that Circe Link and Christian Nesmith shine brightest because they smartly surround themselves with top-notch players that help them realize the full potential of their adventurous arrangements; guitars flirt with Beatles and Pet Sounds interplay, a pair of background singers provide ‘ear candy’ vocals and the rhythm section keeps everything on track and moving forward whether the song is a breezy country blues or a prog-folk hat tip to circus music. But mostly, the expansive and expanding musical universe that Link and Nesmith have created is just plain fun.