Episode 95: Jeremiah Sammartano
Air date: 11.20.2013
A little known fact of the music business is that usually only top echelon artists make significant income from selling records. A few well known musicians have laid bare the math in books and essays about the inequities of the industry, and the Internet age has decimated record sales, perhaps forever. Fortunately, there are other revenue streams – merchandise, synchronization rights, television, film and advertising placements – something has to keep the big wheels turning. But there is another way to keep musicians in food, shelter and whiskey… and that’s touring. Musicians performed live for hundreds of years before the technology emerged to record any sound at all. In the modern age, as traditional record sales are a fraction of what they were just a few years ago, many artists take their show on the road to both their music to more fans and make a living in the process. Enter Jeremiah Sammartano, who regularly packs up his guitar and hits the road – from his home state of California, throughout the Southwest, all the way to east of the Mississippi and even to the United Kingdom. His blues-influenced songs and slide guitar playing are accessible to music fans from coast to coast and when he comes to town, they show up. And the funny thing is that selling records while on the road is a key strategy for musicians to keep gas in their tanks, food in their bellies and whiskey for the show. Sammartano has three albums, a 2011 Emmy nomination from scoring the music for a documentary, and he just returned from yet another tour.