Giving yourself a wrap is the most excruciating pain in the ass for any fair dinkum person writing and playing music, or anything creative for that matter, particularly when you don’t regard yourself that highly in the first place. The idea of art and commerce sucks, they were never meant to walk hand in hand and one should not drive the other, yet in order to exist as an artist they more or less do. So more often than not you’ll have people creating some of the best art ever heard or seen that live on or below the poverty line in order to do so and those who create shit to sell and live comfortably. It’s a fine line to walk and it’s hard not to get sucked into all the rubbish and politics that go along with it. For me this was ultimately born out of necessity to stay afloat – if not for pen and paper I don’t know what. I tried to walk away from everything a couple of years ago, but couldn’t. The upshot here is that you need to note the little wins you get along the way. On the bottom rung no one is going to sing your praises so you need to sing them yourself, excruciating as it may be.

So that little ceremony I posted about a while ago took place last week and the winners for the The Independent Music Awards were announced at the Lincoln Centre in NYC and the monicker Ben Bloody Leece was amongst them for Best Alternative Country Song. There is a fan (vox pop) judged category and an industry judged category and Trace, which was recorded with a couple of mates Trent Crawford and Tori Forsyth took out the later. The awards were judged by names such as Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan and Slayer amongst a bunch of other artists and industry folk and previous winners have included Ben Kweller, Macy Gray, Bright Eyes, Jackson Browne, Band Of Skulls, Flying Lotus, Killer Mike and Valerie June. So yeah I’m chuffed, particularly about being able to now put my name and Slayer in the same paragraph. Goes to show if you play Raining Blood every time you pick up a guitar and carry a black texta around with you for 25 years and write Slayer on everything in sight, if the stars align, just maybe, something like this will happen. You can view the full list of winners here.

What happens from here? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll continue to do what I do but if anyone would like to help you can tell your friends about it, save the songs into playlists in your preferred streaming accounts and come along to a show. If you are feeling particularly generous and genuinely like what this bloke is doing you can also sign up to the mailing list on the home page of this site. I’ve got some good stuff in the works and if you’re on that list you’ll be the first to know about it. As with most cases, it’s hard to establish anything without help, so any love anyone gives is absolutely appreciated.

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