August 18, 2010

Clover Blues

Some of you might be asking yourself what a white kid from the North is doing playing all that blues?

When Erik Joule (Levi’s guy, early advisor and supporter of Clover) and I were discussing branding and retail space early on, and he asked me “what does it sound like?” I was stumped. I’ve always loved music. I used to DJ on the radio, helped run some radio stations, etc. But I was stumped. For all the detail and research I’d put into the company and environment we were creating I’d never thought of what it would sound like.

(more after break)

Those of you who have been with us since the beginning heard us playing different things from the truck kitchen. We tried some folk, some contemporary stuff. The Black Keys’ album Attack and Release felt right. We started evolving around that. It’s important to me that music at Clover is American. That’s a definite defining boundary for us. That gives us pretty broad definition. It needs to be welcoming, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. But I don’t want to put anybody to sleep either. No Kenny G (sorry Starbucks). We want a sound that is distinctive. Real songs. Real musicians. A playlist that is curated.

Early I thought we could put together a playlist of local music only. I still fantasize that one day we can. But in the near term that’s just too difficult for me to pull off. I don’t know the current scene that well, and don’t have time to research it at the level I’d want to.

So we landed on Blues. It’s the king of all American music. Something that was born and raised in this country. And I’m learning so much and loving it. I’m first to admit: this music is new to me. It’s not a music I grew up with. But I’m having a ton of fun learning, and can’t wait to know/ listen to more.

Our staff, that’s a different story. My fault. I only put 10 hours of music on the original list and they are getting sick of it. So I just put together a new list today. Now there are 20 hours. I’m hoping everybody loves it.

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