Well, it’s over. This is Country California’s final post.
The decision to end now isn’t for a lack of passion for the music. I love music no less today than I did when I started this site seven-and-a-half years ago. I even love it in some of the new, different ways you come to love a thing you engage with day after day.
Nor is this ending born of pessimism regarding the current direction of country. With early signs of a turning tide at radio and a whole slew of recent case studies in meaningful DIY success outside the radio system, this is one of the most exciting times for country music (regardless of which type you prefer) in memory. Shoot, as I write this, Chris Stapleton has the Number One album in the country, in all genres, for the second week in a row. I envy those arriving on the scene now, with the vigor and enthusiasm to document this new era with fresh eyes.
Insightful, independent music coverage is more necessary than ever. But readers deserve writers who are committed to and energized by that task. I’ve played my part, such as it was. I don’t have to keep trying to be the guy. Other people will step up.
This ending wasn’t brought about by a lack of support, either. The past year of going fully ad-free, relying fully on the goodwill of readers to whom the site meant something, was the most rewarding… and also, miraculously, the most financially stable… in the site’s history. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all those who supported the site at this or any other time in its life. It has always been deeply appreciated. This wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did without you.
More than anything else, I’m ready to try some new things. And I find that, in order to clear the way and create the space for those things, I need to stop doing some of the old things.
I’ll still write. I’ll probably even still write about country music in one way or another, since it will still be a primary influence and obsession framing my worldview. But my days of writing about it here, in the distinct rhythms and formats of Country California, are over. This era of sustained, daily attention to one particular thing is over.
I have a general writing site, where I’ve been known to post humorous essays and reflections and even some original song lyrics, at chrismwilcox.com. You’re welcome to follow me there if you’d like. Any future projects (there is stuff in the works) will launch from there.
And if you don’t want to follow me anywhere else?
If we part ways here, never to meet again?
It was fun, and educational, and more than I ever thought it would be.
I’m glad you were here.