Reboot the blog.

Hey, C.M. here. Can I level with you for a minute?

For the last four and a half years, I’ve done my best to give you an alternative to the usual insipid, surface-level music coverage you find elsewhere. I’ve tried to be contrarian but fair, informative but fun, an advocate for good writing and good music.

Now we’re at a critical juncture. I’m wondering what’s next.

In order for this blog to continue into its sixth and seventh years, it’s going to need an infusion of energy. And in order for that to happen, it’s going to have to start looking more like a job – or at least like something that could potentially become a job. That’s how I’ll be able to justify spending the necessary time on it.

While I realize that might seem a cold, callous way of viewing what has been a passion project – shouldn’t the thrill of evangelizing on behalf of good music be enough? – the reality is that this site would be healthier and better off if I could afford to spend more time and energy improving it. In the absence of that, is it any surprise that things would start to slip 4.5 years in? That posts would become less frequent, eventually dwindling away to nothing? That this would finally become just another internet ghost town?

I really, really don’t want that to happen.

But if things continue the way they’ve been going, the site’s days might be numbered. We’re coming up against the limits of what can be done with the resources at our disposal.

In an effort to reboot the blog, I’m approaching the rest of 2012 with a renewed seriousness and vigor. I’m hoping that the extra effort on my part will be enough to get more of those cylinders firing, putting changes in motion that will sustain the site indefinitely.

I’m also serving notice that the end of 2012 will be a ‘decision point’ where I’ll be looking at what possibilities still exist and figuring out how much of Country California’s story remains to be told.

It’s in all of our best interest that the next three months be great.


I know, I know. The appeal of being a blog reader rather than a blog author is that you get to peruse what’s out there without having to figure out what to say about stuff all the time. But as content creators, it’s enormously encouraging to see that an article we’ve created has elicited some recognition or disagreement or hatred or something in the folks out there reading. Otherwise, you’re just dots on a map.

If you enjoy a story, tell someone. If you’d like to see your favorite artist featured, let them know about us. If you’re an artist with a sizable following (or any following) who sees the value in supporting independent music coverage, tell your fans about us. Since we’ve never spent a dime on advertising, the only way we have grown and can continue to grow is by word of mouth.

If you’d like to help kickstart the next three months and beyond, donations are welcome and appreciated. The most pressing need right now is technological, with both computer and server due for an upgrade. I’d also like to continue development on the mobile version of the site and get set up for podcasting.

Donations don’t have to be big. If everyone who enjoys what we do on a daily basis pitched in $5 or $10, there’d be more than enough to launch into the next phase of our development. (And if you’re visiting the site regularly but have yet to get $5 or $10 worth of enjoyment out of it, maybe you’re wasting your time.)

Thanks, as always, for your interest and participation. With a little diligence and a little help, we can bust through this roadblock and make sure our best days are still ahead.

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About C.M. Wilcox

A freelance writer and humorist with an abiding love of country music, C.M. Wilcox's cutting, clear-eyed take on the genre has drawn the attention of Country Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Tennessean in the years since this site began. He lives near Sacramento and can be reached by email at CMW (at)

Things People Are Saying

  1. Jeremy Dylan says:

    I refuse to leave a comment on this article.

  2. Jordan Stacey says:

    oh no you can’t ever leave where will I get to read your awesome writing? I’d honestly miss your blog very very much if you ended it. I wait for mondays for your Quotable Country articles and I always look forward to your other features as well. My favorite being best tracks of the month, but I also love the haikus and basically everything.

    I don’t comment often enough but from now on I will even if it’s just to say I read it :P

  3. Andrew Leprich says:

    Like Jordan, I couldn’t imagine a world without Country California. The amount of entertainment, education, and insight this site has provided me over the last four years is immeasurable. While country music has always held a special place in my heart, my passion for it has increased dramatically in the past few years, and Country California has been an indispensable reason why. There’s no way I would have purchased brilliant albums by Jason Eady or Justin Haigh if it wasn’t for CM writing passionate articles raving about their music. Chris Knight’s music has changed my life, and I never would have learned about him if he was never mentioned here. I could spend all day listing all of the artists, songs, and albums I discovered through this site. Needless to say, my relationship with country music would not be nearly as extensive or fulfilling if this site never existed.

    I also don’t comment enough, because I often feel I don’t have anything substantial enough to offer other than “Great article.” Rest assured I read every word of every article. I will make a conscious effort to comment with greater frequency, even if I feel I don’t have much to say.

    Furthermore, I think it’s very easy for us readers to take our favorite blogs and author’s work for granted. CM has been so good and so consistent for so long it’s easy to forget he’s a real human being. The truth is that he doesn’t have to do this and could stop at any time if it ever gets to be too much. So if C.M. spends a significant amount of time writing an article and no one comments on it, I can understand how that can be discouraging.

    I’m going to do my part over the next three months to ensure that Country California remains strong and healthy.

  4. jim says:

    I just ponied up some cash, with pleasure.
    Amazing what we can take for granted.
    please keep your blog going.
    respectfully, jim.

  5. I really enjoy this blog and find it a refreshing, intelligent haven in the country music world and I hope it continues. My personal experience over the years of trying to take a website “to the next level” has proven just what a commitment and sacrifice this is. To me, the passion is the most important thing. If that is there, then the time and money commitments seem to find a way to work themselves out (says a man with a dwindling bank account).

  6. Hang in there! I’ll try to do my part – I appreciate your commitment and your honesty.

    As a songwriter, I try to write the best songs I can, and trust (hope? foolishly dream?) that I will find an audience. Meanwhile, I try to support others who are doing the same kind of creative work.

  7. KC says:

    I hope you keep the blog going. I’ve discovered a lot of great music through this site. Like Andrew, I always read everything, but don’t usually comment. I will try to comment more from now on.

  8. Annie says:

    I’ll admit I’ve been a little out of the loop here lately – but sure would hate to see this website go. As a Californian I take a lot of pride in what you do, I have watched this website grow over the years – you’ve done a great job. I hope my donation is helpful. I promise to stop by more often and comment, C.M. I believe not only in what you are doing, but also in what you are capable of. I have always believed that the sky is the limit for you. You’re a fantastic writer who has always shown respect for country music, and for that I thank you.

  9. Tyler K says:

    Tough to find a blog that covers the artists I am interested in. Even tougher to find one that mercilessly lampoons those I detest. I hope my donation helps as well and I would say with some of the trash radio is putting on the airwaves these days we may need all the evangelizing we can get. Thank you.

  10. SamB says:

    I really enjoy your blog, and will try and comment more. As a fellow blogger (though nowhere near on your level), I know how much it’s appreciated!

    I often don’t, as I tend to read blogs at work, and it’s harder to hide whilst commenting than it is when reading!

  11. J.R. Journey says:

    Taylor Swift is WAY better than Carrie Underwood. She’s taller, blonder, and at least she writes her own songs. … There, that ought to generate some comments for you. :)

    Seriously though, as some of the others have admitted, I don’t comment nearly as much as I used to over here, or anywhere else for that matter. Working full time does take away from the time I used to idle away online back when I was underemployed. I, too, know what it’s like to feel like you’re losing your vigor for a project you were once so passionate about. In all of 2012, I have written a total of 3 single reviews and very little else. But you’re so much better at it than I ever thought of being, and good taste and talent like yours would be a terrible thing to waste. Plus, a world without Country California would be like a turkey sandwich without mustard or a Reba concert where she doesn’t do her MGM lion, pseudo face-eating jaw swivels.

    Please don’t go away.

  12. Lisa says:

    Please, please, please don’t quit your blog! I would be lost without your great stories. I promise to do my part and share with my friends, and other people. People like Rascal Flatts fans, Big and Rich fans, Brantly Gilbert fans. Oh, and a little donation never hurt anyone, use it well!

  13. Leeann Ward says:

    Andrew took the thoughts right out of my head. To add to what he said, you know I’m a fan. I’ve had the pleasure of reading Country California since the beginning. I love the humor/wit, great writing and fantastic taste.

  14. Spoony says:

    I’ll see if I can do more.


  1. [...] you may recall, I recently launched a campaign (through December) called Reboot the Blog. Basically, it’s a plea for folks who believe in the site to throw their support behind it in [...]

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