NoiseTrade – a useful tool for bluegrass artists

noisetradeMany of you may have downloaded the new exclusive digital release, Live – Fan Favorites, from Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. The six-song EP is a FREE download as a gift to their fans. After jumping up and down because you received some free bluegrass, some of you may have wanted to learn more about the online music download service they used called Noisetrade.

Noisetrade’s mission is to connect artists with fans so they can help each other out. They allow artists to offer free music to their fans, in exchange for talking about them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Not many bluegrass artists have taken advantage of this free advertising, but there are a few artists who “bluegrassers” may be familiar with. Two-time Grammy award winners, The Civil Wars, who have taken the world by storm with their simple songs and primitive arrangements, have an entire live album (Live At Eddie’s Attic) available exclusively on Noisetrade. The Farewell Drifters have shared a single, Punchline, from their album, Echo Boom. Popular singer/songwriter, Josh Ritter, who co-wrote New York City and Hundred Dollars on the latest release by the Punch Brothers, has an hour and a half long concert uploaded on the site!

The variety of artists who make their music available for free on the site is mind-boggling. While bluegrass hasn’t held much representation on Noisetrade, many popular Americana, rock, folk, pop, and Christian artists have taken advantage of this free service. Andrew Bird, The Lumineers, Act of Congress, Jars of Clay, Brandi Carlile, The Vespers, Graham Colton, OC Supertones, Sara Groves, Jon McLaughlin, Green River Ordinance, Delta Spirit, and more have free music available on Noisetrade.

Fans of any and all types of music can find something they’ll like on Noisetrade. And what’s better than FREE music? Not much, I would say. While fans can tip artists directly into their PayPal accounts, the musicians primarily ask for the fans to share the music on Facebook, Twitter, and email. There is also an embed code available for each download, where anyone can share a widget on any website. Telling a friend that there is free music available is the only thing you’re asked to do. How great is that?

Fans can browse through thousands of albums that are absolutely free. You can search by artist name, album name, or by genre. It’s also easy to find good new music by typing in your favorite artist and selecting “For Fans Of.” This allows you to find new music tailored to your tastes. It’s also fun to browse the Top Downloads and New Releases sections as well to see what is hot on Noisetrade.

I can see many artists out there scratching their heads wondering why giving their music away helps them out at all. There are many ways this works to the artists’ advantage. One way this is used is to make singles available from upcoming releases. This is becoming more and more popular these days to increase anticipation for new albums. Noisetrade makes this process easier than ever for the artists by doing all the technical work for you. It also makes it easier for your fans to spread the news about the upcoming album.

Noisetrade is also a great idea for emerging artists to get their name out there. By putting a sampler or EP up on Noisetrade, new fans can understand what you and your music are all about with no risk to them. It also has built-in marketing perks by allowing new fans to share you and your music with ease on social networks.

For established artists, releasing a live show or Noistrade exclusive is a great way to give back to your fans and let them know how much you appreciate them. It also gets them excited about your upcoming appearance at their local bluegrass festival this summer.

As I hope you can see, Noisetrade is a service that helps both the fan and the artist. Check out and start finding new music today!

For any questions regarding Noistrade, check their FAQ section at

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About the Author

Daniel Mullins

Daniel Mullins is an IBMA award-winning journalist and broadcaster from southwestern Ohio, with an American Studies degree from Cedarville University. He hosts the Walls of Time: Bluegrass Podcast and his daily radio program, The Daniel Mullins Midday Music Spectacular, on the Real Roots Radio network. He also serves as the station’s music director, programming country, bluegrass, and Americana music.