The Top 66 is designed as a radio playlist chart with bluegrass show hosts and programmers all over the world partnering with the chart by posting their album spins via a private web interface. The official launch date is June 1, but since each new chart is set to debut on Tuesday afternoon’s, the first edition will launch today.
The project is the brainchild of Daniel Routh, who was motivated by his own frustration in finding reliable playlist data while promoting Nights, the 2010 CD release from his band, Nu-Blu. He tells us that he scoured the web seeking a central source for bluegrass playlists, but had no luck finding it online.
“I called Sammy Passamano at Rural Rhythm to see if he had any suggestions, and he told me that I would need to contact all the individual DJs directly. Everyone I contacted was great about sending me playlists, and I got to know many of them in the process. It felt like they had adopted me into the radio family.
When we released Nights again to Americana radio through AirPlay Direct, we were contacted by the people at Alternate Roots to do an artist spotlight. That was how I met Bill Hurley and Fred Boenig over there.”
Boenig ended up working Americana radio for Nu-Blu, and Daniel said they became friends in the process.
“All this time I had been formulating this idea of an online bluegrass chart, and talking to a friend of mine who is a computer programmer about how to make it happen. I called Fred to bounce the idea off him, and he said that he was working on the same thing.
He asked if we might want to host the chart on his site, and I thought it would be a great way to get the music out to some different people.”
Fred and Daniel have been kicking this around for almost a year and feel like they have stumbled onto something that will work for the bluegrass community. Both of them invite everyone with an interest in the chart to get involved.
“This is not about money for me. I just want to give back and help grow bluegrass music.
If you are playing new bluegrass, we want you as a reporter. If you are an indie bluegrass artists, we want to be sure we have your album information.”
Daniel says that they only have about a dozen reporting stations at this time, but expect that number to grow rapidly after the Top 66 Bluegrass Chart goes live today.