Country artist can connect with his fans

Megan Schiferl

Megan SchiferlJuice Editor

If Josh Turner and John Mayer had a baby that could sing, and by some chance came out unusually tall, it would be Corey Crowder. The Covington, Ga. artist found his way to SDSU Sept. 16.

The full, round sound that reminded me of gravel roads in summer, the bump of washboards and starry skies filled Jack’s Place and the ears of what I hope are newly-converted Crowder fans. His music includes the harmonic tones of his guitar and hints of something nostalgic and organically country.

Although he has a developed sound, Crowder didn’t start playing music seriously until college. He began working the open-mic scene of his college town, and until that point, hadn’t considered himself much of a singer.

Crowder’s big break came about thanks to the MySpace music phenomenon. The music supervisor for MTV’s The Real World approached Crowder after hearing his music on MySpace. At the time, they were looking for Crowder to be a cast member on the show. Crowder turned down the option, but offered the show rights to use his music on the show. One of Crowder’s songs appeared on that season’s finale, and from that point on there was no turning back. Crowder quit his job at a guitar store and began playing music full-time. He’s been at it ever since.

“My web presence exploded, and iTunes sales went crazy,” Crowder said. “That was the moment that I said I could do this for a living.'”

Crowder quickly became an Internet sensation. He realizes the connection between the Internet and his success as a musician is more than just a coincidence.

“The months when I’ve had the most social networking traffic are the months that I make the most money,” Crowder said. “Nine times out of ten, if a fan comes to the show knowing my music, it’s because they heard it on the Internet first.”

Crowder recognizes that traditionally the Internet isn’t how country music is spread, but the industry is changing.

“When you sit down at an agency, one of the questions they ask you now is how you are using and utilizing the social networking scene,” Crowder said.

He believes the change is happening because country music’s predominate demographic, 35-50 year-olds, are beginning to join in the social networking scene as well.

There is a lot to be learned about marketing on the social network, too. Crowder said you must pay attention to people who are doing it well.

“You can over do it and you can under do it, but the trick is to find a good balance,” he said. “I try to let people into my personal life just enough that we can form a connection, but I don’t want to overwhelm people either. You have to be more than just another artist.”

Whether it is strumming a guitar or connecting with fans, Corey Crowder definitely seems to know what he is doing.

There is no guesswork in his performance; there is only confidence, great music and a brilliant sound.

To like Crowder’s Facebook page, go to