Bob Desmarais, NHTunes-Meister
By Bruce Bressack
everything-and-anything-for-a-buck-world, when’s the last time someone offered
you something for nothing? Spam e-mail doesn’t count!
made long – nnnneeevvveeerrr!
There is one
no-strings-attached exception to the rule. If you’re a musician, or offer
audio recording services, or if you just want to see who’s performing in the
area, Bob Desmarais invites you to check out his free website,
Goffstown, Bob has hosted the website since 2001. He’s a musician, audio
engineer, and ‘rabid’ supporter of local performers and talent. Bob puts his
money where his heart is.
How long have you been providing this service?
NHTunes.com has been in existence
for about four years now. Up until the mid 80's I was performing in the area,
and I've been out of the performing scene since then (of course, I continue to
play daily). It was about four years ago that I started to get back into music
on a more serious level.
The basic idea behind NHTunes.com is
this: provide a special place on the web for New Hampshire artists where they
can communicate, showcase their band, and their music.
There's not a lot of support on the
web for the local music scene. I'm pleased that the site has seemed to make a
difference for many musicians, and many use it 'religiously' for their gig
schedule, among other things.
Approximately how many artists are listed on the website?
Hundreds. I don't have an exact
count, but there's a lot. There's probably a ton of local bands that aren't on
the site yet!
Are there any bands or artists that were "noticed" on NHTunes.com that went on
to achieve a level of prominence in the music industry?
I don't know about 'noticed', but
NHTunes.com has its share of success stories. I have a collection of great memos
from musicians who have found band mates, gotten gigs, etc., thanks to the
website. It's great receiving those types of e-mails. After all, that's what
it's all about; helping to keep local bands busy, and giving them a
communication medium. Being a musician for a living isn't easy... hopefully
we're helping out, if just a bit.
What are your future plans for the website?
I think some of the success of
NHTunes.com lies in its simplicity. The site has, for the most part, remained
unchanged (except for some great suggestions from local musicians). No sleek
opening videos... no fancy pop-up menus...no advertising on the homepage... none
of that. Nothing frustrates me more than a website with every new feature in the
world that runs at a snail's pace. And the banner ad's….what are we doing here?
This isn't a site that sells credit
cards... it's a local musicians resource, and it's my plan to keep it that way.
That being said, I'd like to add a couple of features that would help visitors
looking for bands. Things like being able to search for a band based on music
type, location, etc., would be great. But the changes aren't always easy to
make, especially for a musician. But we'll get there.
Another thing I'm considering is a
local web radio station. That would be a great opportunity to showcase local
music. There are some great local acts out there that need to be heard. I'd love
some feedback from local musicians on that idea.
As far as NHTunes (not NHTunes.com),
we're currently operating a mobile recording business that we're working towards
moving to an in-house installation. It's a very exciting project. We should be
up in about a year or so. In the meantime, if anyone is looking for a live
recording, I'd encourage them to visit NHTunes.com and see what we have to
Are there any specific messages you'd like to pass on to bands and artists
The message I'd like to pass on is
that they should take advantage of the site by visiting and using the forum to
update the local community on anything at all that's going on with their band,
by submitting their gigs, and by submitting their MP3's if and when they change.
They should also direct their fans
to NHTunes.com if they're looking for local music on a night out. The more
people that are visiting the site, the more it helps everyone.
Again, the site is designed to be a
resource for local musicians. So, use it to its full potential. Of course, keep
the suggestions coming in. They help to make the site both friendlier for
visitors and more beneficial for musicians.