Q & A — Bob Desmarais, NHTunes-Meister

Bob Desmarais, NHTunes-Meister


By Bruce Bressack  bbressack@hippopress.com

In today’s everything-and-anything-for-a-buck-world, when’s the last time someone offered you something for nothing?  Spam e-mail doesn’t count!

Short answer, 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, NHTunes.com.

Based in 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.

Q: 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.

Q: 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!

Q: 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.

Q: 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 offer.

Q: Are there any specific messages you'd like to pass on to bands and artists regarding NHTunes.com?

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.

- Bruce Bressack

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