Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

March 2, 2013

WHO WE ARE: Ignition Music helping make Goshen an entertainment destination

GOSHEN — Hanging on the east wall is a framed poster advertising a long-ago Paul Butterfield Blues Band gig.

New, used and re-issued vinyl LPs are massed in racks. A quick scan of the room yields a used copy of Triumph’s “Rock and Roll Machine,” not far from a used Bobbie Gentry/Glen Campbell release. Across the room, the vaguely imposing, still plastic-wrapped cover of Black Flag’s “My War” draws the eye.

CDs and stereo equipment are on display, too, here inside Ignition Music, 120 E. Washington St., Goshen. It’s a music store, the kind of place where people can get special orders, where the proprietor asks, “What do you want to hear?” For music fans, it feels like home.

This is a place where aficionados gather to shop for, listen to and talk about music. They also come here to watch and hear it performed live.

Ignition founder Steve Martin knows the type of people who make up his clientele. On the late afternoon of Jan. 27, he stood in front of roughly 120 of them.

Ignition Garage — the name a tip-of-the-hat to the building’s past life as an auto repair shop — is the venture’s live music component. Last month, Martin welcomed the people who’d come to experience The Steel Wheels’ blend of tight musicianship and stunning vocal harmonies.

Ignition was nearing its one-year anniversary then. That first year was one in which Ignition became a downtown destination spot, joining the ranks of established live venues that included Constant Spring, Goshen Theater and The Electric Brew.

How did that happen? Credit environment — setting the right vibe, if you will — and creating an ideal experience for both performer and consumer. Also factor in the symbiotic relationship between Ignition and WGCS 91.1 The Globe, the Goshen College radio station.

In keeping with tradition

“I have not been shy at all in saying none of this would have happened if 91.1 The Globe had not changed formats in 2007,” said Martin, still not shy.

That’s when the station shifted to a largely Americana format, and Martin credits The Globe with introducing an audience to artists outside what he termed narrow commercial constraints.

Americana? It’s a big tent. In Martin’s estimation, it’s any music that draws from the traditional American roots music of country, folk, blues, jazz and rhythm and blues. Americana, Martin added, is also populated by musicians who write their own music, in contrast to what he described as “beautiful faces and decent voices that play someone else’s songs.”

In its first year, Ignition’s concert roster included some of Americana’s up-and-comers.

The Spring Standards appeared on NBC’s “Conan” twice before their Ignition show. Will Hoge is the co-writer of “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” a country chart-topper for the Eli Young Band. Marc Scibilia’s single “How Bad We Need Each Other” was featured on the TV show “Bones” last year.

They’re artists who have been part of Ignition’s lift-off. And artists, Martin feels, have gotten the short shrift in discussions about the music industry, streaming, and the collapse of the record label and commercial radio system.

“The person who gets left out of that equation is the artist,” he said. “Because the assumption is, there are going to be so many artists desperate to become famous that the cream will rise to the top and the best artists will magically win the commercial version of ‘American Idol.’ And the reality is that’s not true.

“Because the changes in the industry, particularly in radio, have made it almost impossible for these acts to get heard. The collapse of retail has hurt them especially in a bitter way because they have no retail distribution channel. And digital hasn’t come close to making up the gap.”

Martin recalled attending an American Music Association festival and seeing “one of the finest singer/songwriter/guitarists in North America wearing the same clothes for three days because he was sleeping in his van.”

“It just said to me, there’s got to be a different way,” he said.

Martin said The Globe has always done its part to introduce those artists to the station audience. Jason Samuel is the WGCS station manager. He thought there should be a different way, too.

A new direction

Around the time of WGCS’ re-vamping, Samuel knew that people his age (currently early 40s) made up the largest listening demographic leaving radio behind. He wanted the kind of station that would bring them back. Enter The Globe.

WGCS is half of a two-fer musicians get when they pull into town for an Ignition gig: A station playing their music. Ignition is the performance venue and retail outlet.

In Samuel’s view, there’s also such a thing as taking care of the artists.

“We understand that this is what they do for a living, and they’re doing this professionally, so we want to treat them as professionals,” he said. “We look at them like rock stars.”

Martin believes that bands have a good experience when they come to Ignition because they are treated that way and they have an audience that’s listening.

“That translates into a better show,” he said. “The audience has a better experience. They can see the band. They can hear it through a great sound system. That leads to merchandise sales afterwards.”

Balancing acts

When booking Ignition performers, discretion comes into play.

“If we just said yes to everybody (artists), we’d have to shut this place down,” Samuel said. “Because you’d lose money. It’s a dance, OK? A balance.

“At this level, when Steve’s on the phone with somebody or I’m talking to somebody down in Nashville or New York or LA or wherever we’re talking to people, we have to choose people that A.) aren’t so big that they will dump us for a bigger room to make more money, B.) fit in our schedule, C.) that we can actually have the time to introduce and educate our audience. And that audience is either people who have already been here, or people that come here for the retail experience, or people that we can reach through The Globe.”

A certain weight, too, rests on quality performances by the artists.

“The shows have to be excellent,” Samuel said. “...It has to be awesome or you might as well put a bullet in this building.”

Martin agrees.

“We were very careful about that that first year, so that the experience was consistent,” Martin said. “So we could get away from this, ‘Well, I’ve never heard of that band.’ Well, of course you haven’t heard of that band. If you’ve heard of that band, they’re not going to be playing a 120-seat room in Goshen, Indiana.”

Sense of community

Both Martin and Samuel are Goshen College graduates who hail from elsewhere — Martin from Orrville, Ohio, and Samuel from Philadelphia. They’re undertaking a musical experiment in Goshen together and Martin said he wouldn’t have done it anywhere else.

There’s a community of “cultural creatives” in the Goshen area, according to Martin. They are people who are into art, are pro-environment and health and who respond to quality of life issues.

“They know what they like, and they try to support what they like,” Martin said of his clientele. “My sense is there’s more appreciation for and support of the arts in Goshen than anywhere else.”

Samuel touted the sense of community in Goshen.

“People value the relational aspect of living here,” he said. “On Saturdays, you can stop in here and see people you know, or go to Better World Books or the art gallery or over to the Farmers’ Market or over to The Electric Brew or go down to Maple City Market or up to Gutierrez bakery, or across the street to get a bite to eat...

“Goshen, in a big way, takes care of its own,” Samuel said. “And I’m happy to be able to contribute to my own quality of life.”

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • CORRECTION: Outdoor worship, barbecue at Goshen Christian Reformed Church not happening It was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's edition — the Briefly column on A3 — that Goshen Christian Reformed Church was to have an outdoor worship service and barbecue Thursday through Saturday. The event was submitted by a church with the same nam

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police cars hit during multi-county chase According to Middlebury police, officer Gary Smith attempted to locate a silver Saturn leaving McDonald’s on Ind. 13, near U.S. 20 in Middlebury at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 hospital network hacked.jpg Kosciusko Community, Lutheran hospital among 206 hacked

    WARSAW — Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals including Kosciusko Community Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, announced Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry Indicted [GOSHEN NEWS] Texas' Gov. Perry indicted AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rail work to close U.S. 33 Sunday, Monday

    The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 33 at Ninth Street, is scheduled to close the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17 as Norfolk Southern rebuilds its railroad crossing. 

    August 13, 2014

  • Obit Robin Williams_Selm.jpg Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians-12 [GOSHEN NEWS] Israel accepts Egypt's Gaza cease-fire proposal CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group on Sunday accepted a renewed Egyptian cease-fire proposal, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce meant to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq [GOSHEN NEWS] US officials: New round of airstrikes near Irbil NEW DELHI — American officials say the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets near Irbil on Friday, using drones and fighter jets. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millersburg under boil order

    August 5, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results