When Tamara and Bob Steiner Purchased the Clayton Pioneer Newspaper back in 2003, Jim Hudak saw an opportunity. "I've always loved to write, and Tamara expanded the newspaper significantly from what it had been," Jim says now. "I thought it might be a good time to approach her about doing a regular monthly column about music." Tamara was receptive. She and Jim agreed that for the Pioneer, which is published every two weeks, a column about music might work. As both an artist and a music businessman, Jim could offer unique perspectives on both sides of the world of music: "making" it and "selling" it. Now, more than three years later, his column is a regular feature in the Pioneer. Jim notes that the paper offers much more to its readers now than in the "pre-Steiner" era. "There are columnists covering subjects including gardening, computer technology, hiking and the outdoors, and much more," says Jim. "It's actually a paper you look forward to getting and reading every two weeks." Tamara and Jim agreed to a "once a month or so" column about music, which she aptly named "Music Notes." "Once a month is about all I can realistically handle," he says. "Besides, I really don't want to be a concert reviewer or go out to the clubs much. I do enough of that with my own performing." Instead, he's offered columns covering songwriting, building a home studio, the trend toward digital downloading of music, the importance of marketing and promotion, and other useful topics for both the musician and the lay person. The column that got the most feedback was one he wrote a little over a year ago, about the "Dueling Pianos From Hell" performance experience he had at a premiere Bay Area Hotel. "It was one of those 'memory of a lifetime' experiences, " he says now. "I got a call to play a dueling pianos gig with a guy I'd never met, and it ended up being one of those horrendous experiences where he just took over. He seemed to forget I was even there," Jim laughs. "But we made it through the evening, I got paid, and it made good fodder for a column." Though the Pioneer doesn't make archived editions of the newspaper available on its website, you can find Jim's columns on-line as they're published in the most recent edition of the newspaper. Go to www.claytonpioneer.com to check it out. In the not too distant future, Jim Hudak will post his columns here on his own website. Until then, his "Music Notes" column continues to give the local residents of Clayton something different to read and think about from the world of music. And it gives him an outlet for his love of the written word.

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Jim Hudak

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