Things appear to be “all about the music” these days with Asheville photographer David Simchock. No sooner has he been awarded top honors for concert photography for the second year running in the Independent Music Awards, and he breaks the news that he has launched his own on-line music magazine, Front Row Focus (www.FrontRowFocus.com). If that wasn’t enough, since going live with his new endeavor, Simchock has also been invited by AshevilleGrit.com (WNC Magazine) to be a contributing blogger covering the Asheville music scene. It looks like the man behind the camera, and behind the pen, is on a mission, and is certainly on to something special with his latest ambitions.
Asheville, Front Row Focus provides
world-class music imagery complemented by colorful commentary of the region’s
vibrant and diverse music scene. Front Row
Focus regular features include concert and festival previews and reviews,
CD/album reviews, artist interviews, specialtiy topics and more. The “magazine” is the brainchild of Simchock
and his partner, Beth Baldino, who is an active writer / editor for the
publication. With so much happening in
and around Asheville music-wise, the couple will bring in other contributors as
needed to handle to content workload.
long ago that Front Row Focus was
just a distant idea in the heads of the co-founders. Though David and Beth have been covering live
music events together for other publications for two or three years, it was
only recently that they seriously entertained the idea of publishing their own
Simchock, “Being in such a vibrant music city as Asheville, it has become
easier and easier for me to convince myself that having my own publishing gig
was the most logical way to further my creative career in the music photography
sector, while at the same time Beth and I could do our part in further
elevating the profile of the region’s music scene, and the many artists, venues
and support services that make it what it is today. We are off to a fantastic start, and couldn’t
be happier with the warm welcome that the local music community has given Front Row Focus. The opportunity to extend the Front Row Focus reach by blogging for
AshevilleGrit.com is also a fantastic boost to my musical aspirations. Of course, being able to do all of this with
the collaboration and support of Beth is icing on the cake.
The Front Row Focus website officially went
live in early May, and it is quickly grabbing the attention of music fans and
artists in the area. Event coverage to
date ranges from the LEAF Festival,
to the All Go West Festival, to numerous
concerts at local venues, including the Orange Peel, Isis Restaurant &
Music Hall, the Grey Eagle and The Millroom.
Simchock and Baldino hope to build on their early success, with plans to
cover the Biltmore Concert Series, FloydFest (Virginia), and several
concerts and music events across Western North Carolina (and beyond). Once Front
Row Focus becomes part of the fabric of the region’s music scene, they hope
to attract on-line advertisers, and are exploring other avenues to financially
sustain their efforts.