Indy’s Knights in Shining Armors
A few Shine Indy members, Benjamin Cannon, Jamie Jackson and Ryan Gibbons, took an hour out of their schedules to have a nice lunch with me at the Castleton Grill, a local restaurant where they hold acoustic shows on Sundays in the summertime. The staff of this salt of the earth establishment knew the guys by name and greeted them all with friendly, familiar smiles as they took our drink orders.
Shine Indy is an organization made of local musicians helping other local musicians. Shine not only books local artists in venues all across the city, but they also provide recording services on their “free label”, Shine Indy Studios. As a free label, the artists who record with Shine Indy own all the rights to their own music. Shine Indy also helps the artists with album artwork and t-shirt designs.
In the Beginning
Shine Indy, however very well known for their acoustic shows at the Castleton Grill, actually started just down the road, at the popular Ale Emporium bar and grill. Cannon began hosting shows of multiple genres at the Emporium every Thursday back in May of 2008, as a street team member of To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit origination that provides help to individuals with depression and mental illness. All proceeds from these shows went to the organization.
From this point forward, Shine continued developing into the ever-growing, multifaceted organization that it is today.
Working Toward the Top
Since Shine Indy started, they have organized and hosted hundreds of shows around town. One of their biggest events, Indy’s Release Fest, which happened at the Vogue Theatre last year, featured three local, original acts, all releasing their albums on the same night.
The Vogue was very impressed by the amount of people who showed up for the event, and the venue is looking forward to having another release fest this year.
Shine Indy wants to make the shows they put together actual events for fans and musicians as opposed to booking bands just to book them.
Shine Indy Studios
The studio channel of Shine Indy is run predominately by Ryan Gibbons. After turning his hardwood floor living room into a studio for smaller, acoustic artists to perform, he caught the ear of Ryan Adkins of Azmyth Recording Studios.
Adkins opened his studio up for Shine Indy to record their larger projects, such as full bands. They’re currently working on the highly anticipated No Pit Cherrys album in the studio.
“I’m really excited for this project to be released!” Gibbons says. “I know a lot of people have been looking forward to it, and the Cherrys nail it every time.”
Shine Indy Studios doesn’t have criteria, per say, for the artists they work with, but they do have expectations of professional reciprocation from these musicians.
“Last year, I did around 15 projects for Shine, and what I started to notice was some people didn’t really take the time invested seriously from our end.,” says Gibbons. “I recorded them and then I never heard another word from them.”
Because of things like this, Shine likes to get to know the artists they work with well enough to know who is serious and who is not.
“Are you investing more into the music scene with what we’re giving you, or is this just going to be for you to hand out to your friends?” Jamie Jackson chimes in.
One way for Shine to get better acquainted with these artists is for the musicians themselves to come out and support other Shine artists.
“We want artists who are interested in working with Shine Indy to attend an event and show us they will support other artists too,” Cannon says. “This is about community and we are only as strong as the support we give to one another. We’ll sit down and talk with them during the event but this has become our first line of defense in filtering out the artists that are serious and dedicated to the ones who are not.”
Shine Indy seeks to help any artist or band that will help them in return.
Creating and Maintaining a Foundation
While Shine doesn’t necessarily have interests in going on tour with a band, they would love to help a band get to the right channels to do these types of things. Their goal is to have as many connections within the city as possible.
“We’re trying to be an educational support system for local musicians. We’re a stepping-stone – we’re a foundation,” says Cannon.
When joining Shine, Jamie Jackson was very intrigued to see what the organization could grow into.
“I told Ben that I see a lot of room for growth in the music scene here,” Jackson says. “We’re truly trying to facilitate an open infrastructure to make it more solid, so we continually introduce people to each other.”
Shine is working to create a platform to help local musicians on the way up.
Part of expanding the organization is creating a hub between local cities.
Starting this year, Shine Indy will begin the Here and There series, which will help both local bands, and the bands in other cities.
“We’re going to do a weekend warrior kind of thing, with local bands,” says Cannon.
On the Friday night, here in Indy, there will be three local bands and two supporting bands from another city. On the Saturday night, two Indy bands will travel to the other band’s city and share the stage with three local bands. This way, the traveling bands get lots of local support.
This exciting event is set to start in October, so make sure to follow Shine Indy on Facebook for updates!
Besides their yearly acoustic sets at the Castleton Grill, Shine Indy will be very busy this year.
- May 7-9th: MojoStock at Sleepy Bear Camp Ground
- May 28th: Joe Firstman, Brett Wiscons, Jeremy Vogt, Zach Smith at Sabbatical
- June 19th: Veseria’s 5 Year Anniversary at Radio Radio
- July 1-3rd: Friends and Family Stage at Fountain Square Music Fest (Featuring MY band, Like Smoke)
- July 4th: IndependenceFest on Georgia Street
- July 10th: Von Strantz Music Video Release TBA
- July 24th: Release Fest 2 at The Vogue
- August 28th: Kammy’s Kause
- September 5th: Traveling Suitcase, Shiny Shiny Black, Veseria at Hi-Fi