REO Speedwagon has spent the last couple of weeks promoting its new album, “Find Your Own Way Home,” by doing radio appearances, singing the national anthem at a couple of ballparks and by playing free shows and meeting fans at a few Wal-Mart stores across the Midwest.
Part of me wants to cringe. REO is playing at Wal-Mart?
Then reality sets in. How else is REO going to get its Midwestern rock and power ballads heard today? Certainly not going to make the playlists at too many stations, even those playing the classic REO stuff.
Might as well go out and meet the faithful in the Midwest, where they started out in the ’70s, and where their popularity remains strong.
Might as well try the Web, like all the indie bands that don’t get airplay.
So good for them.
You can check out the new stuff at REO’s MySpace page, where they’re also blogging about the promo tour. Interesting that the song that’s gotten the most downloads, “Smilin’ In The End,” rocks the hardest of the four samples. REO has long been one of those bands you love or you don’t — something I learned with my last post on REO — so you be the judge.
Back in 1972, Kevin Cronin wrote this song about the life of a musician. It holds up pretty well, especially considering REO’s marketing strategy.
“Can’t ya see I’ll always be a music man?”