Don’t get caught in a pickle! Baseballers use data to win, so your law firm should use it to edge out your competitors. Jared Correia opens the show with boring baseball talk—sports, numbers, blah, blah, blah—but, don’t worry, there’s a great tie-in for your practice. Key takeaway: Use data analytics, no matter what! (1:53) Next up to bat, Jay Harrington joins Jared to talk through the concept of thought leadership and how you can use it to generate new business for your firm. (9:20) And, finally, Jared welcomes yacht-rock connoisseur Tom Nixon for the Rump Roast to answer the eternal question: Is it yacht, or is it nyacht? (26:48)
Jay Harrington is president of Harrington Communications.
Tom Nixon is a principal and chief strategy officer at Harrington Communications.
Since our conversation this week spanned both content marketing and yacht rock, here’s my official yacht rock playlist – with some help from guest Tom Nixon.
Our theme song is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
This week’s closing song is Sunrise on the Water by Page 99.
Special thanks to our sponsors Scorpion, TimeSolv, Abby Connect and Alert Communications.
The Legal Toolkit
Moneyball Your Law Firm, Thought Leadership For the Win, and the Rump Roast: “Yacht or Nyacht?”
Intro: Welcome back to another episode of the award-winning Legal Toolkit Podcast only on the Legal Talk Network. Twice a month we’re delivering law practice management tips and tricks into your ear holes.
Jared Correia: My name is Jared Correia and because John Tesh was unavailable I’m your host. I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, a business management consulting service for attorneys. Find us online at www.redcave.legal. I’m the CEO of Guinean Software Inc. as well. We build chat bots so law firms can convert more leads. You can find out more about getting in at www.gideon.legal. Before we get rolling I’d like to take a moment to thank my mom for listening to every episode, hI mom. I’d also like to thank our sponsors, they’re the reason you’re listening to the show right now. We would like to thank Alert Communications for sponsoring this podcast, if any law firm is looking for call intake or retainer services available 24/7, 365 just call 866-827-5568. Scorpion is the leading provider of marketing solutions for the legal industry with nearly 20 years of experience serving attorneys. Scorpion can help grow your practice. Learn more at scorpionlegal.com. Abby Connect has delivered premium live receptionist and answering services to lawyers since 2006. You can try them out for free at abbeyconnect.com. TimeSolv is the number one web-based time and billing software for lawyers. Providing solutions since 1999, TimeSolv provides the most comprehensive billing features for law firms big and small, www.timesolv.com.
If you’re a boring old baseball fan like I am, yes I’m old just had a birthday. But if you do love baseball like I do, numbers are a big deal. Ted Williams Boston Red Sox was the last guy to hit 400 and he got all the way up to 406. In fact on the last day of the season, the regular season in 1941, he was playing in a double header and he could have sat out and saved his average he was at like 401. But instead he played the doubleheader went six for eight and raised his average. as always Ted Williams was a badass. Hank Aaron all-time home run leader for a career in the steroid free bracket with 715. Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing single-season home run record in 1961 when he hit appropriately enough 61 home runs but he got slapped with an asterisk because Ruth did it in 154 games and Maris did it in 162. The modern record for lowest single season era is Bob Gibson’s iconic 1.12 in 1968. Though a dude with three fingers got as low as 1.06 in 1906. That’s right, three fingers but I digress. So baseball may seem like an American support from a bygone era. You know like when crowds could actually attend games remember that? But baseball has been at the forefront of the statistical revolution in sports since — I don’t know since there was one.
So in baseball sabermetrics is what they call the study of data analytics and it was named that way by Bill James who was one of the founders of that approach and a really weird dude if you look up his Wikipedia. But Bill James wasn’t the only guy who was an innovator in data analytics and sports. Davey Johnson who would later become the manager of the Mets, I hated Davey Johnson because I Mets beat the Red Sox in the World Series in 1986 when he was managing let’s not bring that up. And before he became a manager and a front office executive he actually wrote a (00:04:03) program while he was still playing to convince his manager who was Earl Weaver the (00:04:09) best second in the Orioles lineup. Earl Weaver was not convinced and as Earl Weaver was want to do he probably just swore a lot about it. Most famously however we’ve got Billy Bean of the Oakland A’s who focused on marketing inefficiencies or I should say market inefficiencies in order to target players who put up stats in categories that were helpful but undervalued. This approach was made famous by the book and movie which you may have seen or read Moneyball in that you see Billy Bean pining after Kevin Youkilis who played for the Red Sox he named him the Greek God of Walks. On base percentage which means you get on base as a player by any means was a highly sought after metric in the ace town acquisition model. So perhaps not surprisingly because teams have had success with this for years the trend for data analytics improvement continues in baseball and teams keep finding new market inefficiencies.
This year the Tampa Bay Rays made the World Series was one of the bottom most payrolls in baseball by targeting certain player traits. And it’s not just baseball other sports executives use data to change the game too even if it’s not always an improvement.
The NBA for example has become a league where teams just jack up three pointers all game long because it took teams almost 40 years to figure out that three points is more than two points and the more threes you shoot there’s an advantage a mathematical advantage for taking long range shots. Did you know that there’s even an annual sports data analytics conference that’s held at MIT in Boston every year. It’s called the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Of course sports aren’t the only industry that lean on data analytics, plenty of industries do and even Billy Bean is moving on to an investment role but guess what industry doesn’t use data analytics? Well you probably already know the legal industry, shocker, right.
Legal is such a competitive field and has been for some time that solo and small firms should absolutely be using data to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace yet they don’t, you don’t see innovation in this space for whatever reason. There aren’t any legal data analytics conferences and I wonder when attorneys will start to focus on data and data analytics so that they can start making more data-based decisions about their businesses. Could it be in the 2040s, when the sun burns out and everyone is living on Jupiter, somewhere in between there, right? I think the reason for the reluctance of attorneys to actually use data in their practices in addition to the fact that law firms are generally behind the curve on just about everything is that concept of data seems overwhelming, right because I think what most people think of business data they’re thinking of big data quote-unquote, if I quote Google and Facebook have to deal with. But in case you didn’t already know, your law firm is decidedly not Google or Facebook or Myspace or even Netscape Navigator, okay I’ll stop. While law firms could access big data which really means generalized, anonymized data about law firm clients and processes, that data is not effectively organized across the industry and so it’s not widely available. However, that doesn’t stop your law firm from using small data, I mean think about it, you’ve got a corpus of information in your law firm through which you can measure your clients and your staff and the activity of those two groups. Even if you start with basic financial data like which law firms are motivated to track effectively right because if you want to get paid you want to track your financial information, if they use that to make the terms about value and efficiency that’s a big win so through the simplest action of applying KPIs and generating reports you’d have a better sense of your profitability and your effectiveness. So start there and increase your competitive advantage marginally as you move forward. This is about winning on the margins and you can worry about big data later like when I have eight webbed fingers on my left hand. Now let’s take a moment to listen to a word from our sponsors and we’ll be right back.
Jared Correia: Now more than ever an effective marketing strategy is one of the most important things your law firm can have and Scorpion can help with nearly 20 years of experience serving the legal industry, Scorpion has proven methods to help you get the high value cases you deserve. Join thousands of attorneys across the country have turned to Scorpion for effective marketing and technology solutions, for a better way to grow your practice visit scorpionlegal.com. Your legal work requires your full attention so how can you build lasting relationships with new or existing clients while juggling your caseload? Try Abby Connect, the friendly highly trained and motivated live receptionists who are well known for providing consistent quality customer service and support to law firms just like yours. Every connection matters so call Abby connect today at 833-Abby-Wow to get started with your free 14-day trial and 95 dollars off your first bill. Okay it’s about time to get to the crunchy sun butter in the middle of the sandwich. Fun fact I actually hate sun butter, but I’m allergic to peanut butter. But not allergic to peanut butter in a way that is helpful, I became allergic to peanut butter 25 so I know how great it tastes and I have to eat sun butter, all right that’s my digression.
Let’s interview our guest my guest today is Jay Harrington who’s the principal of Harrington Communications, Jay, thank you for joining us how are you today?
Jay Harrington: Jared it’s good to be here, thank you for having me in. I kind of want to hear more about the peanut butter sun butter.
Jared Correia: It’s awful man like have you ever had sun butter?
Jay Harrington: I’ve never had it never heard of it actually.
Jared Correia: Sunflower butter, so I’m allergic to nuts, I can’t have nuts, I can only have seeds and people are like, oh it’s similar but it’s not it has like a horrible aftertaste and if you’ve been allergic to nuts your whole life it doesn’t matter but I used to be able to eat peanut butter sandwiches and I can’t anymore and it’s devastating so.
Jay Harrington: Yeah I feel for you.
Jared Correia: I live a sad life. In any event, thank you for coming back. This is like time number three on the show for you.
Jay Harrington: Yeah I know, is that the hall of fame number you have to reach to get in the —
Jared Correia: You are like the Steve Martin of Saturday Night Live for the legal toolkit which I don’t know what that gets you but that’s what you are.
Jay Harrington: Yeah that’s good enough to be here right there. We can end the show right now.
Jared Correia: Yeah, we’re done. Yeah, you guys are lucky enough to watch me download software before we record this podcast, good times. But before we lose everyone’s attention, can you tell people what you do?
Jay Harrington: Sure so a few different things so I am a lawyer, I no longer practice but about a decade ago or a little more I started with my wife, a marketing agency and we serve primarily law firms other firms and professional services as well but we handle various aspects of marketing, website design, branding, we do PR and we specialize in what we call thought leadership marketing, so helping law firms and lawyers turn their expertise into new business and in addition to that I do individual business coaching I do training for groups of lawyers and I’ve also write quite a bit, I’ve written a few books and do a lot of writing and various platforms.
Jared Correia: Yeah you’re a beast, you write a lot, and do — is it Harrington Communications, do I have the name right?
Jay Harrington: It is yeah, we just — over the last decade it’s just sort of become Harrington you know, as shorthand but it is Harrington Communications.
Jared Correia: Okay good, I want to be formal and correct about this.
Jay Harrington: Thank you.
Jared Correia: So I want to talk to you about all that stuff because yeah, you’re everywhere. You write a lot, it’s impressive, I think I write a lot I bet you write more than me. So this notion of like thought leadership, right, and you’ve got something going called The Thought Leadership Project too right, you hear that thrown around a lot it’s kind of like business terminology that people use and it’s like what is thought leadership? Does it mean like you have more profound thoughts than everyone else? You like Rene Descartes? Do you have a bigger brain? What does that have to do with business thought leadership?
Jay Harrington: Yeah well, I think it’s basically — especially if we contextualize this for the legal industry, what we’re talking about you know general counsel, buyers of legal services, they’ve told lawyers over and over but what they really want and what they really have are not necessarily legal problems but business problems. And so you know, through your content creation and that’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about creating thought leadership you can essentially kind of look out into the future and chart a course for others to follow. So the idea being through the content you create you’re helping your clients and prospective clients really see what they need to be thinking about in the future. The risks, the opportunities, the things that they need to be thinking about to take their business to the next level and you know I think most lawyers are capable of taking what they know and translating that into thought leadership. The key is how do you actually do that, what platforms do you use can you do so in a way that connects and resonates with an audience? Are you consistent enough to you know, be visible to the people you’re trying to reach and you know essentially, does your — can you take your ideas and transform them into thoughts and content that resonates with the audience such that when they face an opportunity related to an issue that you as the thought leader address then they naturally think of you as a potential firm or individual who can help them to address that problem or opportunity.
Jared Correia: Yeah I like this notion of like you’re the captain of a ship right and you’re a sailor, we’ve got to hold that thought everybody who’s listening, we’re going to talk a little bit more about sailing in the next segment, that’s the tease for you.
So I think one of the things I find that’s interesting about lawyers is like you talk to them about doing this kind of thought leadership stuff online and they’re like, oh man that’s so different from what I normally do but functionally it’s very similar to what lawyers are doing at cocktail parties when we used to be able to have those like 10 years ago and events where you were talking to people and like kind of discussing like here’s what I do, I’m good at this, these are the kind of cases I work on, it’s not that different from what lawyers do already, it’s just a different media, right?
Jay Harrington: Yeah I agree with that and I think that that that mindset that you identified — I mean part of it’s I definitely run into lawyers who resist the idea of creating content like this —
Jared Correia: Oh yeah.
Jay Harrington: They’re afraid of you know giving away the secret sauce so to speak, so they hold back right? Their content if they do create it it’s not particularly effective because they’re sort of holding back from sharing their best ideas and the way I try to talk to them about it is, well if you were sitting down to lunch with a prospective client and they were talking to you about the challenges they’re facing.
You likely wouldn’t hold back you know the answer and say, oh well I’ll tell you what needs to happen once you hire me, it’s just not how it works, right, they wouldn’t have confidence, and I mean unless you’re the most renowned expert in your space you know that they might have the leverage to do that. But the same principle applies, all you’re doing in the case of creating thought leadership content is having asynchronous communication with the world really, I mean you’re sharing your ideas into a broader marketplace which allows you to meet more people and have those conversations that can lead to a business development conversation later.
Jared Correia: Right, right and that’s a good way to think about it too I think is like having lunch with somebody like you’re not going to get up from the table and be like here’s a contract I’ll talk to you later.
Jay Harrington: Right, right, yeah it’s exactly it’s not some negotiation or whatever, it’s a free exchange of ideas at least it should be if you’re hoping to develop a business and that’s the way you need to think about it you know from a content creation perspective as well.
Jared Correia: And how do you get lawyers to get over the hump of like doing that content themselves like I agree some of it is like we don’t want to give away the secret sauce but the other of it is like I talk to lawyers and they’re like, huh I don’t want to write, can I farm that out to somebody? There’s so much more authentic and it resonates so much better if like you the attorney, do it. So attorneys are super busy how do you get them to build the content in the first place?
Jay Harrington: Well, you know I guess it’s a mindset shift that — well here’s the first thing, I mean one would be it’s increasingly important to do this sort of marketing because as you mentioned Jared like you can’t do cocktails parties, anymore this is the way that people are communicating their ideas into the world and if you’re not visible, if you’re not creating that digital footprint, then you’re going to be sort of toiling in obscurity, you know, it’s the way in which we are communicating in this environment and it will increasingly be so in the future I mean even before the pandemic, there’s research by Gartner which found that when it comes to buyers of sophisticated professional services like legal services, buyers are making it almost 60% of the way through the buying process before they’re ever reaching out to an individual service provider, which means that they’re doing their due diligence, they’re vetting and winnowing down their options online and you know one of the few signals among all the noise online is real viable and impressive thought leadership. And so that’s the kind of thing that is allowing people to find you know lawyers and other service providers is the thought leadership. So the mindset shift is you know this needs to be my most important priority, if I’m looking to build a practice well then you know, it doesn’t have to be creating thought leadership content but I would argue that it’s increasingly important to do so. And so if you’re looking to build a practice, you need to devote at least some time to these things every day. One of the ways — I guess I’ll give a practical tip that helps some lawyers get over the hump is, because they do often times have a hard time digging into like a 1,500 word article that they’ve got to write.
Jared Correia: Right.
Jay Harrington: So instead make it easy on yourself like start writing on LinkedIn for example, start writing posts a few times a week on LinkedIn where you know it’s 1,300 characters, 200 words that is much more manageable where you’re sharing ideas you know through posts on LinkedIn. And then the beauty of that is A, you have a baked in audience to consume that content and you’re getting instantaneous feedback as to what ideas might be worth expanding upon on in a thought leadership article. So you know you write three posts a week you’re writing them related to topics that pertain to your practice and your expertise and then two of them might just go over like lead balloons but one might really get a lot of feedback and engagement from your audience. And then you might take that idea and expand upon it in a longer form article. So do some beta testing essentially, don’t dive right in without any sense of whether an idea is resonant. Do some testing on LinkedIn first.
Jared Correia: Yeah let me talk about that a little bit, what I’ve noticed which is interesting because I watch you Jay Harrington from the bushes outside your house, no just kidding, from LinkedIn, I’ve noticed that you’ve been posting a lot of more long-form content on LinkedIn and the reason it’s interesting to me is I’ve started to do the same thing because I found that that gets more views than shorter form content so it seems like this is a nice mechanism to use if you’re an attorney who’s not willing or necessarily able at this point to write the longer form content, just to write longer form content on social media services as those character limits allow. Have you done that intentionally and when did you start to see that as a viable mechanism for content marketing?
Jay Harrington: Yeah I’ve always posted on LinkedIn but I you know I used to have the mindset that social media was a place to primarily share content that I’ve written elsewhere right, I read a blog post on my website I then include a link to that post on LinkedIn and I share that.
A couple months ago maybe three months ago I’ve started as you mentioned Jared posting a lot more directly on LinkedIn, so you know there’s the post field, you write in that, that’s where you have 1,300 characters which translates into about 200 words so it’s not really long form but it’s certainly longer than like twitter.
Jared Correia: Social media yeah.
Jay Harrington: It is, it is so yeah and that has really been impactful and you know just as from a results standpoint I definitely have gotten way more engagement, ton more inbound connections, and actually you know a fair amount of new business just from that — just from doing that because again it goes back to this idea that if you’re writing all of your thought leadership content on your website and your website alone well you know, you might be visible in Google search, there might be a certain number of people who have signed up for your email newsletter, there might be people that just simply visit your site periodically and will read your content but you know that’s a probably a pretty small audience relative to what you can cultivate on LinkedIn you know, where you’re creating content and sharing it, you might have thousands of followers and connections on LinkedIn and by doing this practice of creating more content and being more visible on the platform, you’ll continue to grow your audience much more in a more exponential manner as well. There’s two primary things that I see as major benefits, one is you have the ability to kind of cultivate responses that indicate whether you’re on to a good idea with your with your shorter form content to be able to spin that into longer form content written elsewhere. And then also just the practice of writing, say a daily post on LinkedIn, it might take 20 or 30 minutes that’s nothing but it’s not as much time as it takes to write a longer article. But the constraints that LinkedIn imposes where you have to get a good idea across in 200 words, it’s really good writing practice as well so and thinking practice frankly so it really keeps me thinking about the issues that matter to my audience and I think lawyers can do that as well.
Jared Correia: Yeah so speaking of real long form content right, you’ve written more books than Dr. Seuss I think. It’s amazing to me, what is your latest?
Jay Harrington: So I published a book in July called The Productivity Pivot, and it is a book for lawyers, I’ve written all my books for lawyers and this one is a little different it’s really for lawyers at any level of experience but the book is focused on an issue that I kept bumping up against in my coaching practice where you know in coaching you start, you work with a client, you start by kind of casting a vision, helping them set goals and creating a plan for moving forward, you know and most of my coaching is centered around business development and you know that’s where you run into this roadblock sometimes with clients which is okay, you’ve got your plan in place, now it’s time to go, it’s time to start taking action. And then you get the response well I don’t possibly have the time to do all that. So this book was really meant to help address that issue which is you know you need to make business development a priority and it doesn’t need to take all of your time but it needs to take at least some of your time and I suggest it takes some time every day. So the books the kind of the core principle of the book is taken from an anecdote from Charlie Munger you know, Warren Buffett’s business partner Berkshire Hathaway who’s also a lawyer and when he was a young lawyer he kind of came upon the realization that he was spending all of his time billing hours for clients, right, and he realized that if he was ever really going to get ahead in the way he wanted to, he needed to start prioritizing himself as his own most important client as he put it and starting to sell himself one hour of his time each day to work on things like business development, other projects that were more for him as opposed to giving away all his best time for his clients. That’s certainly important but the way he did it was you know, I can spend at least 10% of my time working for myself. So I’m working sort of on my practice on my goals and objectives and not just my clients. And so that’s a core principle that I address in the book which is that it’s not easy but if you buy into the idea that over the long term of your career, building a practice is the thing that’s going to bring you more autonomy more, financial rewards, more success and more happiness in the sense that you’re always going to be beholden to clients to a certain extent but it’s you know, it compounds things when you’re beholden to clients and your colleagues at your firm who have business. So building that practice for yourself is what’s going to allow you to have a longer satisfying career than if you don’t put that work in.
Jared Correia: All right everybody pick up The Productivity Pivot, it’s a good holiday stocking stuffer I would say. Jay, this was tremendous, thanks for coming on today, I appreciate you taking the time.
Jay Harrington: Jared much appreciated as always and I look forward to number four.
Jared Correia: Number four, yeah two years from now we’ll hit that up so you got the Thought Leadership Project, you got Harrington Communications, you got the books, if somebody wants to reach out to you how can they do that?
Jay Harrington: I’d say visit our website which is hcommunications.biz, you’ll find everything there and then connect with me on LinkedIn as we’ve talked about, I’m active on LinkedIn, I love to engage with people on that platform. So you can find me there and I’d love to connect.
Jared Correia: All right thanks again that’s Jay Harrington from Harrington Communications. We’ll take one final sponsor break, so you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice then stay tuned for the rump roast it’s even more supple than the roast beast.
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Jared Correia: All right everybody welcome back, we’re here again at the rear end of the legal toolkit, the rump roast. It’s a grab bag of short form topics of my choosing and today we’re going to bring in a new guest Tom Nixon. Tom welcome, how are you?
Tom Nixon: I’m great Jared thanks for having me on even though I am at the rump end here.
Jared Correia: A little nervous or no? Nothing to be nervous about.
Tom Nixon: It feels like familiar territory to be honest.
Jared Correia: And you work with Jay, right?
Tom Nixon: I do I’m his business partner I’ve known Jay for I don’t know 15 years or so now.
Jared Correia: Cool and what do you do over at Harrington Communications.
Tom Nixon: Similar to what you discussed in the last segment with Jay. I share clients and we’re working with them on thought leadership initiatives. Most of my clients are outside of the legal realm at this point but I do have some law firm and attorney clients as well.
Jared Correia: Got you. And so when does it become Harrington Nixon Communications come on.
Tom Nixon: Well that happened I think it’s going to be Nixon Harrington but.
Jared Correia: Well played, always ask for more.
Tom Nixon: Or even Nixon and Associates might sound good.
Jared Correia: All right, right the Nixon Group, all right, all right, we’ll work on that. So we just talked about content marketing, thought leadership, stuff that you guys talk about on your thought leadership podcast but I want to take a little time to talk about a prurient interest of your own which is Yacht Rock, is it fair to say that you love Yacht Rock?
Tom Nixon: No I adore Yacht Rocking I have an unhealthy obsession, honestly.
Jared Correia: You even have a Yacht Rock podcast, right?
Tom Nixon: I do, yeah, I went out looking for a podcast to discuss Yacht Rock and couldn’t find one that was active so I created one with my brother.
Jared Correia: Oh you have that show with your brother that’s cool, now what’s your brother’s interest in Yacht Rock?
Tom Nixon: Well he’s a professional musician by trade, he’s an audio engineer to earn a living and he grew up in the (00:28:41) so he’s a little older than I am and he has a Yacht Rock project of his own called Page 99.
Jared Correia: Oh really?
Tom Nixon: Yeah.
Jared Correia: Is that a band what he doing?
Tom Nixon: it sure is Yep.
Jared Correia: And what’s the name of the podcast?
Tom Nixon: The Yacht Rock Podcast, some titled —
Jared Correia: Not a lot of competition out there right.
Tom Nixon: We want it to be discovered so we did get yachtrockpodcast.com and we are parenthetically titled Out Of The Main because our mission is to find new Yacht Rock or kind of treasures —
Jared Correia: Oh nice, nice.
Tom Nixon: Yeah, that are out of the mainstream.
Jared Correia: All right so since you’re on the rump roast, which is actually maybe the best part of the show, right? We’re going to do something a little bit different, you may agree with this, you may not I find that Yacht Rock is a controversial subject in some cases because there’s no clear definition of what it is right? And I found that people have strong opinions on this do you agree?
Tom Nixon: Oh my gosh yes, I mean if you go — you know there’s a whole Yacht Rock community out there probably most prevalently in Facebook but they spend their days battling wars over is this song a Yacht Rock or not and the founder of the — the concept of Yacht Rock came up with this concept of Nyat which is a song that is clearly not Yacht and so again, you can see these battles which waged daily, so yeah to say that they’re opinionated is an understatement.
Jared Correia: See I knew you would be great for this segment, all right, who’s the founder of Yacht Rock, I have no idea who that is.
Tom Nixon: So I sometimes refer to him as the prophet, this is a guy by the name of JD Ryznar.
Jared Correia: Elrond Habrick(ph) no, go ahead.
Tom Nixon: JD Ryznar is a guy who I think around 2005 created this web series, you can find at yachtrock.com and it was sort of a spoof of what he thought yuppies in their 80s would listen to on their yachts and sort of stumbled upon this retroactively applied genre called Yacht Rock which are artists that in the day probably would have been played on like the light rock formats in late 70s.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I think you’d make a good point that there was not like a Yacht Rock genre in the 80s, like people were not intentionally creating Yacht Rock.
Tom Nixon: No exactly and even some of the artists that are still around today going back to your controversial thing is that there are artists today that would eschew the term they feel like because it started as a somewhat as a joke that they are the butt of the joke when really I mean, like my brother and I —
Jared Correia: Or the rant of the joke, one might say, go ahead.
Tom Nixon: Right, and say, I’m sure there’s some of that but I would say the thousands of adoring fans like myself and my brother who started our podcast really have a true appreciation for the musicianship, the production quality in the artistry that went into the late 70s and early 80s, what is otherwise known as the West Coast Cool Sound. So this is what was happening in LA at the time and no it wasn’t called Yacht Rock but you know there are some markers of what of Yacht Rock is it truly is excellent music. So it’s not a joke to us and like I said it’s probably an unhealthy obsession.
Jared Correia: All right we like to play some games here with our guests, so I want to go through some artists and I want you to tell me whether or not you think they’re Yacht Rockers or not and if they are we’ll give them the Michael McDonald Stamp of Approval.
Tom Nixon: Ooh excellent.
Jared Correia: So I’m going to start slow Hall & Oates, Yacht Rock Hall of Fame?
Tom Nixon: Probably technically not though, I do include a small slice of their catalog, yes.
Jared Correia: What would be a Hall & Oates song that is like a Yacht Rock song?
Tom Nixon: Sara Smiles.
Jared Correia: Okay, next Loggins and Messina.
Tom Nixon: Probably only but it’s like guilt by association because Kenny Loggins, a portion of his career is considered like the holy text of Yacht Rock, so we include some of the earlier stuff with Messina as part of the Yacht Rock.
Jared Correia: Messina is more of a country rock guy, having been in Buffalo Springfield, so what part what part of the Kenny Loggins catalog is like the Torah of Yacht Rock.
Tom Nixon: So probably you know, the songs This Is It, and Heart to Heart, those are two you know, they kind of have that and that is when he was collaborating by the way with Michael McDonald, so the influence he — Michael McDonald took Kenny kind of out of that folk sound into the more blue eyed soul sound that he eventually took the Doobie Brothers into as well.
Jared Correia: All right Gerry Rafferty.
Tom Nixon: That is controversial, go into the group, because Baker Street —
Jared Correia: Baker Street was very Yacht Rock.
Tom Nixon: Yeah but the purists would say no. So as I got indoctrinated into Yacht Rock, I followed you know, the Sirius XM Channel and that’s song’s in the heavy rotation.
Jared Correia: Oh yeah.
Tom Nixon: But purists will say you know, you’re supposed to have a certain personnel lineup, it’s supposed to have a certain kind of rhythmic to it or cadence and that song doesn’t have those things but I’m not a purist, I’m just a unhealthily obsessed fan.
Jared Correia: All right because you look at the rest of Gerry Rafferty’s catalog and the sound is much different, that song is like an outlier.
Tom Nixon: It is you’re correct.
Jared Correia: All right this one I think is maybe controversial as well but you can tell me being the expert Jimmy Buffett.
Tom Nixon: Definitely not. He is in an adjacent genre that the founder of Yacht Rock invented, I think he coined it but Marina Rock, which is a delicious play on words if you’re familiar with the concept of Marina Rock. So Marina Rock more like boat music which is what Jimmy Buffett is it’s kind of party, be outside. Yacht Rock isn’t necessarily that you know, I mentioned Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald none of that has a nautical theme, it just happens to be again what JD Ryznar envisioned yuppie would be listening to on his yacht in the around 1980 or so.
Jared Correia: Although his songs like southern cross from Crosby, Stills and Nash, it’s like very Yacht Rock sounding but not a themes there as well.
Tom Nixon: Summer breeze is another one but —
Jared Correia: Right, Seals and Crofts.
Tom Nixon: There’s some of that that does creep in, but people for whatever reason tend to draw the line at Jimmy Buffett and they draw a hard line.
Jared Correia: But this is good, I set you up perfectly last one, N.W.A. is that hard now?
Tom Nixon: Yeah that’s probably a hard, no. Yeah, especially the later years.
Jared Correia: (00:34:45) might have something to say about that, Tom, you’re great, thank you for coming on. So this discussion exceeded my wildest expectations.
Tom Nixon: Oh they must have been low but I appreciate that.
Jared Correia: All right can you tell folks how to find your Yacht Rock podcast again?
Tom Nixon: Sure yeah, the best place to go is just go yachtrockpodcast.com but we’re pretty active on Facebook, you can find the podcast anywhere that you know, you listen to podcasts Apple, Google, Stitcher, Overcast et cetera, so give us a listen.
Jared Correia: Check it out, check out Tom’s work at Harrington Communications as well and that’ll do it for another episode of Legal Toolkit Podcast, where the volume knob on the stereo of the HMY Britannia is always turned up to 11.