I've been a member of the Cat for about 6 years, posting only occasionally when I had something to offer. I've been hesitant to post this blatant self-promo, given my relatively scant participation. However, after seeing the recent thread on the Folk Alliance Awards, I've decided that perhaps there'd be some interest in my upcoming book. Absent a direct question for me on the board, this will be my only Mudcat word on the subject.
The book is called The Never-Ending Revival: Rounder Records and the Folk Alliance. You can read a full description on Amazon, and you can pre-order it there at a considerable discount. (No billing until the book ships.)
The book uses the FA and Rounder, two very different post-sixties institutions, as vehicles to examine the US folk revival scene of the past few decades. While I mention Mudcat briefly, I don't discuss every manifestation of that scene. Instead, I take a thematic approach that explores ongoing intellectual and commercial issues common throughout the folk world.
My title has some fun with the media's periodic announcements that America is in the midst of still another folk revival. In my opinion, interest in folk or vernacular culture is an ongoing theme in American life, and probably elsewhere as well. Nomenclature changes, definitions shift, and marketing adapts to new eras, but for two-hundred years American artists and entrepreneurs have exalted and marketed some idea of the folk. The FA and Rounder are links in that chain.
The book traces the FA's history, beginning with earlier attempts to organize musicians and other revival activists, through the founding Malibu conference, and on to the present day. I take a similar historical approach to Rounder, beginning with the label-founders' 1962 meeting as students, amidst the vibrant Boston-area folk scene. My telling relies, in part, on roughly 75 interviews with musicians and cultural activists--many of whom you know, and some of whom post to the Cat. The Patons are among those who contributed quotes and overall insight (though they can't be held responsible for what I did with their wisdom).
I joined the FA in 1993 and I've attended most international conferences since then. It's frustrating to me that Illinois will not have the book ready by conference time. I hope that it's read and critiqued by this community. I'm certainly eager for press and radio coverage upon publication. If anyone wants to chat, shoot me a personal message. Thanks for reading.