I take your point, Al, but I think it's a tricky balance to strike. I certainly don't want to rush anyone unreasonably, but I do want to try and keep the project moving along a bit. in particular, I wanted to remind people that no one should think a song's been taken off the table just because someone else has already expressed an interest in it.
I have invited contributions on the Mojo and No Depression message boards, and had some people promise to contribute there. There've been no actual recordings from those sources yet, but I hope they will eventually add the odd full-band rock recording or bluegrass treatment to broaden out the mix a bit.
Ultimately, I'd love to find a record label interested enough to arrange a CD compilation of professional musicians adding their own music to the ballads and putting them out as a commercial release. With a bit of luck, that could produce just the sort of happy accident you mention, but it would need a label (or a club or a magazine) to get involved first. I've found a few people who like that idea in principle, but no-one's got any money right now, so it's hard nut to crack.
I could even see this idea eventually producing an album/event along the lines of that Rogue's Gallery compilation Hal Wilmer produced a while ago or the Cecil Sharp Project gigs we saw earlier this year. Without any contacts in the music biz, though, all I can do is put the lyrics out there and try to stir up whatever interest I can on forums like this one. I'm very grateful for all the contributions we get, and some of them have been very good indeed.
There will come a point when I let this go and just hope people will stumble across the lyrics on PlanetSlade from time to time and maybe do something with them if they feel like it. For the moment, though, I want to try and keep the project in people's minds and maintain whatever momentum I can.