The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84679   Message #1564425
Posted By: Barry Finn
15-Sep-05 - 02:08 PM
Thread Name: Folk Artists - Wise up (or Fade away)!
Subject: RE: Folk Artists - Wise up (or Fade away)!
I get out to a coffee house or concert (festivals, parties & sessions are different situations) maybe 3 or so times a yr. Well I sure as hell don't want to hear some one singing the same thing twice out of my 3 or so chances nor would I want to listen to some one sing from a book. My worst experience was while I was performing at Mystic Seaport. I was so excited to be on a line up with Oddetta (odd for a sea music fest but hey), a hero in my opinion. I hadn't heard her in probably 25/30 yrs anyway. Half way through the performance I left, almost with tears in my eyes. Most of her performance was EXACTTLY the same as in the 60's songs, intros, everything, it was heartbreaking.

Knowing enough songs to perform is more than learning a set quota. They should be songs that that really like, otherwise why "learn" them to start. They should be songs that others would consider worth crossing the street to hear. Songs that you've put your soul into & songs that you can come from your heart. Tall order I know but at least if one can keep site of what the listeners would care for out of a repertoire that you care to sing it'd be a far better experience all around.

Remembering songs enough to have a fair sized repertoire is also an issue that one would have to address but I don't think it's all that difficult (I may be about the worst memory floating in space). Take the songs that you really know, feel & love to sing it's a hell of a lot easier to remember them because you're doing them all the time, in your head, the car, the shower, enjoying & at the same time rehearsing all the while. A lot of songs (not so mush with worksongs though)have a story that's broken up by the verses so following that storyline also helps to refresh your memory of the song & if you have an idea of what you'd like to sing refresh it in your head a few days before or in the case of a performer, if they even need to, a few times before hand. The performer does have the luxury of having a large list to work from, which took some time to build but if they performing a lot at varied various places they're refreshing their repertoire all the time with ample allowance to add what they already do have. These are only a few suggestions that I have but they're many here that can offer plenty more. I'm just one of the many little fish here that swim in this mud creek & are in the company of whales that see fit to play here as well as in the ocean. Nice Thread