The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84679   Message #1564512
Posted By: Jeri
15-Sep-05 - 03:45 PM
Thread Name: Folk Artists - Wise up (or Fade away)!
Subject: RE: Folk Artists - Wise up (or Fade away)!
Utah Phillips was someone I'd follow around when he was in the area. I think I saw him three times in the same weekend once, and dragged my mom to one of the shows. Yes, he repeated songs and stories and the in-between patter, but for some reason I never got tired of his act.

There was a sense that he was enjoying himself and playing to entertain me. Utah's just one example. I've heard other artists repeat material and most of their act and it didn't bother me. At other times, I left feeling cheated or even a bit angry. Why the difference?

The difference is in how it all comes off to their audience. When I saw Utah, he was in it 100%, rock solid, and it mattered to him whether you were there with him. Some I've seen didn't seem to give a rat's ass if you were enjoying yourself, because THEY were. At the extreme, they were in front of people, getting attention and feeling significant, and they cared more about that then whether they were any good. Sort of like Vogons and their poetry. That sort of act has a VERY short shelf life...at least as far as music gigs go.

Tam, I'm sorry, but if a person is playing at a paid gig, they bloody well should make the time to learn material that people will enjoy. I can see how someone who's just starting out hasn't learned this yet, but then, the criticism would help her be better. It may help other people be better too. Having said that, people have different trigger points for feeling affended by condescension or inanity. An artist has to guage what the majority will enjoy or tolerate because a minority will always either love everything they do or hate everything.