The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #136140   Message #3108670
Posted By: reggie miles
07-Mar-11 - 01:18 AM
Thread Name: PNW Folklore Society - 3.5 yrs later
Subject: RE: PNW Folklore Society - 3.5 yrs later
I think that this call for assistance is a great way to start. If help is needed, then asking for it is a great first step. I've liked the idea of the PNWFS since first hearing about it. I wasn't aware that it was primarily just Bob and Stew behind all of this flurry of folkish activity being generated.

I am one of those who have enjoyed performing a couple of concerts sponsored by the efforts of the society. Thanks Stew and Bob! There were two shows, a house concert and a library concert that were scheduled back to back, a couple of years ago. I felt so bad, because my vocals had taken ill, due to some unknown affliction, just before the events were to take place. I muscled through by dropping the keys to my songs 2 - 2 1/2 steps but I felt really awful about not being 100% for these events. My voice eventually recovered but it took months to do so.

I've only just heard about the society needing help and I would dearly love to get involved. However, I'm not certain what I can do to help. I'm in the awkward position of being a full time musician but most of that time is spent offering my music for donations on the street. Via my time spent doing this activity, I get invites to perform at all sorts of various events, festivals, cafes, private parties... you name it.

Most of my days are spent in pursuit of this endeavor, playing music. It leaves me little time and even less energy to do other miscellaneous related creative projects, like offering my head, heart and hands, together with other like-minded folks, in such a worthy cause.

I am also limited by the distance that I live from anywhere and everywhere. Given the current price of fuel and the way that my gas guzzlers consume it, I am forced to limit my driving. This keyboard and the internet have largely become my link to the outside world. I've been in this hunker down mode for a long time during these post recession inflationary depression times.   

I did manage to send Artis their way. Stew was asking me to write an article about busking. I know that I can blab on and on, about this and that, in these various chats until all hours but I wasn't certain whether I was the best choice for writing an article about busking. I would have no doubt just rambled off on some tangent that was recently rubbing me the wrong way and heaven knows if I would have ever gotten down to making any kind of useful point. I knew that Artis was a fine writer and would likely be interested in the project. I think he's done a great job and I think he likes having a place to air his views about the subject, to which he's devoted so much of his life and passion.

So, perhaps asking for specific help might be a good way to clarify the goals you hope to see achieved by the society. I would also suggest, that if one door doesn't open, you try another. There are many doors to knock on and many rooms to explore.

Stew you've mentioned wanting more young people to get involved. The best way to get young musicians and singers involved is to invite them and make them feel welcomed.

Here's what a coffeehouse in the nearby town of Snohomish did that solved this same issue for their open mic attendance. They merely posted flyers/posters of their activities in the music department of the local high school. In no time, the open mic was flooded with under aged players and their fans. That included moms, dads, grandparents, friends... I could hardly even get in the door and find a spot on the list to play. I was one of oldest players at this event. {:o(

There are so few all age places where high school kids can go to hang out and be with their friends and even fewer where they're able to feature their talents, that this niche is almost a no-brainer. Invite them and they will come.

Another good example of this kind of a space was at the cafe right across the street and just north from The Couth Buzzard. The last time that I stopped in, I learned that they had lost their sound person, who was running the open mic event. Once that one revives itself, it will make three open mics per week in the same neighborhood. The one at that cafe, I think it was called The Neptune, featured more under aged participants. If you want to attract that age group go to where they are to advertise.

The talent and desire is there, it's just a matter of placing your requests "where" they can be seen by those whose talent and energy you're hoping to attract. Is there a high school near the events? Perhaps, stopping by to talk to the head of the music department and asking if you could leave some info about the events on a bulletin board would help to pique their interest.