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Growing a Folk Community from Seed

wysiwyg 03 Jun 02 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 03 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Jun 02 - 05:21 PM
MMario 03 Jun 02 - 05:23 PM
wysiwyg 03 Jun 02 - 05:32 PM
Susan of DT 03 Jun 02 - 07:19 PM
wysiwyg 03 Jun 02 - 07:33 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 02 - 01:22 AM
Mudlark 04 Jun 02 - 06:22 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jun 02 - 06:31 PM
Mudlark 05 Jun 02 - 04:53 PM
wysiwyg 05 Jun 02 - 05:02 PM
Ebbie 05 Jun 02 - 11:04 PM
wysiwyg 05 Jun 02 - 11:10 PM
open mike 06 Jun 02 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Et 06 Jun 02 - 03:18 PM
wysiwyg 06 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Episcopal Vicars Wives Anonymous (EVWA) 06 Jun 02 - 03:36 PM
wysiwyg 06 Jun 02 - 04:44 PM
Mudlark 06 Jun 02 - 04:53 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jun 02 - 01:33 AM
wysiwyg 10 Jun 02 - 10:45 AM
wysiwyg 10 Jun 02 - 12:39 PM
Mudlark 10 Jun 02 - 03:50 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jun 02 - 05:50 PM
Blues=Life 11 Jun 02 - 09:54 AM
wysiwyg 11 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM
Blues=Life 11 Jun 02 - 11:27 AM
wysiwyg 11 Jun 02 - 11:41 AM
Blues=Life 11 Jun 02 - 01:16 PM
wysiwyg 11 Jun 02 - 01:33 PM
wysiwyg 12 Jun 02 - 11:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM
wysiwyg 12 Jun 02 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Slickerbill 13 Jun 02 - 04:31 PM
wysiwyg 13 Jun 02 - 09:16 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jun 02 - 06:03 PM
wysiwyg 20 Jun 02 - 02:07 PM
MMario 20 Jun 02 - 03:03 PM
wysiwyg 20 Jun 02 - 03:09 PM
wysiwyg 01 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM
Blues=Life 01 Jul 02 - 11:53 PM
Mudlark 02 Jul 02 - 01:10 AM
wysiwyg 02 Jul 02 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Pete 02 Jul 02 - 04:59 PM
wysiwyg 02 Jul 02 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Claymore 02 Jul 02 - 06:12 PM
Blues=Life 03 Jul 02 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 03 Jul 02 - 08:06 AM
MMario 03 Jul 02 - 10:03 AM
wysiwyg 03 Jul 02 - 10:08 AM
Blues=Life 03 Jul 02 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,open mike 03 Jul 02 - 11:57 AM
wysiwyg 04 Jul 02 - 11:29 PM
wysiwyg 09 Jul 02 - 03:57 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jul 02 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,HeyNonnyMouse 10 Jul 02 - 03:46 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jul 02 - 04:00 PM
Blues=Life 10 Jul 02 - 10:50 PM
wysiwyg 10 Jul 02 - 11:38 PM
wysiwyg 11 Jul 02 - 10:01 AM
wysiwyg 11 Jul 02 - 07:54 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Jul 02 - 08:29 PM
wysiwyg 13 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 02:26 PM
MMario 15 Jul 02 - 02:45 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 03:34 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 03:34 PM
Mudlark 15 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 04:12 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 09:37 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jul 02 - 11:47 PM
GUEST 16 Jul 02 - 12:07 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Jul 02 - 12:09 AM
GUEST 16 Jul 02 - 12:16 AM
wysiwyg 16 Jul 02 - 01:17 AM
wysiwyg 16 Jul 02 - 01:27 AM
wysiwyg 16 Jul 02 - 02:28 PM
wysiwyg 16 Jul 02 - 02:35 PM
harpgirl 16 Jul 02 - 02:35 PM
wysiwyg 17 Jul 02 - 09:30 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Jul 02 - 10:06 AM
wysiwyg 17 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM
Amos 17 Jul 02 - 10:22 AM
wysiwyg 17 Jul 02 - 06:09 PM
hesperis 17 Jul 02 - 11:00 PM
wysiwyg 18 Jul 02 - 03:42 PM
MMario 18 Jul 02 - 03:48 PM
wysiwyg 18 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jul 02 - 09:47 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Jul 02 - 09:29 AM
wysiwyg 20 Jul 02 - 09:59 AM
wysiwyg 20 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM
wysiwyg 20 Jul 02 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Hippie Chick 20 Jul 02 - 11:44 AM
wysiwyg 22 Jul 02 - 03:54 PM
Blues=Life 28 Jul 02 - 07:05 PM
wysiwyg 28 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM
wysiwyg 11 Aug 02 - 07:04 PM
MMario 24 Aug 02 - 07:48 PM
Blues=Life 24 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM
wysiwyg 25 Aug 02 - 04:15 PM
wysiwyg 01 Sep 02 - 03:22 PM
Amos 02 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM
wysiwyg 02 Sep 02 - 01:41 AM
Amos 02 Sep 02 - 11:36 AM
wysiwyg 05 Sep 02 - 10:59 AM
wysiwyg 05 Sep 02 - 11:20 AM
wysiwyg 09 Sep 02 - 12:50 PM
wysiwyg 14 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM
Rick Fielding 14 Sep 02 - 11:10 AM
wysiwyg 14 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM
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wysiwyg 23 Sep 02 - 09:23 AM
MMario 23 Sep 02 - 09:34 AM
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wysiwyg 05 Nov 02 - 02:29 PM
Rick Fielding 05 Nov 02 - 04:02 PM
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Rick Fielding 24 Nov 02 - 02:49 PM
Blues=Life 28 Sep 09 - 11:35 PM
wysiwyg 16 Aug 15 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 01:11 PM

How do you do it?

We are rural and our area thinks it is more bluegrassy here than folkie, but I KNOW there are people here who are not playing their guitars because they don't think they are any good, or because they are too busy, or because they have no idea anyone else is around to play with. Word of mouth, alone, around here, is awful slow-- if that would do the trick, it would be done by now.

What I think is that a few people who do want to play or going an hour away, over into NY, to do it. If I could get them here, I bet others who are now NOT playing, would join in. So I should contact someone from that little group and invite them here.

We live near a busy crossroad. I was thinking that I need a sign for out there, to promote our monthly jam, which is just some friends picking. (And a corresponding sign for the yard.) And we have a signpainter in our band.

PORCH-PICKIN' FRIDAY NIGHT
====> 1/2 MILE
Beginner's Jam 7PM
Play, Listen, or Sing <> Children Welcome

Traffic is too fast for a phone number.

But in the yard:
PORCH-PICKIN' FRIDAY NIGHT
Beginner's Jam 7PM
Play, Listen, or Sing <> Children Welcome
INQUIRE WITHIN
[phone number]

Ideas? Success stories?

Oh, my goals.... well, everything. We have a venue, a great one, in our church, but we do not yet have enough bodies to fill it. (We checked. It was a bomb.) But if we grew the group of players, they would become the ticket agents. And then we could bring in people (like Seamus Kennedy when he's crossing through the area), and they could sell a boatload of CDs, too.

Do I need to nab someone to present a guitar/banjo workshop to kick this off? Someone who will not be hurt if we only have four people show up, but who can handle it if MORE show up? (Any volunteers?)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM

I think that all the things you mentioned would be good. Also, flyers (doesn't have to be fancy) that you could hand out to everyone (and I mean everyone) that you or your family knows. Make sure you stress that EVERYONE is welcome. Hit schools. Do you have a local paper? Perhaps you could get them to do something on you. Having done this recently I would say that you'd best wait for folks to hear about it and come. A year or more might be before lots of folks hear about it.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM

Sounds fun. A bit far for me. I think the idea of, right from the start, thinking in terms of people getting together to play for each other and along with each other is the right way to go. If there are people who want to turn up and listen fair enough, but it wouldn't be a matter of performing for an audience.

And maybe when you've built up the right kind of familiarity and so forth, something more formal like a dance or a concert, or a combination of the two, might make sense. Or a party.

I think this kind of thing works best when the feeling is that people are there primarily for socialising rather than as performers or punters. Making music together is just a specially good way of socialising. (That's why I like sessions in pubs and places like that.)

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 05:21 PM

Susan, that is the fastest, most foolproof way to do it. Put up a couple of posters with the same message at a store or church, and I flat out GUARANTEE you that within a couple of weeks your sessions will be up and running. Don't worry about the"bluegrass/folk" thing.....singers wanna sing, pickers wanna pick, birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly.........

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 05:23 PM

Told ya!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 05:32 PM

Yup. All fun, and occasional talent to come entertain us.

Since starting this thread, I did contact an instructor from the next county over, where the music store is. He and his daughter are prepared to teach a pair of hour-long workshops and lead an after-workshop jam, and we are discussing whether to increase the numbers at our monthly jam first or use the workshop publicity to get the numbers rolling, and then mention the regular jam opportunities. Also, a certain Mudcatter I know who visits here soemtimes has been encouraged to think about giving lessons at our house on a regular basis, so we will see if he agrees! *G*

More ideas, please!!!

Do you think I should just name this the Local Folk Music Society and be an organization right away? We could have a website......... hm...............

Should I make the jam weekly now instead of monthly as it has been??????? Not sure Hardi would be OK with that-- it's his only day off each week and we lke to wander. Although if Hess wanted to stay home to run it, it would be OK. Geeze, she's not even HERE yet......

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 07:19 PM

If there is any sort of concert/house concert/gathering have flyers and ask to speak. Is there a community college anywhere around (go pretty far, if necessary)- hang posters there and attend anything vaguely folky they have. Put a notice in your local paper.

I was a charter member of the Salt City Song Miners in Syracuse. Two men organized it. There was a concert sponsored by the "Peace Council" and a signup sheet was available. They were willing to pickup nondrivers. Granted Syracuse has a lot more people around...


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 07:33 PM

Thanks... great ideas.

Hey! I could always read the Folk Mafia thread and do like that....

And Mmario, are you giving me a little butt-whoppin' there? *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 01:22 AM

... apparently (at least for US folk communities) this is something that can only be done by people who tend to go to bed very, very early.... one of them early-bird/worm thingies...

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 06:22 PM

Susan..

From my own experience of trying to FIND people to play with in a very rural area, I think I would wait on the workshop until you have a core of people that are comfortable with each other. It is surprising how shy lone pickers/singers can be about getting together, sure that everybody else is better than they are (haha..not ME, of course!). And the idea of a workshop, the formality of that, no matter how informal it might actually be, might put these folks off...

If I weren't so isolated (and alone) I'd try something like this myself... Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 06:29 PM

Great to hear your perspective, Mudlar. How isolated are you? We could be on a buddy system. What could you do, in your area, that would be easy and effective?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 06:31 PM

Great to hear your perspective, Mudlark. How isolated are you? We could be on a buddy system. What could you do, in your area, that would be easy and effective?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 04:53 PM

Susan...I leave about 20-30 minutes from the nearest small town in the coastal hills of central Calif. There is a thriving music communitity in the nearest big town (San Luis Obispo...college town) but it is an hour's drive over a bad road, particularly untempting after dark.

The first thing I did was to start playing for local convalescent hosp. under auspices of Hospice (little alliteration there!), just as a way to be making music not all by myself. I've thot of putting ads in local papers but with John gone now, and being here all alone, I'm a little wary of just inviting "the public" (a worry that never crossed my mind when there was 2 of us).

My current cunning plan is just to mention--a LOT--to anybody who seems likely, that I love folk music and am looking for someone to play with...and this has finally paid off. My chiropractor's office mgr and I got to talking, he and his wife had a band in the 80's, are now out of the music business but looking for informal jams. So we are now getting together about every 2 wks...great fun. Would be even better with more and I'm still hopeful for a real music circle eventually.

Would love to be buddies in any way that works. Where do you live? Email me if there is anything I can do to help...and again, good luck.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 05:02 PM

Nancy, I am in north central PA an hour from medium sized cities in any direction, in a large, sparsely-populated rural county, with bad road conditions in winter and, at night, due to deer and drunk drivers.

What you are doing sounds great.

I also asked around at the nearest music store, to see if they had customers near us. They were busy that day and could only recall one, though they were sure there are more. I know they will be generous about giving flyers to people.

Would you want to play in church? I know that if you were here, I would glom onto you real fast!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 11:04 PM

Good for you, Wizzy! I have said for a long time that if I'm in an area with a thousand people and there's "no one to play with", out of that 1000 there must be at least 30 people who play some kind of instrument. Out of those 30 there are at least 10 people who would like to play with other people. Ergo I will find those people.

The only suggestion I would add is to keep all of your posters very similar, whether it's the wording or the color or the font. Otherwise some people, I discovered, think there are competing factions.

Good luck! You're going to be a busy woman. (busier?)


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jun 02 - 11:10 PM

Thanks! Me-- reorganized and reprioritized!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: open mike
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 12:56 PM

We have a folk music society which produces concerts both in public venues and in private homes. One of our favorite activities in the singers and pickers circle--the best thing that helps it continue is a regular, predictable time--first sat. of the month- 2-5 p.m.--so that people can burn it into their memories when to come...I also host an open mike each wed. eve at a local "pub" (cafe-bar) and the motto is turn off your t.v. , turn on your creativity- people are so programmed to BE entertained, and have lost the knack of doing it them selves.. we need to brak the couch potatoe syndrome!! some folks are just plane too shy to perform in front of many others, and there are those folks who olny play in secret who should be out there sharing--then, on the other hand, there are those who should remain in the shadows.. one time we had a guy with 3 strings on his guitar- he was missing a few other important elements of amusician too--like tone, rhythm, etc. yikes! but we still try to encourage all to give it a try- in the circle (a.k.a. pluckers and cluckers) we have a tradition of passing the choice of tune/song around the circle and every one gets a chance to request-whenther they play, sing or just enjoy listening.. also a good catalyst is the Rise Up Singing book- from Sing out! publishers--1200 songs--good starter material.i suggest getting a few of these and then there is a common bond--turn to page such and such for a memory jogger for lyrics and chords..no musical notes, though, so you kind of have to already know the tune, but guaranteed to find songs you know and love on most any page...spiral bound beauty--we call it the bible.....good luck to you and i like the PORCH idea!! hope your porch is full of music soon!! Laurel


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Et
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 03:18 PM

From a small town girl - about 7,000 - play for the Kiwanis, the FFA pancake breakfast, etc etc. There are lots of civic organizations that are happy to get someone to "talk" to them that they haven't already heard. Do you have an area church with "alternative" music services?

I'm program chair for a small group and if there's a good program/talk word spreads like wildfire. All you really need is the idea - Let Us Entertain us! and a time/contact number and you're off.

ET


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 03:25 PM

Oh, yeah, I already play like that-- and our church IS the one you mentioned, and I lead the music for that service. What I want is more players to have fun with, and people with a wider range of folk music they enjoy and play. Although I guess if I were out there more playing, I could hawk any concerts I organize, with name performers (NAME to me but not to our community....). Problem there is that if you offer tickets, often people here will buy a pair with no intention of attending at all-- it's just a donation to whatever local cause you are promoting, and that's how people are good neighbors to each other here.

But isn't it funny that when you play like that close to home you can't get paid, and if you go a couple of counties over they will pay you? That's how it is here, anyway.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Episcopal Vicars Wives Anonymous (EVWA)
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 03:36 PM

AHA! So yours is the church with the burgeoning music ministry. YOU are the reason the bishop is saying "spouses of clergy should be more involved in the ministry of the church". YOU are the reason our parishioners are asking for "something different" during worship!

when you least expect it, EVWA will take revenge!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 04:44 PM

Old news if you been around Mudcat very long. *G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 06 Jun 02 - 04:53 PM

Hi again, Susan...I'm not a church type person, but maybe I would be with more people like you and the Vicar's Wife involved! I DO wish we lived closer...why don't you come here? Sure there are bad roads, but the weather is better! (Altho it's 110 on my shady front porch at the moment).


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jun 02 - 01:33 AM

Mudlark, we'll have to meet halfway, scattering folky seeds as we go. (Get that Winnebago and hit the road!)

Our church service.... Mmario kicked off a long, reflective discussion about it during his last visit by saying it's strawberry shortcake. We ended up that it's an old-fashioned dish-to-pass supper that includes shortcake (and a LOT of beans!!!!). Each one brings what they have, and each one takes what they need.

Hardi and I (and whoever is playing with us that night) start by providing a certain loose-jointed, joyful attitude bordering on silly; the people, as they arrive, contribute a willingness to show us their joy and silliness, and an eager curiosity to see the songsheets of the week and see what kind of crazy thing we have for them to learn THIS time..... we egg each other on, although there are serious parts after we all blow off a little of whatever built up during the week.

Then at the end we whoop it up again with something totally lovely or totally wacky, fast, and easy to mess up and laugh over. That must be the dollop of whipped cream, occasionally flying off the spoon and landing on the chin (or in one's neighbor's eye).

(Did I say it right, Mmario?)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 10:45 AM

REPORT

I'm having lunch Wednesday with a lady who has occasionally jammed with a handful of other folks, and knows where it is our folks are going, outside the county, to play. I can go visit those other jams and fetch them back home! *G* (Or maybe it's a tri-county folk society in the making.) Funniest thing-- when I called her, I forgot till the end of the conversation, to ask her to BRING HER AUTOHARP so WE could play together! DUH! We had a good laugh over THAT!

I started work on a website for our band, to start promoting what we do and to store information about the workshops I want to lead when I go off on my own. Because when I do, there is one band member in particular who is likely to tag along, so it might as well be a band thing. I'll say more about it later, but basically our band has core members but no fixed lineup, and we want to make buttons for "audience" members to "be" band "members" too, since what we do is lead singalongs and the singers, thus, ARE in the band!

I also started a website for this nebulous folk organization I seem to be starting, so that I could have an e-mail address for it from which to send out press releases. It's an address that's a lot easier to remember, too, than any I had been using personally-- LocalFolks@. It's a community/bulletin board type site so that people can interact in it right away in threads. Of course Mudcat will be the first link I put there. It will also contain information about Mudcat Gatherings we hold, as these become more and more focused on local folks participating. And then Mudcatters can travel to them or not as they choose. I will make myself a permathread on them at that website.

I am also helping a friend move (and she is coming to stay with us for a bit), so that's all I have been able to do for now, except post an announcement on the local cable screen, as follows:

======================================================

Dust off that old guitar, banjo, or whatever-have-you!

PORCH-PICKIN' FRIDAY NIGHTS
Third Friday Each Month (usually!)
June 21, July 19, Aug. 23, Sept. 20
7-10 PM (Beginner's Jam 7-8)

Play, Listen, or Sing
Children Welcome!
FMI [phone, e-mail]

======================================================

Thanks, all, for all the encouragement (and butt-whoppin'), and your continued good ideas.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 12:39 PM

LOCAL FOLKS.

A work in progress.

BTW, if you think you might like to come to a Mudcat Gathering at our place, it would be smart to sign up for that community-- so that you get e-mail notices ahead of time as dates are set.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 03:50 PM

Ah, Susan...I can see that you are the kind of person that gets things DONE! Congrats on putting so much together so soon...with the kind of energy you are putting into it, I'm sure you'll have a full-fledged song circle before you know it. Hope your get together with the autoharp works out well. Keep us posted and I will now go check out your clicky...

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jun 02 - 05:50 PM

Nancy, steal anything you see of use! You go, too, girl!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 09:54 AM

Susan, I like the effort, and it's been very helpful. I'm trying to set up a Picking and Grinning group at my church, (1000 members, there have to be a few more closet pickers there than have stepped forward yet!). Some of the ideas here have been most enlightening. I do have one piece of constructive criticism for you, though. I checked out the web site (great idea), and I found it has a rather common flaw to it. All to often, I see web sites that forget that it is a WORLD WIDE web. It wasn't clear to me where you are! Back in my newspaper days, a lead paragraph had to have all the pertinent info in it...Who, what, where, when, why, and how. Most websites I see tend to forget this. Look at it as if you were a clueless browser,(me!) or someone new to your area. I don't know where the Endless Mountain area is, would a newbie in your area? You might want to get real specific on where the jam sessions are, when they are, who is sponsering them, HOW TO CONTACT SOMEONE FOR MORE INFO (i.e., a phone number)what you should bring, and what the level of skill needed is. A lot of folks who are closet pickers have some uncertainty about their abilities, and so might be hesitant about being proactive in finding out about your group. Make it real easy for them, and they will come. Good luck, and keep posting info here. It's helping me alot in my efforts.

Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 10:41 AM

Thanks, Blues, and I wish you the best with your own efforts. I'd love to talk about the church angle with you, too.

Actually, I left out some of the details you mention, on purpose, and yes, people here do know what all the details signify. It's personally important to me to involve others, here, in making those decisions-- and all my experience growing other kinds of communities bears out that it's important for success, too. So the jams, if they begin to attract more people, will also serve as informal community planning & consensus meetings.

For the summer, and the dates posted at the website, it is strictly for people to whom I am publicizing it via local PR and e-mail to people who know the area, and I am reluctant to post anything more specific about my location to the wider web until we have it up and running a bit more-- the jams, and the community, I mean, not just the site. Because for the summer, it's at our house... but as soon as I involve others, they are going to have some ideas on where to hold things, themselves. They may want a different name, too-- or the local "cultural arts" group may want us to tag along under their umbrella-- although I think they like their "highbrow" position as far as music is concerned and may not want to expand theuir mission too much.

But with all of these factors, I may end up transferring all of the information to another site.... someone with good web design skills may have a spot that will host it and this little site may become just the posting area for that prettier site.... see? (Or they may fall on the ground in shocked gratitude that anyone did anything, and jump on the bandwagon and leave me in charge of it! *G*)

Once all that is going, then it will make sense to add another page "About Us" and so forth-- once there is an "us" wider than the handful of us I've been playing with. Till then, the details of where we are is clear enough to people who will actually come anytime soon.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 11:27 AM

Susan,

That makes good sense.

Regarding the church, I used to play in a country band during church services, once every month. Loved it. Unfortunately, a new music director was hired, who immediately managed to piss off and alienate almost the entire band, and paid the price in attitude directed toward him. His solution was easy...If you can't control it, kill it. So the Casual Country Band died. Most of the musicians left the church. (I've never understood why a music director would be so anti-musician!) I'm still there, and am trying a new path. We're going to have an informal "Folk Fellowship" on Sunday afternoons, open to all accoustic musicians and singers, very relaxed and informal, open to all levels of muscianship. The funny thing is that I'm a harmonica player and only recently started re-gaining long lost meager guitar playing skills, and this group will be primarily focused on attracting guitar players. And they expect me to lead it! Should be a case of the blind leading the blind. I expect, though, that if I organize it, some more talented guitar players will show up and help out.

By the way, does anyone have a link to where I can get the Rise Up Singing book- from Sing out! publishers mentioned above? Any other good books or resources? I can use all the help I can get.

Thanks, Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 11:41 AM

Blues, for beginners I can highly recommend the Jerry Silverman songbooks, for campfire and well-known folk songs, from Mel Bay. One of the things I love about them is that they tend to include the chord names not only in the first verse, where the melody line is also laid out, but they put the chord names in each verse, too, so that as a new player you can really enjoy the song and not get lost on what the chords are.... it helps you grasp the pattern of changes.

Past the beginner level, I would wait on RUS till you have people agreeing they like it, and the cost of a boxful is pretty steep. A lot of people do not like the format for showing the chords. But then a lot of groups do use it... you may make more mileage just getting permission to leave the copier up and running during your jams-- if people have brought stuff to share, let them run off a copy for every 3 people to share, and you can collect at least one copy post-jam and make a house songbook.

I would also suggest, following the pattern I have seen work really well elsewhere, that you have more than one area you can use. People often tend to want to break off into subgroups by playing level, or by type of music, or by instrument, or by who they know-- so a couple of smaller areas that are OK to use, lights on and doors open, can help. I would say start everyone off together, let them know at the beginning that there is additional space if it's wanted, and then see if people wander into different areas at the break. But call them all back together for a last song or two if you can corral them, so you can make any announcements about "next time."

Alternatively, move here, take one of our lovely guest rooms on a semi-permanent basis, and play with us, for free room and board, at OUR church! *G* Where are you?

Oh, and harmonica, eh? Yes, I can relate-- an autoharper leading guitar players is kinda weird too. They just can't seem to GET it that I can't capo up with them!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:16 PM

I'm in South Carolina, so the fact that I have no idea where the Endless Mountains are should prove that "I'm not from around there!" Where is there, anyways?

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out. Keep the book titles coming folks.

Also, what a good idea about multiple rooms. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense.

The reason that I'm starting a guitar group is because I missed playing so much when the band died, that I picked up my old beater Eterna from Yamaha, and taught myself to play it well enough to accompany my harp on some Offeritories (I never could spell that!), and kept on learning as I went. I now own 7 guitars, (a bad case of GAS) only 3 of which my wife knows about (it's a big house, but she'll find them someday) and have been taking weekly lessons every since dropping by the Folk Alliance show in Jacksonville last Feb. (I was playing roadie for my friends, The Winstons, and walking through the halls of the hotel and listening to all these great musicians in their showcases awed and shamed me. I came back and signed up for lessons.) Anyways, somehow I have become the guitar "expert" here. Now that's FUNNY!

Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jun 02 - 01:33 PM

That IS funny. Endless Mountains is one of several terms describing north central PA, along route 6 as it winds just south of the NY border. From the air it looks like egg cartons... uyou drive up one, around anohter, down, and then the next series.... they go on and on, looking like gumdrops, at least to women! *G*

It's also called the Northern Tier (with a corresponding Southern Tier of NY to the north!), and then it's part of the Twin Tiers. It's also called (fondly) Pennsyltucky.

Who is "local" depends on weather conditions and how far they feel like going on any given day.

So choosing a permanent name for our little "society" will be tricky and will depend on who shows up to plan it! *G*

We are halfway between Williamsport PA and Elmira/Corning NY.

Come on up! I need a geetar player! Just think! BLUES GOSPEL, in CHURCH!!!!!!!!! A few weeks ago we did "God Don't Never Change." Come ON!!!!!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 11:57 AM

Well, it was supposed to be today that my friend and I got together for lunch. She'd been having some health problems so we left it a bit loose... and when I checked with her this AM she said she was too tired to bring her autoharp. So we rescheduled, and instead of a planning meeting we had something much better-- a nice phone visit and a laugh over a few things. Such is rural life... we had each been so busy in the week since we set this up, helping out other folks around here who suddenly had things they REALLY needed a hand with... well, that's why when things DO happen, around here, they kind of just.... happen. Music, too.

So we will try for next week, but I feel like a big step foraward was taken, anyhow. Cuz you cain't hardly leave the PEOPLE out of folk music! What would be the sense of that?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM

"The Endless Mountains" - that's a great name for a region. Bears, wolves, orcs...

Anybody living somewhere like that is duty bound to try to make sure it has music to live up to that name.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:58 PM

Yup. I wish I'd made it up, but I didn't! *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Slickerbill
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 04:31 PM

This has been a neat thread to follow. I'm interested to see how it'll work out. Good luck.

It raises an interesting problem. In my neck of the woods there's a chemistry which is lacking in how people play together. Some of the folks who have the organizational skills and drive to make things happen seem to have no clue about how to run a session. I attended one recently, and it was horrible. A new guy tried playing with these individuals and quit, totally frustrated thinking it was him. I assured him it was the other guys who didn't have a clue, and advised him to avoid playing with these guys in the future. They simply have no sense of time or of what might be an appropriate contribution to a song; they're proverbial bulls in the china shop.

I've often thought of starting up something like what you're doing around here, but the politics are just too much to deal with and so it goes. But if you've got the right kind of folks who know how to play along without trying to take over, great. Sometimes I think the answer to my dilemma is to seek such release outside my own area. Anyway, best of luck. SB


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 09:16 PM

We were talking about that very point just last night here at home-- I think it is REALLY important. I'm kinda tied up on a project helping a friend move for the next few days, but I have a number of comments I'd like to make about that, and I hope others will, too.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 06:03 PM

It's so hard to keep moving forward on this AND do other stuff I am committed to AND do our own music stuff. I posted an internship offer on a mail list we belong to and maybe that will help-- eventually, if not immediately.

Below is what I posted.

~S~

==========================================================

ANNOUNCEMENT: INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY

We have a summer (or longer) music and marketing internship opportunity
offering free room and board, in exchange for about 15 hours' help each
week, in north central Pennsylvania USA. Most wanted is a male,
guitar-playing vocalist, but we would consider other skills.

POSSIBLE TASKS:
Organizing our materials
Helping with weekly gospel services and other community gigs-- logistics and
performance
Recording the above
Helping with the formation of a county-wide folk music organization
(secular, eclectic)
Publicizing a monthly jam for the above.

We have room for one or, if space is shared, two people. The space
available is large and semi-private.

This is our first time offering this, so details would need to be worked out
with applicants. Buying into our belief system is NOT REQUIRED.

Contact me off-list if interested.

Feel free to forward to interested parties.

If anyone has had relevant experiences in this regard to share, I'd love to
hear from you. If I receive a lot of comments I will edit them together and
send them out to the list.

~Susan Hinton
Mansfield, PA



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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 02:07 PM

I sent out feelers in the last few weeks to the two exiting music organizations in our county, to let them know I have some good people they might book, and to sort of let it be known that I'm here, too, doing somethng related to what they do but also a little different.

If they want to take us into their effort, that might be a good thing, or it might not, but what I figure is that they might squeeze one or two of the bands I'd like to see come here, into their schedules, as "something completely different" from their usual mix. They could co-present it with us.... and then I'd keep the mailing lists that grow out of that....... and then through our jams, eventually get to where we have enough pickers, picking regularly, to start supporting our own events and ticket sales-- cuz I have a great venue at my disposal, if we could fill it enough to pay the bands!

Both orgs have responded that they would love to see press kits and hear review CDs from the people I have recommended. It is possible that they will each want to take one of my ideas, when they hear that the other is also considering them!

Gosh! This could all HAPPEN!

Oooooooh!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 03:03 PM

Is there a music department at the local college? Might be a good place to post something like the above as well.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 03:09 PM

MM-- Unfortunately the local music department is not at all folk oriented, very insular, and cut off not only from the local community but also from the bluegrass pickers who I have been told lurk among the faculty. I did think I would go over there and post it when school re-opens, for next summer, but I do not anticipate any support from the department on it. But in other towns, it would poroably be a great idea, and I know others who'd like to build up their area are following this thread too.

However I also sent a note of inquiry to the marketing faculty. Cuz it's marketing I want, too.... so we'll see.

My approach is to try everything, throw a lot of feelers out, and then follow up on anything that seems to show promise.

I did get a nibble on the internship idea from someone who used to live here, from the mail list, who was very encouraging and who said he would forward my note on to some people he knows who are "in my area." They, in turn, may know some younguns who'd love to live off campus or out of the home for a summer or longer.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM

REPORT

I've only got a few flyers out and things are starting to happen already. One guy visits this area each month, but lives hours away-- and will start to join our jams (someone was kind enough to see and copy down the flyer for him)! Another lady e-mailed me to ask if we had a website-- not sure if she saw a flyer or if she got the blurb I sent out to the folk jam list that covers the area to our southwest. Another lady e-mailed because she DID see that blurb.

Work on the sign for the yard should begin later this week, and more flyers to distribute.

And Mmario, it turns out, will be here visiting for the August jam date, so it looks like that one could start to really click.

I also found out we have a little local competition (if they care to see it that way-- I don't). The people who put on the annual bluegrass festival and a winter bluegrass concert here are advertising that they want to branch out into folk and blues. Not sure yet what they have in mind. Apparently they are too busy with the festival coming up in two weeks to answer their e-mails, but I will be attending it, with flyers, and see if I can hook up with them there.

Wow!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 01 Jul 02 - 11:53 PM

Susan, Great news on the progress you've been making. Serendipity is a wonderful thing, as I've been making progress, too. In the bulletin at church Sunday was a note reading COMING SOON - FOLK FELLOWSHIP. The rest was just as I wrote it, and next Sunday afternoon we start for real. I've already had 3 or 4 people express interest, and my goal is to outgrow the small room we've been given within the first month. Wish us luck, and good luck to you as well. Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 01:10 AM

Way to go, Susan...With the kind of energy you are putting into this, it can't help but soar. Keep us up-to-date...


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 09:00 AM

B=L-- that is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mudlark, are you getting some ideas bubbling up for your area yet? Don't copy what we're doing-- take what's useful but INVENT your own uniquely accurate plan! *G*G*

One of the very cool things about this is that I seemed to have leearned, finally, the art of taking care of myself despite holding and acting on a passion. I've been doing things as they were possible-- not putting them first, but near the top. So it does not feel like a lot of hard work-- it feels like going for a nice long ramble and meeting interesting experiences resulting in a very excellent adventure.

I love having this little support group to do it with!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Pete
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 04:59 PM

I'm the guy that visits the area once a month. I live in Staten Island; my parents are up there. I'm looking forward to getting together. Best of luck


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 05:51 PM

Hi Pete! Guess you found your e-mail message!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 Jul 02 - 06:12 PM

There are several good ideas already presented but let me reinforce a few. I have been attending a jam on Thursday nights for about ten years, which has been going on for over twenty years. Several years back it became politically necessary to start another and I created one at the local train station on Wednsday nights.

The walk-away best source for attracting new musicians to the jam are posters in the local (up to an hours drive) music stores. The store owners want to promote local jams as a way to sell or trade up new instruments. The Thursday night jam draws musicians from over two hours away, and the Wednsday night jam, an hour away.

And your area can't be that bereft of folk musicians. Just last week I was in Newport, PA which appears to be a couple of hours south of you, for the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Festival, and the place was crawling with folkies. (Incidently their resources list's first entry was the MudCat).

Festivals like that often have geographical lists of attendees, just for contacting to play music (not for solicitation). Common Ground is going on right now in Westminster, MD, near the PA border, and Augusta, at Elkins, WV is full swing.

Finally, you are right about the jam dying if all the attendees are beginners on their instruments. But scare up just one decent fiddler, and the game changes rapidly.

As for music, the Fiddle Fake Book, any of the Matheson Waltz books, and the Ruff Water jigs and reels book (include the Portland if you like) provide a common basis to begin to exchange tunes, or learn new ones. Bluegrass people tend to be stuck in one mode, 4/4 straight ahead, so I'm suprised at the "branching out" bit, but Old Time and Celtic are more malleable, and will generally go along with anything that's not rock. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:52 AM

What a great resource this thread has become, (and a support/therapy group as well! "Hi, my name is Pete, and I'm addicted to accoustic music." "Hi, Pete!")

Anyways, another issue has raised it's ugly head. The music director at the church has raised the issue of copywrite infringement. He is very concerned that lyric and chord sheets that are photocopied at the church will violate copywrite laws, and is therefore nervous about allowing us to hand out music sheets. Oops. My gut feel is just to go to the local office suppy store, buy a bunch of cheap folders, copy 20 sets of lyrics, and just not tell him. (Can you say plausible deniability?) How do the rest of you handle this issue? I don't have the resources (yet) to just buy a bunch of songbooks, and also I haven't found the appropriate book to do that with anyways.

Thanks for the help, and have a good holiday. Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 08:06 AM

Blues=Life

What you suggest doing is both illegal and immoral.

Not very 'Christian'


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:03 AM

As a church they can procure a mechanical copyright permit that will allow them to copy (at something like 8 cents each) and send in quarterly reports and payments.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:08 AM

B=L, here are my ideas.

Option 1:
Make for your nearest DT database and get your lyrics from there. Stick with what you can be pretty sure is public domain, and then use your various songbooks to apply chords. Play through each one before use, and adjust the arrangement to simplify it or transpose it or modify it.... now you have public domain lyrics with non-copyrighted arrangements. Xerox away.

Ask participants to bring songsheets to share for NEXT month. Ask them to be thoughtful about copyright, but don't pretend you can keep them from bringing whatever they bring. Ask them if they will buy a songbook next month, if you order them in bulk (cheaper), and see what they will agree to use. Have some samples of course...

Then, before the next month's jam, find a donor to spot you a dozen books, with the idea that you will sell them at the next jam at a slight markup. Keep the money to get ahead and order a few more to "library." As new regulars join in coming months, sell them the libraried copies. If your donor ever wants to be repaid, eventually there will be enough money, especially if you ask for a donation of a dollar a person a meeting, "for expenses." (And there WILL be expenses.)

Option 2:
Xerox acetate masters from your own materials, to use on an overhead. When people complain this is too hard to see, guide a discussion on which songbook they can agree on, and get a bulk purchase going, and let them pay up front once you have negotiated a good bulk rate from a nearby music store.

Option 3:
Suggest that anyone concerned e-mail me, at the address you have for me, and I can talk about what we have done in this regard, prayerfully.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for the varied imputs. To answer some of the above concerns, our church is covered under copywrite law for perfomances of music by the congregation, and pays for the priviledge, is my understanding. (Thanks for the note, MMario). Secondly, most of the stuff we will be playing is public domain, and there is little issue with that, except that the Music Director is such a CYA kind of guy that I'm expecting footdragging on the order of, "Well, it's probably all right, but I'm just not sure...." This is why I'm thinking about doing it myself. My big concern is what you raised, Susan. I don't want this to be "MY" group, and therefore can't dictate the music brought in by others... but how do we handle copywrite issues with what others bring in? So my question again is, how do we handle this? I'm not trying to circumvent the law, just navigate through it. So what have others done? (I don't believe no one else has a group of muscians out there with xeroxed sheets of lyrics and chords!)

Finally, to the unnamed Guest, who contributed

"What you suggest doing is both illegal and immoral. Not very 'Christian'. "

Feel better now, you troll? LOL

Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,open mike
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 11:57 AM

best song book=rise up singing from sing out! publishers of sing out magazine- right there inpennsylvania- p.o.box 5253, Bethlehem, PA, 18015 1-888-sing-out


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 11:29 PM

I e-mailed four organizations/places in our county offering to do a gospel sing. (Figured I'd troll for jammers.) One immediately replied that her husband plays..... a boatload of acoustic instruments! Wotta world!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 03:57 PM

I revamped the website today, would love to get your opinions... be as specific as you can please...

LOCAL FOLKS

Keep your eyes open there and you will spot a link to a "sister" site I am building, for our band.

~Susan




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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 03:22 PM

Hahahahhhhhh! Guess which tall, dark, handsome, full-voiced Mudcatter is going to do a house concert of trad ballads here at my house? He's been here visiting before.... I've always wanted to do a house concert, and I could NOT figure out how to make the seating work in our goofy house til now.... I bet you can guess who it is....

I'll tease the whole community with our PR for it! Hahahah!!

And hey Blues, how did your folk fellowship go?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,HeyNonnyMouse
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 03:46 PM

"traditional-oid"


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 04:00 PM

Yup.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 10:50 PM

Well, it didn't. We're putting it off til next Sunday, because of the holiday weekend. Let's hope it goes then. Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jul 02 - 11:38 PM

Oh! Well I'll pray for you all over again then! *G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 02 - 10:01 AM

Plans are underway for a guitar workshop and jam led by Mark Orshaw, who is active the next county over. He's been kind enough to give us a WONDERFULLY affordable rate the first time out, to help us kick off new activities in Tioga County.

So that's workshop in October, house concert in November.... I have a jam already scheduled for September...... sounds like I need to really hit the September jam PR the day we get back from vacation in late August.......

Must be time for the newspaper to get involved!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 02 - 07:54 PM

OK, time to look this over again-- lots of changes. A few yet to refine, but mostly there I think.

LOCAL FOLKS

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jul 02 - 08:29 PM

Here in Indianapolis we have a good--and I think growing-- "folk/acoustic" scene. One of the things that's helping a lot, I think, is my friend John Moe, who has made himself a sort of "folk notification central."

Anyone who has a club meeting, or a house concert, or coffeehouse gig, a Borders concert--whatever it is in the folk/acoustic line--in central Indiana, they email John. He sends it out broadcast to an email address list he has built up. He continually solicits notices, and solicits email addresses of those who are interested in receiving his notices. Existing addressees suggest additional recipients. I understand the players think that it substantially helps with their attendance.

Go thou and do likewise, say I!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM

Thanks Dave.

Last night I took our new, improved flyer with me to dinner at the local hash house. The old version had the local jams stuff on the front, as above. It's two sided now. The back has three UPCOMING EVENTS listed-- our band's August Gospel Sing, the October Guitar/Fiddle Workshop, and the November House Concert. There is a snappy short paragraph about each thing. And our new website's address all over it, and the e-mail, and phone number.

So I am sitting there folding the flyers so they can be put out on the counter, and the waitress cruises over to get our order. It's our redheaded favorite. What a mouth that woman has. So I start with, "Hey, know anyone who plays an instrument?" "SURE!" she says, and she starts rattling off all the people she knows who play guitar, banjo, etc. "Well then you better take some of these," sez I, and she starts to look at the flyer; "how many to you need?" "I only need one," she sez, "cuz they all jam together."

(Yes! They JAM!!!!!)

"OK," I sez, "let's put one up here too, can we leave some for the counter?" "Oh yeah," she sez, "and I'll take a bunch to go put up around town...." and she starts naming all the places where she wants to put them up.

I remind her that she can come to the jams and stuff too, and so can her kids, and now she's really excited. She zooms off after taking our order, and has scooped up all 40-50 flyers I had brought in to fold.

So this is pretty cool, eh? I'm like over the moon with it.

So the next thing that happens is, a lady comes waltzing past us to get to her table, and what is she holding in our hand-- OUR FLYER!

And after dinner, as we leave, the waitress is at the cash register folding the rest of the flyers! And plastered in the front entryway of the joint, we see not only our flyer, but TWO copies of it-- one showing the front, the other showing the back.

Golly!

Today I go hand out the remaining 400 or so at the annual bluegrass festival. Or rather, they are already there displayed on two tables, one at a craft booth run by Dharmabum and the other at the festival info booth. The festival is in full swing, but I just got up and I know Dharma is working it for me as I type. Hardi and I're going over in a little bit to work the crowd! And I expect to hook up with the lady mentioned above whose husband plays. Turns our he's performing, and their band is actually more old-timey than bluegrass!

Too cool!

YOU CAN DO THIS IN YOUR AREA! Get busy!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 02:26 PM

CONTINUING PROGRESS

<> A parishioner mentioned seeing our flyer out at the bluegrass festival. This says several things-- that the flyers were well placed, that the design and content were eye-grabbing, and that he and his wife would probably come to a concert and help talk it up beyond the church.

<> One of the people who has never come, but wants to, asked me what instruments everyone has and what songs they play. At first I told him just to come see for himself-- of course I said it more nicely but that was the main message. But after I thought about it, I realized that these were good questions, and that the answers would be very helpful in encouraging new people to join-- that making such info available would show our diversity of styles and interests, as well as abilities. So I asked him to draft his own paragraph, and posted it at the website, and it will be an example if others are willing to share too. Then when people visit our website they can see things in people's own words, about what they like to do and why they set aside time in their busy lives to jam with this group.

<> Made contact today via e-mail with an acquaintance who gave me the contact info for one of the other big churches' folk-instrument worship-music players. She herself plays, and this group is one of the more active groups of players around the area at least as far as their church music goes. And if they each know other people....

<> One of our band members agreed to take over the phoning to remind people when jam week comes around, and he's a new convert to e-mail so I know he will collect addresses as he goes.

<> And I finally figured out who has the legs and the time to get flyers out and around to all the local retail establishments. (I most definitely do not.) It's a good thing I didn't figure it out until there were two sides on that flyer and lots of activities in addition to the jams, or he'd have wondered why I was asking him to do it twice. *G* It's a very big county, with tiny towns spread miles and miles apart!

<> We jam this weekend, and I will get a talk going with everyone about how this promotional stuff is going, and see what they think and what people will be willing to do.

I love it when a plan comes together!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 02:45 PM

sometimes wysiwyg exhausts me just reading her posts!!!!

looking forward to the jam in august - hope someone does a song I can sing too - but will enjoy just liss'nin also.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 03:34 PM

OIf course it helps to be unemployed.

And Mmario, there will be acapella songsharing! Let's sing "To an Anchor God" and teach them that one!

I just got a response in e-mail to the flyer! A young lady who bought a banjo and wants help to play it! YAYYY!!!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 03:34 PM

Of course it helps to be unemployed. *G*

And Mmario, there will be acapella songsharing! Let's sing "To an Anchor God" and teach them that one!

I just got a response in e-mail to the flyer! A young lady who bought a banjo and wants help to play it! YAYYY!!!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Mudlark
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 04:01 PM

Susan....given the level of your enthusiasm I'm pretty sure I'll be able to hear your first session clear out here in Calif. if I listen carefully! With the amount of energy and creativity you've put into this it can only thrive and prosper. Way to GO!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 04:12 PM

Yes, but the thing is, each task must quickly be turned over to someone else to do it THEIR way-- so that it's not just the Susan show, and so I don't burn out. Keep reminding me! Cuz I think actually I can see this turning into a house-concert-coffeehouse here! Right in my house, and geeze, why not, it's big enough. I could have four jam rooms going on, indoors, right now.

I need a bigger coffeepot....

Did you know that if you pop a bag of microwave popcorn, the smell makes people hungry and willing to pay anything to get a snack and a drink? Discovered that by accident at a church hotdog sale. We popped a bag every half hour and ate it ourselves while selling a couple dozen dogs per bag! Yes! As soon as we would pop a fresh one the sales would leap! We threw out a lot of stale popcorn but we sold a lot of cookies and dogs!

I always wanted to be a maven. *G*

Now, who's gonna stencil me some signage on canvas for the front yard..... vecro on, velcro off, zap!

Seriously-- what is making this work is taking one inspiration at a time, and not trying to see too far ahead, and doing things as they come to me instead of forcing them.

~The Popcorn Princess AKA Rank Opportunitst


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 09:37 PM

........ remind me to write about how much time it takes to grow a new participant in our jams. It's like organizing a Mudcat gathering-- so much depends on really encouraging people!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 02 - 11:47 PM

Of course Hardi and I are qualified to teach! Folkie Preschool! Callus Development 101!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 12:07 AM

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
Who Am I To Disagree

Find an established group up to one even two hours away. Fellowship with them, build with them, sing and play with them....and WHEN they grow to big for their environs...THEN break-off your cluster-group at your location. Give first to later receive.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 12:09 AM

Just curious...why is your church SELLING HOTDOGS....shouldn't that be covered by the offering plate?

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 12:16 AM

It has taken 50 WYSIWYG postings to keep this thread alive for 14 days...and I say HALLELUAH!!! AMEN!! Keep up the good work woman....better six dozen of these than a single LH icon polluting the atmosphere. Best wishes and keep trying. It IS WORTH the struggle. You WILL prevail. Do not loose faith. Carry ON!!


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 01:17 AM

1. In our terrain there is nothing established, within driving distance, given our schedules especially. That also wouldn't serve the rest of the local players who would love to play if they could only find each other. We DO go play farther away with others when we can-- but in some cases, WE are the people other more-isolated people are traveling TO, to play with!

2. Good church finance is about 60% pledge, with the rest being made up of plate, fundraisers, and endowment interest. Hot dogs are actually not finance though-- they are outreach. You break even, smile a lot, and in general act unchurchy.

3. It took nothing more than the encouragement of a few to keep this thread going, not the least of which was Rick Fielding's single and explicit post, possibly the most purely helpful post I have ever gotten.

4. It's not as dreary as it sounds. This is fun! The hard part will come later when there is an organization big enough to attract anonymous back-channel sh*t-stirrers, as every successful group does.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 01:27 AM

... and I just picked up our first student, for Folkie Preschool. She said it made her laugh so hard she knew it would be just right for her!

(And boy it scared me for a minute there, about this thread=14 days-- yikes! That WOULD be fast! Check the JUNE start date though! *G*)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:28 PM

Oh, I wish I could tell you, it's too hot to mention... let's just say word is now on its way out around the town's circles of influence..... This is GREAT. It's all falling right in our laps!

As well it should!

Also I just re-counted the house, for house concerts-- for a solo performer we can seat 40 with good sightlines, and another dozen at least who come late and may not be able to see (but acoustics here are GREAT and there are corners to hang out and schmooze). I see myself in the kitchen, behind the island (oh look! it's really a serving counter!) ... selling drinks and snacks....

Gee, our performer is going to have to duplicate some tapes to sell.....

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:35 PM

Candlelight House Concerts. (Great to hide the damn dirt!) (Do you know how many too-short, leftover beeswax candles we accumulate at church?????) Hahahahhh!

Smell of mulled cider.... and oatmeal muffins with honey.... and GREAT coffee with real cream from down the road.... and CHOCOLATE.....

The performer's dressing room is UPSTAIRS, DUH!!!!!!! He comes waltzing down the stairs, through the crowd, singing (or teasing the crowd) as he comes....... oh MAN!

Sigh.... even I wanna be there! *G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: harpgirl
Date: 16 Jul 02 - 02:35 PM

...hey gargoyle...I see you're not the LBH3 Song Meister anymore!!! What happened, did they vote you out or did you run out of dirty songs????!!! love, harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 09:30 AM

Our little gospel band has just been booked to lead a gospel sing, to kick off the "Old Home Days" parade for a little town in our county! We can use that to do PR for all this other stuff! Yay!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:06 AM

Glad my suggestion was helpful Susan. After my rather unpleasant little enforced hospital stay, I'm glad to see this project kicking ass big time.

Boy I wish more folks would do this kind of thing. Especially the ones who are TRULY isolated. (I don't just mean rural folk, 'cause you can be isolated in the biggest city as well)

What I know from long experience is 'IF YOU BUILD IT,(the infrastructure that is) THEY WILL COME!'

Then you have to find a way to get 'em to LEAVE!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM

I would sure appreciate your comments on the website, Rick.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 10:22 AM

Sooze:

You are one amazing human being.

Keep rolling on, honey!!

Love,

Amos


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 06:09 PM

Awww! \\\ blush///

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: hesperis
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 11:00 PM

Great that this all is doing well!!! *HUGE HUG*

I got internet again today, will write tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:42 PM

Yup!

House concert-- one person attending has insisted I let her wear a period dress and work the door! Yay! I think I know someone else who will react similarly, to direct people to parking out back, and directing them to the line of luminaries leading up to the front door!

People here LOVE anything theatrical and sedately daring.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 03:48 PM

hmmmm--- guess this kinda means that the performer will be "in character".


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 04:03 PM

Semi, as discussed. A theme and a theatrical set piece are not the same thing. We want a mood, not limits, see?

Me and Hardi will NOT be dressing up, nor will participants.

For the performer, I think, it's all in the hats.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 02 - 09:47 PM

WOW!!!!!!!!!

They ALL CAME!!!!!!!!

STRANGERS!!!!!!!!!

A stand up bass player!!!!!

Four new guitar players!

Buncha singer/listeners!

Oh the HAPPY FACES!!!!!!!

Jam-o-RAMA!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 09:29 AM

Fun, ain't it?

"I would sure appreciate your comments on the website, Rick."

Looked at yer website and it looks great. I'm not a very good person to ask about websites though.....now I'll be happy to look at yer "F" chord though.

cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 09:59 AM

Thanks, Rick.

ALL the PR tricks made it happen-- some had seen the flyer at a store or restaurant, some at the bluegrass festival, and some had seen the annoucement-TV blurb.

It was SO COOL.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 10:21 AM

FURTHER DESCRIPTION
(Copied in from posts at Local Folks)

We had a full porch as a result of all the local publicity, and only quit on account of the skeeters. Next time we will move inside at the break, once everyone who had wanted to come has arrived and things are cookin'. We went until 10 and it would not surprise me if we went till 11 next time.

New players outnumbered regulars! In all, we added four guitars, and standup bass, an autoharp, and someone who will bring that guitar next time. We had people bring chairs and come just to listen, too.

The jam was very informal, with Greg and I leading and coordinating for the first half till people were comfortable. Then it took off on its own with people throwing out song ideas, and it really clicked from there.

It was GREAT!!!!!!!

Can't wait for next time!

......... the music mix. EVERYTHING. Bluegrass, blues, gospel, Goodnight Irene, Hank Williams, Five-Foot-Two, a fiddle tune.......... I just KNOW I am leaving stuff out...... totally a mixed bag, with no one and no style dominating.

It was a folkie free-for-all! *G*

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 10:31 AM

And......... it only took a month and a half, with more efforts underway to grow it even bigger as time goes on.

Start yours today!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: GUEST,Hippie Chick
Date: 20 Jul 02 - 11:44 AM

Susan,

I have read about as far as June 12, so I don't know what you have planned :) but anyway, I thought that a potluck picnic/jam would work out well. Everyone likes to eat, and so get folks to bring veggies, salads, meat&potatoes, and whatever instrument they enjoy plunking upon. Start small, build big. All the advice I read above sounds on the mark. C U soon!

HC


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jul 02 - 03:54 PM

N E W S

Through a mail list, I learned about a writer who is working on an article about people's experiences starting a song circle. I invited her to check in here, so please continue to share your own experiences.

Through the website, I *met* a Texan who doesn't have asong circle in his area (that he knows of). I referred him here and to the Mudcat Filter search to learn more about other potential jammers, and maybe how to start up something in his area.

So I would amend the earlier statement-- "if you build it they will come," and "people will take note and be heartened to make their own start."

Yeah! Mo' MUSIC!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 07:05 PM

A quick update:

For the first time, it wasn't just me at our new Folk Fellowship. (One other guy showed up, but we had a blast.) And next week, our church is having a Music Fair to encourage participation in the various programs availible, and they've given me a table. Everyone else is going to just have signup sheets. We're going to be playing music.

Keep your fingers crossed, we may get this sucker off the ground yet!

Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 02 - 07:49 PM

I was wondering! Thanks for the update! If I can be a further sounding board when we get back from vacation the third week of August, jes' holler.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Aug 02 - 07:04 PM

We have been attending others' jams while on vacay in Chicagoland, and picking up tips om leadiong ours even better. Our housesitter reports that calls and e-mail are still coming in from the last round of PR, and she is set to do another round while we are gone.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: MMario
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 07:48 PM

About 28 people there last night - including several families -(some very talented kids!) guitar, accordian, mountain dulcimer, autoharps, singers, listeners, violins, mandolins.

wow!

More later when I can put some thoughts together.


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 11:05 PM

I know I said "Keep your fingers crossed, we may get this sucker off the ground yet." Well, folks, you can uncross them, because this particular sucker crashed and burned. Got lots of interest, lots of "I'm going to try to be there next week." One little problem. Nobody actually showed up, except for one week. I'm going to fade back 20 yards and punt. But for the time being, this particular attempt at growing a folk community from seed has been hit by Round-Up, and is dead, dead, dead.

Like the Cubbies always say, "Next Year!"

Blues


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 04:15 PM

Blues, what do you think is happening here? What needs to happen?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Sep 02 - 03:22 PM

Hear tell ol' buddeh Amos and Banjoest doin' a lil planting theyselves, I think they has BULBS tho, not SEEDS.

What's the haps, Amos? How did it come about? WHY is it working?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 01:38 AM

Well, I dunno exackly -- me and Banjoest agreed to get together one time and bet was there and Banjoest brought his buddies. And we were all veterans, pretty much, and played together well -- everyone knew enough to pariticpate in most of hte osngs. Noone was driving the event, it self organized as anet effect of a lot of self-designed choiced by each of th epariticpants. Then we set up a couplemore because Genie knew me and she was interested int he next one. And the core enabling device, of course was the Mudcat.

At the second one, word of mouth brought one other musician, a fiddler I had played with once before (that was today). Banjoest and his friends were there and we had a jolly good time playing and isnging for about three hours, I guess. Until our fingers got too sore, anyway!

So I would say the successful formulation was the common-interest comms system and the word of mouth, and the free decisions of those involved. Dunno much moah then thayut!

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 01:41 AM

Amos-- Didja collect up any people from wanderers-by? Players or potential audience members or gig sources?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 11:36 AM

Well, I did not "collect" anyone -- there were a number of people who hung around enjoying the music, and then when it was over we all went away, I think. If I had collected them it would have been hard to explain to BBW when I brought them home! And since we were not a band or looking for gigs it didn't occur to me I should be propmoting something. The one guy who had said last month he wanted to start a bluegrass band didn't make it, cuz he was too busy sleeping off a long gig in another band the night before!

A


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 10:59 AM

I see. It sounds wonderful! A folk community is forming there as a byproduct of people wanting to just get together and play. Over here I think the vision and planning are different (not saying it's a better one).

In our case we see a whole community with all the elements present that are not now fully present-- players, audiences, music shops, venues, a place to stay for out of towners, lessons and workshops.... publicity streams.... and we are working intentionally and in an organized fashion toward that.

Which I will continue in PART TWO.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 11:20 AM

UPDATES

A local coffeehouse was started here about 6 years ago to bring good espresso to the people here, to the transplants from the flatlands who missed or had only heard about Real City Coffee. They started in a tiny little shop and soon expanded into a space that allows some seating for music and poetry readings, and they have been working toward a sustaining audience for that. Attendance and events there have been so spotty that we just went ahead with our own plans, which had been in place well before they opened. We figured eventually it would all join up, and now it seems to be.

They had a VERY succesful Celtic evening there last week and I have made contact with the organizers, who say they have just gotten some funding together for forming a local arts organization as a nonprofit. My own plans are rather more business-oriented, and I am thrilled that they want to work together. I have offered to do scheduling cooperatively and to cross-promote, and additional discussions are planned. I also have some good grant leads that will augment the whole picture for all concerned. Some can only be pursued by a nonprofit, and some are designed for presenters to aid them in funding artist fees to keep ticket prices low.

Some other good news is that our own audience-building activities are going really well-- and a band I had hoped to book eventually has gotten themselves booked at the nearby university. (SIMPLE GIFTS) We have been invited to help promote, and also to plan a musician's workshop with this band. Their being booked here will give a little bit of a push, also, to the other arts organizations in the county I had approached about booking them-- and hopefully encourage those venues to book one of the other bands I brought to their attention, now that we can demonstrate interest and a potential audience.

We are continuing to get weekly calls or e-mails from the PR that's out now about the jams, and a friend has put up our flyers all over the place. And I have used the flyer to get a couple of paying gigs for us, by using it like a business card. We went out one evening to run through some new material at a nearby roadside restaurant that had offered jam space in the past when I was worried that a Mudcat Gathering here would overrun our living room (and it nearly did). We'll be dropping in there on a regular basis to "rehearse." No kidding-- the area is so music-starved that even when we are only working up new stuff, and rejecting the tunes that don't come off well-- people come up to us and offer us chances to play for money at their events! It's not that we are that good-- just that the time for all this is really here, and people DO want more music as long as it's presented in a way that feels right in this mountain community: the just-folks way.

That restaurant, as well, looks to be a good potential venue for some of the music we want to increase around here-- family-oriented singalongs. The place and the staff and the food are great, and it is WAY under-utilized as a dining spot.

Gee, if you have been wanting to try this in your area, I think I can safely say that there is no reason to hold back. Go for it!

Take a fresh look at our website (LOCAL FOLKS)if you have not seen it lately!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 12:50 PM

I have FOUND the CONTRADANCERS. They badly need some PR. PR-R-Us.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM

Well, the people who have had long success with the bluegrass here (and its iterations as a party-hearty affair and more recently a somewhat substance-controlled effort) have apparently seen the future coming, because suddenly their website looks a lot like ours in content, and suddenly (surprise!) they are planning a monthly jam as well as an e-mailed events newsletter (they just got my first "issue" last week). I have successfully resisted the urge to send nukes, and have established ladylike and folkie-appropriate contact to be in cooperation. I said I would of course be promoting their events and that I hoped for the same cooperation in return. And the mail to do that began to fly. Because we really have gotten something going here, and they have faced that reality. *G*

What an odd business it is, the folk music business. And how quickly we become known for who we really are, in a small-town setting.

IMO the standard is that that more music is always good, and that competition is not only unnecessary but, in this kind of community, likely to do more harm than good in terms of splitting audiences and thereby reducing gig opportunities. One can and should be an opportunitst, but I believe it is possible to be a Principled Opportunist and to get farther. At least all my other careers have demonstrated that clearly. I think Red Cross said it best-- one needs a for-profit head and a non-profit heart.

Unless these other people can top a Mudcat Gathering, though, I think what we are doing will continue to hold a lot of participants. This is because our vision includes the reality that ALL people need and want music, both to hear it and to make it. Our vision is not limited by genre or divided between audiences and professionals. So we see 41,000 potential audience members, not the relatively small subset who have gone to the bluegrass concerts and annual festival. In fact all you Mudcatters could theoretically move here and be paid giggers, with the right approach to marketing it all. *G*

With the speed of our response, these nice, hardworking people have already learned, I believe, an important concept in dealing with me-- NEVER piss me off on a Friday.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 11:10 AM

In my opinion this (part one) thread has been one of the most valuable on the cat.

As you know I'm a HUGE believer in Music being a wonderful therapy for folks who are having a rough time of it, as well as those who are happy as clams. For fifteen years I've tried to hook up my students with other folks at a similar stage of musical developement (I often LOSE students that way...but if I had any head for business, I wouldn't be a musician anyway!)

Feeling isolated? Like to sing (a bit), or play (a bit)?

Put up the SIGNS. They will come! There ain't nuthin' like bein' around people! (And unlike relatives...eventually they LEAVE!)

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 11:29 AM

Rick, I believe this can be done in ANY community. I can't count the number of mean-looking old folks I've run into around here who, once I start playing, brighten up and confess their love for old music! They leave, all right, but all sweetened up, laughing. I KNOW it ain't ME-- believe me I ain't that good! It's the MUSIC, and if we don't believe in the music, we can't grow a damn thing. So that's Concept One.

We were at a jam last night-- been going to as many different ones as possible to catch all the vision I can-- and WOW. One key to it was that the core players have long since given up any confusion whatsoever about how they are going to spend their free time. If it's the second Friday, or two of the Thursdays in the month, they are PLAYING MUSIC in places where other people might hear it and get a tickle out of it. So here is the second key concept-- do you think of yourself as a musician, and conduct your life accordingly, or do you never make time to BE yourSELF, because you honestly (admit it!) prefer the hope to the reality? I am going to start asking that at the jams, at the end of them, when I make announcments about the next ones and other events.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Sep 02 - 03:06 PM

Vision? Music being heard, sung and played by ALL, pre-cradle to grave.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:23 AM

The following is pasted in from another thread where I was asking about leading an oldtime jam with little experience, and how to toss the leads around between singers and instruments. There was lots of other good advice and info in it, too, on oldtime jamming. These posts reflect how the community was affected by what we did.

I am including this to show how even without expert knowledge, the music itself builds the community if we are just willing to give it a shot.

~S~

================================================================

Subject: RE: Oldtime Jamming Question (duh)
From: Les B - PM
Date: 21 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM

WYSIWYG - glad it worked out for you. It's all kind of made up on the fly, unless you're a real band, and that's what rehearsals are for - to work out just how you're gonna do it every time.

You referenced the old time music on Honkingduck. My sense is that in the early days of recording the musicians adjusted their songs to "fit" the two or three minutes of recording time available, and that the record producer might be signaling them to extend or cut the song/tune. I wouldn't judge any of their patterns (AABB or AB, etc.) to be a standard - they might not do them the same way at all in a live performance.

================================================================


Subject: RE: Oldtime Jamming Question (duh)
From: WYSIWYG - PM
Date: 21 Sep 02 - 01:43 AM

Yeah, we were talking about that very aspect (radio play) tonight after the jam. My husband is a wonderful partner in looking at what has just occurred in any situation, and seeing what was going on underneath and why a thing worked. This lets us learn every time, and lets us be more intentional about things the next time around. We just keep wondering about a thing, till we see what there is to see.

What I ended up doing was asking my husband to sing on the song I wanted to work on, so I could shuffle the pieces around between him and a fiddler who had never payed lead before-- it was stunning, since the fiddlers he's used to leaning on were not here tonight. So he really grabbed hold and did a job for us all tonight. He felt like a million bucks and I banged out the time on my very loud autoharp, and I would let my husband know whether to take the verse or chorus to sing, and when. It was "Two Dollar Bill," and it worked great.

The other conclusion we drew is that it is not, in the final analysis, important at all how well someone plays or sings when leading-- because the most important thing is just that someone with good rhythm and half a clue about the tune LEADS it so everyone else present can have a great time screwing around on backup, trying different things. If the one on lead does a stellar job, we concluded, THAT will be noticed, but if they do LESS than a stellar job, no one will care because most people in the jam are listening to themselves! *G* And I learned a hard but key lesson-- the Jam Leader outranks any Oldtime Police present! (Any police in attendance can just lead it their way next time-- we always bow, after the Beginner Jam, to anyone present who is more skilled than we, if s/he wants to take over leading the songcircle.)

Anyway it was great being right between these two guys, my husband and the fidddler, as they tossed it back and forth, and I was unobtrusive enough that they will do it more seamlessly, on their own, next time.

We also got a brand-new lap dulcimer player lead out "Mary Had a Little Lamb." It's the one piece he has learned, because he just started playing.) He finally GOT it that you do not pause before starting the tune over-- a lady sang with him quietly at his elbow so he could know to keep going-- and he was thrilled to be given a chance to play for so long, and we all joined in with enough variation, verse to verse, but very quietly, that we made that thing sound pretty damn good!

It's wonderful, getting a chance to draw people into the fun. Makes me mad no one has been working with folks here till now. What a waste!

Thanks again, all, for the hope and encouragement. About a dozen new players, and a couple of old fogies, benefited. I will never forget that fiddler finding out he could really PLAY, while his wife and two very little girls watched daddy shine, and the younger girl droned along with me, watching my fingers on the chord buttons to see where daddy was taking us all. BIG eyes! Super!

"Folk Music and the Meaning of Life"???? We got that, too!

~Susan



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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: MMario
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:34 AM

guess you had some fiddles! (still moping because I coulsn't get down this month)


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:35 AM

UPDATE:

Things have progressed now to the point where we have:

>> a constant influx of newcomers, from continuing PR, who range from new learners to experienced players, plus people who want to listen and sing

>> new folkies being formed from among people who did not know what folk was or that they liked it

>> a steady stream of excited e-mails about participating

>> more and more relationships with leaders of genre-specific music clusters in the immediate and surrounding areas

>> people wanting lessons and instruments

>> people who participate in the decisions and work of the monthly jam and other things that flow from it

>> a certain body of songs and tunes that are becoming "our" usual beginners' material, with a songbook potentially in the making

>> a house that was an empty nest with occasional Mudcatter visits, becoming a houseful of homemade music that visting Mudcatters can just enjoy and perform in

>> an amazing number of people who want to fiddle, and to fiddle pretty much whatever can be fiddled, regardless of previous musical experience or genre of interest!

>> hosts (me and Hardi) who have gained enough confidence to start busking and working up tunes for a performance set, who had been songleaders exclusively till recently... which means that when we gig, we already know how to get the audience involved and have music they will want to sing with...

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 09:37 AM

Hey Mmario,

Yeah, a few fiddles. *G* You know what THAT means.

Remember Brion, with the hat and the lap dulcimer? He came back. We need to get you guys hooked up to do Mary Had a Little Lamb parodies. Next time, wear hat. *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 02:29 PM

Well, we organized an October workshop and brought in an instructor who promptly signed up people WE had found, for lessons... cost me a month of effort, some seed money, and for no return other than a learning lesson I didn't really need... we had discussed lessons being held at our house but now we were being passed by... I was not quick enough on the uptake to convert the workshop to lesson bookings. (This time.)

But once I thought it over I was glad it happened that way.

It amounted to a close encounter with the bluegrass kind-- not a folk workshop-- and we never set out to compete with them or enlarge what they are doing, although we welcomed their participation if they desired it. So we are refocusing on song circles and bringing good folk talent into the area, which is still lacking. ANd looking for a more broad-background type intructor.

But for a long, painful minute there I felt all the awful feelings you feel when someone scoops you, and cuts you out of the opportunities YOU generated-- and I could have competed as a reaction. Then I realized, wait minute-- this is NOT even what I set out to do, at ALL!!! I am sure the wider folk biz can be pretty cut-throat, too, but by golly, if I am going to give my house over to music, it's going to have to be ALL music, and the bluegrass people can be there or not....

The main thing I learned was-- when someone tells you they teach beginner ANYTHING, ask more questions-- if their view of music is narrowed to any one genre, they are not the right person for a beginner to work with, or for me to promote in this learning community. People are going to have have tunnel vision like that-- but that's not MY vision.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 04:02 PM

Sorry to hear that Susan. Yep, I'm afraid there are jerks in our profession. For twenty years I competed at a pretty high level in the "professional music biz" biz. Earned a good living, had agents and Managers, and rarely got taken advantage of.(hmmmm, good grammar eh?)

Did a lot of "surrupticious" ass kissing as well. (That's when you do it but try to convince yourself it's just 'networking")

Got very sick of a LOT of things about 14 years ago, and decided that I might never change the world, but I'd make damned sure it didn't change me. So now I just smile at the "ambitious ones" who play "dog eat dog", EVEN at FOLK FESTIVALS, WORKSHOPS and COFFEE HOUSES!

Frig 'em (so to speak)

As I said before....valuable thread, this.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 04:39 PM

Well, Rick, the instructor was not a jerk, just someone who's paid his dues long since and is very good at mkaing connections out of opportunities... he's been a good ally in a number of ways, but he was watching his bottom line closer than I was watching mine.

My PERSONAL opinion is that a thank-you gift (that embarassing word, CASH) for the leads I generated would not have been inappropriate, especially if he would like me to keep the pipeline open on other leads. If it's going to be a case of ass-kissing, he sure didn't kiss mine any too good.... but I didn't negotiate it in up front, either. Let that be a lesson to someone else reading all this, I guess.

Perhaps more importantly, though, I have to keep dealing with the fact that I am in a rehab mode, and I'm not just as quick as I once was. It used to be you could not get the jump on me. But I am much nicer now, and although it feels odd to miss a trick, it's actually better to keep my focus straight and not have to do it ALL. So, I'm just pleased that I looked deeper than the feelings and found the vision again. It feels like a close call, like I dodged a bullet, and you know, it will turn out to be a big benchmark for me, how I handled this. And it will leave me energy to do... what I oughtta be doing.

I hate growing up though! *G* It's partly YOUR evil influence, Rick!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:14 PM

We seem to have two camps gathering around us, with some overlap but not a lot-- oldtimey/bluegrass in one, and a mix of folk music, old pop stuff, blues, and a bit of C&W the other. Makes jam night pretty interesting. I think a tune/instrument jam for the first group and a song circle for the second group will emerge. We think a monthly workshop, somewhat like a group lesson, also will emerge, in
addition most likely to the monthly free jam. Or maybe the workshop part will replace the beginner's jam....

My husband and I are in the self-taught tradition ourselves, and what we seem to be best able to share is the encouragement and freedom for people to explore music and their instrument as self-directed learners, and a willingness to play together which, in my opinion, is the best place for skills to grow. This can happen both as people swap techniques or as people push themselves to play with others. There is a magic about how that has been happening in our efforts, and I am beginning to suspect that if we organized it any more formally into lessons, we'd kill something very special. Not to say we are not wanting to charge for the time it takes to prep songs that will work for the people who come, or for our leadership in helping people find a variety of resources, or our experience with a variety
of genres..... But it feels to us more like a process of mentoring than like the transmission of techniques.

So, our PR is shifting.... we now say that we are inviting people to take the plunge and come to the next jam... "Discover that you play better than you think you can, when someone else is leading a tune you want to try, and take a chance on leading one yourself in some easy key, so we can all play along with you."

BTW, it turns out that skill is not the necessary ingredient to lead a
song-- no one really cares how well you play it or sing it. The key
ingredient is just a willingness to risk a little embarrassment to start a song or tune everyone else can try out THEIR skills on! No one is listening to the LEADER-- we're all too busy having fun hitting the groove, or worrying how well WE are playing along!

I love doing all this while also in rehab mode myself... I just don't have the time or the energy to organize or plan it any more than it ought to be... it's a constant work in progress and a surprise, and all we seem to need to do is throw open the door when jam night rolls around and let it happen right before our eyes.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 02:49 PM

Hmmmmmmm, well I guess you're right Susan. Grudgingly I'll admit that the person in question was NOT a jerk, merely someone acting in a fiscally astute way.

My problem is that I've NEVER acted fiscally astute (with individuals). The first time Heather pointed this out to me was when she noticed that many of my lessons seemed to far exceed the (paid for) hour. "Boy, you DON'T do this for the money, do you" she said. Too late though, she'd already married me!!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed, II
From: Blues=Life
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 11:35 PM

Ok, this thread needed to be dredged up. I contributed the story of my attempts to start a folk fellowship in the first part of this thread many years ago. Well, it didn't work, and these things happen.
4 or 5 years went by, my family moved to a new town, and I became active in a new church. I played a little guitar here and there, but didn't really have a place to play. Then a friend at church asked me to run a summer class on simple praise guitar, based on a book that her father-in-law had given her. 12 weeks, 12 chords, 3 strum patterns, 20 simple praise songs and hymns. I figured 4 or 5 people would show up. We had 20. Now, there was the normal attrition, (mostly, in my opinion, caused by people trying to learn guitar on just bad instruments. I would have had problems playing on some of these guitars… but I digress!) but a fair number hung on until the end.
Great. Now what do you do? Well, we did it again. Fewer students, but some repeat customers, who wanted to work on what they had learned. And it also turns out that while I was teaching those two classes, a few "real" guitarists showed up to play along, and to help out. They took turns teaching when I was on vacation, and they were a great resource with classes that big. So just for the heck of it, we kept meeting after the second class was over. And some of the students kept coming. People kept bringing in songs they wanted to play and learn. Most of it is that old -time Americana and gospel music. But there are blues songs, and bluegrass, and Clapton, and …Well, you get the idea. And a couple members of the choir started coming in early, sitting in, and singing those great harmonies. And one day I looked around, and we had a revolving cast of 10 guitarists, a mandolin/banjo player with a great voice, a 80 year old with a dulcimer and a ukulele (ya just gotta love the sound of a uke on I'll Fly Away) a bass player, a percussionist, 4 or 5 vocalists, and a monthly rotation in church services. And, mostly as a joke, because the classes in the adjoining rooms would kid us about how loud we were, we got ourselves a name. We've got room for everyone, we have a lot of fun, it doesn't matter how good you are because there is safety in numbers, and we are The Joyful Noise Acoustic Ensemble.
Who would have thunk it seven years ago?


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 01:17 PM

What a great story, Blues. What's happening now?

In the smallish Ohio town where we'll retire in a few years (which I visit quarterly to work on the little house we bought), I have been enjoying two good monthly song circles held here. They are very different from each other and very well attended by two distinctly different groups. There's enough people in the surrounding multicultural area for even more folk music. And our house not only offers an opportunity to fill a gap I spotted-- the property is perfectly suited for hosting multiple, simultaneous activities. Tonight is our small beginning. (How I'm missing Rick!!!)

The planned Celebration Circle draws from experience gained as described above, and adds storytelling . Basic operational rules have been developed that will help folks avoid misunderstandings around whether totally different "usual" expectations are in force: is it a campfire sing... or an open mic... or a tune session... or a contradance... or a..... Gosh, each of those are so different! It can and will be possible to do all of the above, with a few simple agreements.

One thing we will NOT be doing is teaching, unless invited to do so.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 08:10 PM

What fun!!! People really did take (and not pass) their turns. A first-grader found out what a song circle is instead of running off to toys or video games. We met some new folks and saw a few people we knew. And everyone tuned their own instruments. I took a turn singing unaccompanied, and that went well. We had enough copies of books used locally, and did one from our own songbook too.

Shared tonight.....

FIRST SONGS:
Wade in the water
Waltzing matilda
The times they are a changing
Angel band
You are my sunshine
On top of spaghetti
Louis Collins
Blowing in the wind
The housewife's lament
Beans in my ears
Sloop John b
This little light of mine
The water is wide
Goodnight Irene
Don't you weep after me
Four strong winds

FIRST STORIES:
The Brahmadatta's Noble Horse and the 7 Kings;
The Discovery of Fire


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Aug 15 - 08:16 PM

PS the house layout was great and minimal prep was simple. I took pix of the space as set up and will use that setup for classes and support groups that also meet here. Taking down the card table we use as a dining table tripled our seating space. This was all indoors due to yard issues and extreme heat/humidity. 10 people and instruments etc fit well in one room. A 2nd room was set for overflow if needed but since people came and went we did not need that space. The yard and patio though can easily handle a house concert in future, as well as bigger jams. And there is a danceable clean lawn, should dancing break out!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Growing a Folk Community from Seed
From: Blues=Life
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 11:15 AM

Wow, Susan, sorry I missed your response! Sounds like a great place to hang out and play music!
The Noise are still playing every Sunday, still amazingly supportive of one another, and continue to grow in size and ability.
It's always a good time!


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