Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


How do you make money in folk music?

Related threads:
Booking woes (23)
New young talents not getting airplay... (38)
A Music buisness question (9)
Ordinary Business Practices (10)
Business: Open Mic Advice (19)
Need Help VA Law and Music Business (3)


johnfitz.com 13 Jan 04 - 12:18 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 12:34 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 12:39 AM
Alaska Mike 13 Jan 04 - 12:43 AM
Bo Vandenberg 13 Jan 04 - 12:53 AM
johnfitz.com 13 Jan 04 - 12:55 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:02 AM
johnfitz.com 13 Jan 04 - 01:14 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:17 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:20 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:29 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:32 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 04 - 01:33 AM
Cluin 13 Jan 04 - 01:40 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 13 Jan 04 - 01:50 AM
musicmick 13 Jan 04 - 02:00 AM
Pete_Standing 13 Jan 04 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 13 Jan 04 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Guest 13 Jan 04 - 09:21 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Jan 04 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 13 Jan 04 - 10:48 AM
Kim C 13 Jan 04 - 10:54 AM
breezy 13 Jan 04 - 10:56 AM
kendall 13 Jan 04 - 11:02 AM
Kim C 13 Jan 04 - 11:08 AM
The O'Meara 13 Jan 04 - 11:17 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Jan 04 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,Paul. 13 Jan 04 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Guest 13 Jan 04 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Santa 13 Jan 04 - 11:34 AM
mack/misophist 13 Jan 04 - 11:36 AM
mg 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM
VIN 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM
greg stephens 13 Jan 04 - 11:45 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Jan 04 - 11:46 AM
Midchuck 13 Jan 04 - 11:52 AM
Kim C 13 Jan 04 - 11:56 AM
Jim the Bart 13 Jan 04 - 12:27 PM
Stewart 13 Jan 04 - 12:31 PM
folkie51 13 Jan 04 - 12:34 PM
M.Ted 13 Jan 04 - 12:37 PM
dermod in salisbury 13 Jan 04 - 12:54 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Jan 04 - 01:06 PM
breezy 13 Jan 04 - 01:25 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 13 Jan 04 - 01:28 PM
JWB 13 Jan 04 - 02:08 PM
Lanfranc 13 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM
Steve in Idaho 13 Jan 04 - 02:49 PM
George Papavgeris 13 Jan 04 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 13 Jan 04 - 03:39 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: How do you make money in folk music?
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:18 AM

I muckle along, feed my six kids, write stuff, learn stuff and sing pretty regularly..but, man, it doesn't seem like there's any more money now than there was twenty years ago. I'm sure that making money is one of the best kept secrets of the folk trade (or maybe that's just a myth too) I am sincerely curious how people have managed to make folk music an economically viable part of their lives. I always tell our crowds (small as they may be) that poverty is an essential discipline of the folk community and not to go too overboard when the tip hat is passed around. But, seriously...any pointers?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:34 AM

I wish I knew ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:39 AM

.... but next time I get to Concord MA, I'll have to stop in to the The Colonial Inn and say hello. Where is it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:43 AM

Day jobs, johnfitz, day jobs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Bo Vandenberg
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:53 AM

Its sadly like the difference between a Folk Singer and a Savings Bond...


The Bond matures and makes money.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:55 AM

I got me day jobs as well...any player whoever wants to play with us on any given Thursday or Sunday is more than welcome...Sunday usually has the best of the music talent...myself excluded. You can't miss the Inn...it's smack dab in the middle of the square in Concord MA...open mikes on mondays too...amazin' harmonica player on tuesday (Hatrack Gallagher [confidante of Peg Leg Sam])...and Jimmy Mazzy, The "great tenor banjo wizard" on wednesday (and ornery and irascible to boot--genuinely so!)...yeah, the music is alive, but all you goddamn people who call and say you'll play for tips...you're killling us...my poor kids have to make do with cocoa puffs when we all know that cocoa krispies is the real deal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:02 AM

... actually, the day job is the problem! Give it up, you'll have to work harder at music!

;-)

I'll call ahead - but I just may surprise you one of these days! I have freinds in that part of the world (we call 'em Yankees in Texas, used to be one myself - but I keep that quiet)!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: johnfitz.com
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:14 AM

We've had a few texans come through, most notably Townes Van Zandts a couple of times--and Robert Earle King Junior..It took a while for an old swamp yankee like myself to convince him New Englander's know how to catch bass...we'd love to have you too...who the sam hill are you?

Jed Marum, I suppose.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:17 AM

John - your lovely poem about Joshua, makes me think of many New England scenes, walks through the graveyards, and thoughts that wandered through my head about the occupants beneath the headstones.

Aengus Finnan write a lovely song called O'Shaughnessy's Lament. You can see the lyrics here,(track 13) but Aengus said of the song, "If ever a song was 'given" to me it was this one. Written at the grave of a silver miner and his family in Cobalt, Ontario."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:20 AM

LOL - Yes John, Jed Marum.

I stopped bass fishing when I moved to Texas! We just don't have many lakes with walkable shores ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:29 AM

Now Townes has achieved God-like status in Texas and Robert Earle, well he's fixin' to be the next one ... There's a great jam session every Thursady night in Dallas, at an old haunt of Townes, called the Sons of Hermann Hall. There'll be two or three circles goin' in two of three rooms, each with 10 or more folks ... every Thursday ... gone on for years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:32 AM

Gotta go now, before I turn into a pumkin. Welcome to Mudcat, John. There's some good folks here, and lots of good information. I stay out of the politics, but otherwise I get on just fine!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:33 AM

pumpkin!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Cluin
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:40 AM

Through extortion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:50 AM

By singing at work!    ?;^o

ttr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: musicmick
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:00 AM

There are many ways to make money as a folksinger. I have been a full time folksinger for forty five years. I do not have a day job. I perform in schools, libraries, senior centers, camps, parties, travel clubs, concerts and festivals. I did educational programs at the Children's Heart Hospital and Shriners Hospital for twelve years on a grant from the Phila. Folk Festival. I do holiday shows and ethnic shows (Irish and Klezmer). I do a lot of Christmas programs. I teach guitar, banjo and mandolin two days a week. (I used to teach more but I've been cutting down). I should add that I live in a very good area for folk jobs and that longevity has given me reputation and credability. I have many friends who, also, make their living in folk music. Some of them work with pre-school groups, some with seniors, some in education. I will be glad to suggest specific paths and marketing strategies to anyone who needs ideas. Contact me directly, if you like.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 09:16 AM

With a Mattel money making kit and lino prints.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 09:18 AM

With a tiny number of exceptions NOT from gigs or CDs.

People I can think of who make a living from the folk scene are in education, theatre, broadcasting or arts admin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 09:21 AM

By playing an out of tune guitar, not doing too much research and appealing to folk club organisers who do not seem to appreciate quality anymore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 09:36 AM

Did you hear about the folksinger that won 2 million dollars in the lottery? He played gigs until the money ran out.

All jokes aside, you can make a living doing folk music. As Musicmic pointed out, you can find seed money and perform in schools, libraries, camps, etc. The extra reward is that you might inspire kids to learn the music too.   The bar scene can provide a living, but don't expect to have people lining up to hear your own songs that way. Unless you are lucky, audiences in bars need music only as background noise.

Talent, patience, strong business sense and a little luck will get you through. You will need to schmooze the right people and make yourself known.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 10:48 AM

I `ad that American Mr. Gibson in my cab once, all dressed up like pox doctor`s clerk and on `is way to an `oliday in the Seychelles. I asked him `ow did he make money from folk music?
`e said "I just sells`em all guitars and mandolins!!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 10:54 AM

Money? Folk music?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAHAAHAHHAHAAAHAHAAAHAAAHAAHA(breath)HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(ps Jed - in the South, it's "punkin" ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: breezy
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 10:56 AM

kill off the free sessions that cheapen the scene and attract too much bad feedback that put people off paying for a start.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:02 AM

It's like selling ice boxes. Wrong century. The demand is just not there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:08 AM

Now that I've stopped laughing, I suppose I should ask what you mean by "make money." Mister and I get paid, usually, but not enough to quit our day jobs. Some artists make a reasonable living but I don't think any of them ever get filthy rich.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: The O'Meara
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:17 AM

One often overlooked benefit of being a professional folksinger: you'll only need two pallbearers at your funeral.

O'Meara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:17 AM

"kill off the free sessions that cheapen the scene and attract too much bad feedback that put people off paying for a start"

What an absurd idea!! Making music has only been an exhibitionist sport for the last 100 years or so, before that it was a participatory pastime. How can we suggest that we should put up roadblocks for people who might want to make music? That is the surest way to kill off interest in this type of music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Paul.
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:24 AM

In response to the post from Breezy, Ireland has probably more free sessions than anywhere in the world, it also has more professional musicians and singers, per head of population than anywhere else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:33 AM

I tried for a year or so to make a living and scraped by so miserably (supplementing it even with other part time jobs) that I had to go back to a day job. I was mostly performing, not teaching, etc. However, I've been gigging on and off since the '80's and have friends who have been doing it since the '70's and the average wage for your average gig (pub, festival, etc.) doesn't seem to have gone up very much. It can be done, but it's very difficult. In the 80's I'd make around $100 for a pub gig, and now it's around $100 to $125, sometimes less.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:34 AM

But the question was how to make money - before it became an "exhibitionist sport" nobody made money from it. However much fun it was. Or is.

If you want people to pay good money, or lots of people to pay a little each but it all adds up, you have to give them quality. Amateurs may be enjoying themselves, good for them, but if the public can get music free why pay? In any way of life, if you want to make money you have to offer something that people want, that they can't get elsewhere. And if folk music becomes too associated with amateurs then just plain ordinary non-music playing people will be put off. If you don't think that's true, just ask some of your non-folkie friends about the image of folk music: especially ask the young ones.

Now which will keep the music more alive: giving elbow room to a few extra amateurs or to high quality professionals with a mass audience? If folk can regain a mass audience it will recruit a new generation of enthusiasts and get new faces coming in as artists too. But no, I don't have any recipe for achieving that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:36 AM

The best, most reliable, way for a folk singer to make money is to buy a high quality scanner/ printer. Watch out for the Secret Service, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: mg
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM

If I had 6 kids I would kee p the teaching job for the insurance and the stability, even if I had a wife or husband making good money etc. Life is too uncertain, for me at least. But you have an ideal situation, called summers off. Use them to make music money then. Go to festivals etc. Pander to tourists... mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: VIN
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:41 AM

I don't think 'free' sessions cheapen the scene in any way. On the contrary, the more the desire to listen to 'folk' music is exploited, packaged, sold and promoted as just another commodity is more likely to cheapen it far more than any free session. Whilst there's nowt wrong with making a living from singing/playing folk music, a free session comes from the heart and the love of and desire to share the music - that can only be a good thing surely?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:45 AM

University education seems to be the best new scam, in England anyway. This was a non-existent trade 30 years ago, now there are courses on Folk Music attended by worthy students (Fay often slips on to Mudcat to chat about her latest essay). Now presumably there are people earning a fat salary teaching these courses. Exactly what the qualifications are, or how you get the jobs, is naturally a well-kept secret.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:46 AM

Sorry Santa, but there is space for both professionals and amateurs.

The people who participate in sessions are more likely to pay to see professionals because of their interest in music. The non-music playing individual can also discern what is an amateur session and what is professional gig. I don't think that a large portion of the audience is being siphoned off because a bunch of people are playing tunes in the next door bar. If the music is good, people will pay to see it.

Part of the problem that I see is that "folk" music tends to aim for an older audience. As the audience ages, there is less interest in going out to bars or pubs. Admission fees have become much higher, the costs of drinks and food have increased, so people tend to be more choosey about going to see a performer.

What has started to replace the bar scene is the house concert. Audiences are growing for these events and the audience goes because they want to hear music. The musicians tend to sell more CD's as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Midchuck
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:52 AM

I plan to become a full-time professional folk musician in about 3 years - when I start to collect Social Security.

I figure that's about the age when my voice, such as it is, will go - but I'll be doing folk music, so it won't matter. Might even make people think I'm a authentic traditional singer.

Peter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Kim C
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:56 AM

Santa, I reckon that depends on how you differentiate between an amateur and a professional. I've seen a few "professionals" who weren't all that great, and some "amateurs" who were really spectacular.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:27 PM

My Mother (bless her heart) gave me the truest advice I've ever gotten: "In this country (America, in my case) you can be anything you want to be, as long as you have a job, too."

How do you make money in folk music? Anyone who saw "A Mighty Wind" should know that one answer to this question is to go into personal management. It's the promoters that make the money, not the talent. Promoters are the only people who create "jobs" in music.

There are folk-related jobs; you can teach people to sing or play, but I have always considered this is more a job in education than music. Success as a teacher will depend more on your teaching skills than your playing skills.

There are jobs in pop music, some that are also folk-related. You can help bar owners sell drinks or coffeehouse owners sell coffee by playing songs that people want to hear in rooms where they can consume these things. What you will find, though, in most cases, is that the "folk" songs that people want to hear are the ones that at some point crossed the line and became pop tunes. You can also make money by writing and selling songs, but these songs will not be folk music (by definition, they are not songs from "the folk").

The fact is that some folk songs have become pop and some folk singers have had long, successful careers without becoming entirely pop. In my opinion, these have been happy accidents more than the result of job opportunities; the residue of great talent bumping headlong into rare opportunity.

To make money in folk music - just as in any field - you have to approach your music as "product", ie, just another vehicle for making money. Maybe you can do it without losing your integrity, or cheapening your music. I sure don't know how to do that. In my experience, you find yourself after x-number of years in some country bar at 4 in the morning with another set to do wondering "how the heck did I get here?"

Good luck, keep playing
Something good just might happen
JIM B.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Stewart
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:31 PM

Midchuck, you're right! I had a long career as a research biochemist, college and university professor. Probably could have made more money if I had stayed out of academia, but I did alright and enjoyed the other benefits. Then I figured I could well afford to retire, that I didn't have to put up with an unreasonable dean and administration, and took early retirement at age 63. Now my new career is as an unemployed musician - I wouldn't have it any other way. I thoroughly enjoy the freedom to do what I want and enjoy the music. But, as one of my musician friends remarked about my new career, "you have a lot of competition!"

Cheers, S. in Seattle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: folkie51
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:34 PM

I'v heard that some people make more busking in the subways than doing evening gigs. But the people I know who actully make money devote all their time to it with no day jobs, work their asses off , network with everyone they meet, run it like a business office, and write folk with no qualms about pitching to Nashville, where it evolves into country. unc. bill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:37 PM

I worked in advertising/marketing/PR for a long time, and from time to time, one or another of my music friends would corner me and ask me for some professional advice--here it is:

If you want to make money playing music, you have to find the a paying audience, then you have to turn what you know how to do into something that the paying audience likes--

To a lot of musicians, especially folk musicians, that sounds a lot like selling out--which I suppose it is--on the other hand, if you decide you want to make your living playing music, you are going into business--

Years ago, when I lived in Philly, I knew a guy who had a shop that sold all the notions that are used in making women's foundation garments--basically, a lot of little clips, hooks, pads, bits of elastic, and trim--very boring stuff. I asked him why he didn't move on to something more interesting--

He laughed, and told me:"Selling is selling, don't make no difference what it is. It's about with people--They come to you because they need something--you got what they want, you make a buck."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: dermod in salisbury
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:54 PM

This is my theory of the secret of making money out of folk music. First, think 'singing and dancing'. Listeners expect songs to pour out of radios for free 24 hours a day, but dancers still expect to pay the door. Acquire a few like minded friends, work up a few sets to slip between the songs, then pitch for St. Patrick's Day gigs, Burns Nights, etc. Hava Nageela will net the barmitsvah market. Expand into weddings. In no time, you will be on the television, guesting in movies, and cutting record deals.

I give this advice as a free sample. I am now working on a theory on how to make money out of theories. Send no money now. But watch this space. It's virgin territory. We could be talking serious bucks. Only selected applicants will be invited to invest.

Best wishes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:06 PM

"Listeners expect songs to pour out of radios for free 24 hours a day"

Sorry Dermod, but songs do not pour out of the radios for free. YOU pay for it every time you listen to a commercial or if it is a non-com, you make a donation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: breezy
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:25 PM

Supply and demand

No demand


no money to be made.


Create a demand


kill off the freebee pub sessions


let musos go and play from their hearts


in their own privacy.


Dont unload your unreheased and unlearned tunes on me in a public place, it gets the genre a bad name.

Those sessions in Ireland , well someones paying the good musos to hold it together I bet.


Go Ron, come on santa.


Someone rang me for a gig tonight.

I'ld never heard of him and in turn he had never heard of the 'names 'that I've booked who've pulled in the punters.

He was looking for a paid gig?

You have to do alot of leg work to get known, and then for the right reasons, then in the end your integrity has been completely eroded.

Its all musical prostitution

Unless your a folkie like me who will not compromise.

I got a gig at the Moorland Folk Club and at Sharps this year, then one at the local nudist colony in the summer.

That'll do me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:28 PM

Breezy, a nudist colony? I bet that will cut into your T-shirt sales.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: JWB
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:08 PM

I don't even consider trying to make a living performing folk music -- then it would become work. The full-timers I know spend most of their life doing all the non-musical stuff that is the business end of things: promotion, getting gigs, networking, traveling. The performing piece is pretty small by comparison.

It does appear that success is more likely if one specializes. It's the "sponsors" you have to sell yourself to -- the club owners, festival organizers, booking agents. They tend to see the musical world through a label, and if you don't have the label they're looking for you haven't got a chance.

Unless you've been hired to do a performance of 18th Century Hebredian waulking songs for the Society of Felters, you must remember that your primary purpose is to entertain. That's why people fork over their hard-earned scheckles -- to be entertained. If someone practices, practices, practices, selects material that will entertain the audience in front of them, and never forgets that the performer is there for the benefit of the audience, and not the other way 'round, then someone has a chance of potentially getting the opportunity to consider the possibility of attempting to try and make a living at folk music. Oh yeah, and that someone would have to work very hard at the business end of it.

Jerry (happy to "play" not "work" music)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:31 PM

A: with great difficulty!

When I first had aspirations to become a folk singer, I wanted to be like Bob Dylan, or at least like Paul McNeill!

I did make a reasonable living out of it in 1969/70, but couldn't make enough to buy a house for my new wife, so went back into banking.

Spent the 70s and early 80s playing bars, restaurants and folk clubs in Britain and Germany, teaching guitar and running folk clubs as well to compensate for my wife's loss of earnings while she brought up our kids. Managed to hold down the day job in a Bank at the same time, which caused confusion when the worlds collided.

Then spent ten years accumulating airmiles and developing a reputation in the field of financial computer software. Put both kids through University, left banking, started my own software company. Bill Gates need not fear my competition, but I make enough to indulge my serial guitar acquisition syndrome.

Now I'm offered more gigs than for some time, but now I find myself compared to Burl Ives. Must be the beard!

I've not made a lot of money from my folk activities, but I've had some great times, and met some fantastic people.

What more could I ask? What more could anyone ask?

Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:49 PM

You are not serious are you? I have CDs by some of the folks in this thread and I'd pay to hear them sing. But one guy in the audience??

Man - only in most of our dreams -

Best of luck though -

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:56 PM

It's an oxymoron. Everyone above says so, in different ways. So the only way has to be - transcend "folk" and enter the realms of "popular"; be noticed by big-buck publishers and promoters, and sell tens and hundreds of thousands copies of each album, as opposed to hundreds or (at best thousands); be invited to write music for big-studio films.
Others who started in the world of folk did that. Mark Knopfler, for example.
And did he sell his soul to the devil? Is he less of a folkie now? Just listen to his "Sailing to Philadelphia" album, and you'll get the answer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: How do you make money in folk music?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 03:39 PM

I think JWB has got it about right.

I recall a professional musician described as spending all his days on the phone trying to get gigs and all is evenings playing to pay his phone bill.

Some time ago I asked a well known singer why she no longer played in a ceilidh band. The answer was that it had stopped being fun and had become a job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 26 May 8:24 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.