Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thoughts on Folk Clubs.

I played a fun gig last night (that's right, at 37 weeks pregnant!) a few towns over, at the Dunfermline Folk Club. Folk Clubs have a bad connotation in America conjuring images of old hippies snapping their fingers at Peter, Paul, and Mary covers (what's wrong with that, by the way?).

Over here "folk clubs" seem, to me anyway, more about a culture that listens to music differently. I haven't written a thesis on it or anything, but I think it must nod back to the respected traveling troubadour. The idea of a traveling musician wasn't always skinny jeans -- well, I guess they wore tights back then, maybe the ultimate skinny jeans -- and a trust-fund purchased guitar. It was a way of spreading stories, true and exaggerated, of telling people of faraway cultures and lands, and of providing professional entertainment straight to your hometown. Who wouldn't pay a shilling for that kind of opportunity?

Today people balk at a $5 cover charge (how is it that I was paying $5 in the 1990s for Louisville shows and now $5 will make people turn around and leave), but that's another blog...

Anyway, I love the Folk Club scene in Scotland. Each club is different. Dunfermline's was all about audience participation, in that everyone was welcome to share a song if they wanted. Some were professionals, and some would never desire to be. But they all shared a love of music, stories, and togetherness, things that should always go hand in hand.

It made me wish I could go to Monday night bluegrass at Molly Malone's in Louisville for some Hog Operation fun times. If you're there, you should go and steep yourselves in live folk music.

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