Far West, Far Out…Right at Home

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Put the words ‘music’ and ‘business’ in the same sentence and you’re well on the way to an oxymoron. Add the word ‘folk’ and you’re there.

I just spent the weekend with dozens of folk musicians and folk music presenters from the western United States. The gathering, called the Far West Regional Folk Alliance, featured folks who are eccentric, colorful and full of surprises.

While making a living is one of the reasons for this gathering, the real action is in the hopes and dreams of the men and women who dare to jump into the world of folk music with both feet. The appreciation we feel for each other. And constant wonderment at how varied are our expressions.

Some carry the precious songs of generations and even centuries past. The songs that connect us to our ancestors and give us a deeper connection to each other, and the experiment of life, altogether.

Others, reach into their souls to look for the songs that bind our culture today. That define what it means to be a human being in this time and place. Songs that speak of our challenges, strengths, weaknesses and secrets.

Folk music types are not slick. And for the most part, they are not driving BMW’s, featured in People Magazine or sporting particularly striking hairdo’s. But they are generous and easy to love. I feel honored to have been among them this weekend. And I’m grateful for the inspiration they’ve given me.

Susan, my Guild D-40 and I are a full 3,00 miles from home. And, thanks to these folks, I feel right at home. And more inspired than ever to look and listen more deeply. And…to continue living my life, one song at a time.

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