September 06, 2010


Labor Day: a day in celebration of the "strength and esprit de corps" of trade unions. And to honor the occasion, "Vocation" is the poem o' the day. Apparently, someone at the Academy of American Poets thinks there should be more celebration of Baccarat dealers, waitresses, and, er, serial killers. 

Speaking of noble work, a few musician friends are funding their latest albums through Kickstarter, a cool way of crowd-sourcing financial support for creative projects.

Shannon McNally plays a mean guitar and wields a bluesy voice in the tradition of Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris. About "Western Ballads," she says "My dear friend Mark Bingham and I wrote all of the songs with exception of a traditional hobo song called 'Little Stream of Whiskey' and the title track 'Western Ballad' penned by Allen Ginsberg."

Valerie June is a Tennessee-born talent I've been raving about since I heard her play (not only guitar, but banjo!) at the Oxford Rhythm Revival Festival; I'm not the only one, as major acts such as Old Crow Medicine Show have taken her under their wing. Of "Manifest," she says...

What will it be like to be 80 years old, looking back at my life as a singer-songwriter and having to say to myself: “I never had the funds to be able to afford to work in a studio with a capable producer who could help me capture the magic my music gives when I perform live.” What will it be like to only leave behind a stack of old, rough and tumbled “bedroom recordings”? While the thought of dusty treasures of old recordings being found beside a woodstove in a cabin sounds nice, I’d like to try my hand at one of those shiny, new gems that sparkles in the storefront display case. I’d love to see a community of folks come together to help me and other artists generate enough funds to create and continue not just my artistry but, of other artist hungry for a chance at being heard, seen, touched and felt. Oh, how sweet and what a dream it would be to perform a show & have a new recording for fans to take home that truly represents the scene they just witnessed and to unleash the sounds that have spent years brewing up and around in my soul…I need your support!
Now that's some honesty. I love this woman. 

There is a time-sensitive element to these fund drives--if the artists do not reach a certain goal by a certain date, no funds are disbursed. So if you are interested in supporting rich, homegrown, original music, go check it out today.

Another day of being housebound, in an effort to force myself to work. Who are these people who can take a break for lunch or coffee, and have any hope of returning to an earlier focus? I envy them. But at least the door is wide open to the outside, and the breeze is bright.  

1 comment:

Dean said...

I really enjoyed Valerie June as I've never heard her before today. (Thank-you) An amazing artist! Best wishes in your new living quarters, it looks very comfortable and conducive for writing. I hope you won't mind if I stop back by on occasion.

Kind thoughts,