Archive for January, 2010

Real As An Animal

In: Music Industry, News, Performing/Touring

A recent trip to Cleveland reminded me all over again what I liked about the “old” music business, before the Internet and cheap digital technology turned every kid with a guitar and a computer into an instant recording artist.

They were called The Lighthouse and The Whaler, they seem like nice people with nice parents who love them very much, and I feel bad about picking on them. I clapped dutifully after every song, and I would not have minded them at a jam session or open stage or private showcase at Folk Alliance.

But they were opening a show at a fairly big club, in the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, for one of the greatest rock & rollers ever to walk the earth, and their being on that stage at the Beachland Ballroom just seemed so WRONG.

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The Artist as Gambler

In: Miscellany

I’ve been doing a lot of ruminating lately about art, and artists, and what makes one person an artist and another person a C.P.A.

The children of workers want to be professionals, I remember someone telling me once, and the children of professionals want to be artists. I took some comfort in that idea; the son of professionals, it seemed to me to explain my own artistic aspirations.

More recently, I’ve been wondering about one of the central questions of Troubadour Blues: what drives these artists to sustain their creative efforts over the long term, often at great sacrifice, and without guarantee of fame or material reward?

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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