The noon gig was expected to be an exploration of my contemporary folk material, and, as it turned out, there were next to none kids in the audience. I felt confident that I could proceed with the blues, bluegrass, folk, R&B in my repertoire. I also felt confident in my playful, and often sarcastic, interplay with an adult audience. Having parried with bar and folk audiences for years, I trust my audience to accept my acerbic humor for what it is. Edgy, and in the folk tradition.
I added an edgy tune that I enjoy musically and artistically – Smoking Babies, a song filled with irony, and with a considerable amount of tongue-in-cheek. I do realize that some folks take the song as sung (babies should smoke) quite seriously, and expect me to come around at the end with a twist. The song itself is a twist. I have received flack already on it, but have balanced it out with folks who find it actually hilarious as a performance piece. That’s right, a performance piece.
I received an email upon returning this evening from a former fan who couldn’t believe I could play that song …and also decried my performance as insulting on many levels. I took the time to respond to this person, trying to explain my intentions as an artist to perform adult material in an artistic medium. Thus the limbo of being a family artist and a folk performer on the larger scene. One FB’er responded that I should not apologize for art. But it does make me think about the role of an artist in this modern society.
Pretty heavy stuff after a good gig.