I got together with friends in the biz on Saturday afternoon for a pot luck and kids’ musicians gathering. These are friends I come to know, along with others I’ve just met who share the world of playing family music for a living. There’s some pretty deep knowledge in this room as the session developed.
I truly appreciate these folks who focus on peace, anti-bullying, children in hospitals, and other marvelous and direct community involvement. Music to make a change. Eco Man, Two of a Kind, Jonathan Sprout, David Parry, Steve Pullara and others developing their skills.
I got there a little late, so folks were already into sharing tunes. I was chastised for being late, so I replied, “That’s so I didn’t have to go through the social bullshit.” Some time I can crack everybody up with the truth.
My approach is different than that of many of these folks. Some are straight ahead with the social lessons, some deal with historical bios of important figures, but I come from another direction. Less lessons, more participation/immersion in the process.
My turn came around and we did Skip to My Lou, with the group adding simple verses like ‘Squirrels in the bird feeder, let the dogs out’, and others, so it was good to open the song up to the circle. I decided to do Giants after some chatter about being scared. When we got to the instrumental, I did my vocal trombone and then decided to open it up to the group to add their own vocalese, to great effect. It made the arrangement new to me. Delightful.
Later on I pulled out The Cat Came Back, and it was good to reflect again on the songs that got us all together, the folk tradition that gives us the chance to write and perform songs that ‘matter.’
Over all, I was impressed with this group that continues to take this folk music into the community, regardless of style or ‘professionality’. We are making a difference. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Good food, too. Nice to connect with my fellow travelers.