It is now late spring, and cool, misty weather is still with us here on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. It has been one of the wettest run-ups to summer on record. Just as well, for the meteorologists tell us that a hot, dry El Nino is just around the corner for this part of the world.
For all of my family and friends in California, my wish is that the El Nino that is due to descend upon you this winter will come in its wettest form, replenishing your reservoirs and greening up your mountains and fields!
As I write, our campaign to fund the final production stages of my second studio album is entering its second week. I want to extend sincere thanks once again to all those who have jumped in early and pushed our funding goal up past the 10% mark, and climbing! I can’t wait to get this new work into your hands. It’s shaping up to be a gem, right down to the artwork!
In other news, I’ve recently been awarded a First Timer’s Scholarship to attend the Folk Alliance International Conference and Showcase in Kansas City this coming February. Yes, like the old tune goes,
I might take a train
I might take a plane
But if I have to walk
I’m gonna get there just the same
I’m going to Kansas City,
Kansas City here I come
( “Kansas City”, Leiber & Stoller, 1952)
Once I'm there, it'll be five days of hanging out with variegated group of singers, songwriters and musicians as we all showcase our work to the organisers, promoters and venue managers who will also be in Kansas City en masse just to listen and take notes. And - hopefully - I’ll return to Australia having networked my way into some of those touring routes that run across North America and Canada.
This entire collage: my production team and I working on our own (and on a very small budget) to get my new recording out into the world; the group of artists and industry people who will convene in Kansas City early next year; my putting out the word to all of you, in whatever form I can, and the welcome help and support I receive in return: all this is the form and the face of independent music in these times. Our times.
Amid the rush of technology that surrounds us, it represents something old-fashioned: a kind of counter-movement to the dominant trends. Because today, for independent music to have a chance and to maintain a place on the airwaves of our world, a more personal relationship between performer and listener, between artist and audience, is vital. We need to know about each other; we need to have a clear sense of what each other stands for; we need to understand the directions in which our hopes, dreams and aspirations are propelling us. Independent music cannot survive in separation and isolation. It will only live on through connection.
So, in closing: for those of you who have connected in the form of helping my campaign toward its goal, thank you again! I look forward to seeing many of you and to thanking you in person over the coming months. And (of course) to making you acquainted with my new songs.
And for those of you for whom this is a first-time message, or for those of you for whom other messages have whizzed past, either under or above that personal radar: please pause when you are able to, tap on the link below, and see if what you discover there inspires you. Inspires you to connect, and through connecting to become a part of this co-creation that we call independent music.
Thanks and all best wishes to you,