Regional Round Finalist Part 2

There must a come a time, or several, in every artist’s or writer’s time when a lack of encouragement leads to a desire to abandon all hope, put down the medium, tune out the muse, and say “fuck it” while deciding one’s time might be better spent learning how to make coasters out of old CDs. I can remember a gig maybe a month ago at a venue that caters to a very affluent crowd and I had just retired to the bar after finishing my two contracted sets. A gentleman who was sitting at the bar for the better part of my last set asked me “So what kind of music do you play?” Confused by the question as he was just present for the music in question, I said “Well, the kind I was just playing.” Now he was confused and asked again, “But what kind?” It took me a while to realize that since I was
performing almost entirely my own songs, as opposed to well known cover songs, he didn’t know how to digest it. Such situations leave me unsettled, not just because all songwriters want to be heard, but it worries me how less receptive to original artistic endeavors our society seems to be. When is the last time you listened to or even bought an entire album from one artist? Attended a local concert? Read a book that Oprah didn’t guilt you into reading? Not that this so wrong, but I don’t know if it’s best. Put down the Blackberry and look around.
Then there are times in an artist’s life when there is a return on investment. There is validation. I’ve gotten some nice accolades and gratifying gigs in my ten years of performing, but it’s always been about the songs for me. Yesterday, when I learned that I was selected as a Regional Finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest for my song “Farmer’s Plea,” it took a while for me realize what that meant. Ok, so I SHOULD keep working on the songs then? All right, cool. There are 60 finalists, 10 from each region. I’m in the Northeast category. The judges will select one finalist from each region to advance to the live performance finals in New York City on October 20th. In addition, there will also be a “People’s Choice” finalist chosen by tallied votes from the web site. The odds aren’t in my favor, but it doesn’t hurt to vote for me, right? Just go
here to do so. I’ll love you forever…but not as much as Bob Dylan…sorry.

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