September-October 2008

The Folk Community

By Barry Smiler

I just got back from the Kindred Gathering. If you play mountain dulcimer maybe you already know about this event. Every summer for the last 34 years, somebody in the dulcimer gang, somewhere on the West Coast, throws something between a big party and a small festival. All sorts of people come from all over the place to hang out, see old friends, eat fabulously good food, and oh yeah play music together. It's nonstop Great Stuff going on from early morning till way later than I stay up any more.

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July-August 2008

What's Folk, Anyway?

By Barry Smiler

Hi, and thanks for reading. Steve and Leda have asked me to write an opinion column for FolkWorks, and I'm happy to oblige. FolkWorks is a great resource and I'm pleased to be able to help out in this small way. I hope you enjoy the column. As I understand it, there will be a new one every few months. Mmmmm, fresh electrons for your reading pleasure.

So who am I, anyway? I've produced hundreds of concerts, arranged tours for musicians from all over the world, and was a performing musician myself for a while. I also have experience in technology, business management (for-profit and nonprofit), and marketing. I've traveled some, read some, and talked to a few people along the way. Throughout all this I've tried to pay attention as best I can, and in the course of all this I've formed a few opinions, which I'm happy to share both in this column and in reviews elsewhere in FolkWorks.

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