Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Old Hippies Never Die

Their tie dye just fades away. Then they buy new tie dye and move down here to Florida where they appear at the assortment of folk music festivals around the state. Some perform, some come to sit and listen. Many come to renew old friendships. I have to include myself among their number, proudly spending last weekend as both performer and listener at the Will McLean Festival outside of Dunnellon, on the banks of the Withlacoochee river.

Florida has a folk scene that is unique in it's depth and commitment. Commitment to preservation of the history, heritage and environment of our state. Florida folk artists create art that is about Florida. Florida places, Florida history, Florida people. It's an inspiration-rich environment And no, it's not simply a gang of old hippie-types and retired frustrated musician wannabees. We are doctors and lawyers, accountants and bricklayers, carpenters and roofers, professional musicians and kindergarten teachers, rednecks and researchers, crackers and cowboys. Natives ad refugees from Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, California and all points in-between. One thing we are not, however, is particularly diverse, ethnically. I'd like to see that evolve. The skin-tones of those involved is nearly exclusively white, and various shades of Florida tan. That said, this is a liberal and accepting group. Bring on a little Florida-inspired folk-rap / hip-folk and we'll be on the way...  So here's to the music makers, the painters, the weavers of palm-frond hats, the whip-crackers and the story-tellers. Keeping Florida traditions alive, one gathering at a time.


Sharon said...

Oh I LOVE that hat :)

Tim said...

I really enjoyed watching your group perform at the River Celebration and I will definitely try to make some more folk music festivals to photograph and listen. Watching your group and the palm valley string band was great and opened up a whole new world of music and culture in the area! Keep it up!