Yesterday I arrived in Staunton, Virginia to perform at Blue Ridge Beltane – which was lovely by the way. But rather than write about that, which I am sure you can imagine just fine without my help – I sang at a festival with a maypole and pretty ribbons, you know the story – I want to write about something I read.
I was in a charming little down home cafe, the Pampered Palate, and I was reading their local newspaper. In it a touring folk musician who is apparently well known for his funny stories was interviewed. (Can’t remember his name but it’s not relevant to the story). In the interview, he commented on how much he dislikes folk musicians who think they need to make “Important Statements”. He says if anyone changes because of something he says, it’s their own fault. He’s not interested in changing the world.
And I thought “Wow, not me”. I want to hear about the stuff that’s important to folks. In fact, I am far more interested in hearing folks’ “Important Statements” that the usual chit chat about what TV shows they watched or what they had for breakfast. To be fair, this guy was talking about performers and I suspect this was his way of saying he feels put off by the “preachy” element. That I understand. When I see a performer, I want to be entertained, not preached at. And I don’t want to feel like the “Important Statements” are contrived. But neither do I want to listen to some guy who’s just being funny without any kind of point. I like to be inspired, not just entertained. I like it when someone changes me for the better – as Henry Rollins did a a month ago. I like that we all shape each other and inspire each other.
But then again, I do want to change the world.