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Updated: Mar 10, 2020

Montreal is beautiful and I am embarrassed that it took 38 years of my life to discover it.

Also, it is damn cold.

Part of the NERFA team on the bed where it happened.

I ventured across the border for Folk Alliance 2019 in the storied hotel that John Lennon and Yoko Ono did their infamous "Bed-In" protest in 1969.

John sure has a mixed legacy. As a musician, it's pretty clear cut: he, Paul, George, and Ringo are among the most cherished cultural touchstones that we have and rightfully so. The breadth of what they created is amazing. But as a man, husband, and father his legacy is much more troubled.

I was already thinking of that at the Conference when a couple of giant community bomb shells fell. One less directly touching our community but awful in its implications that music is and has never been immune to the syndrome of abuse finally being called into light throughout our society right now. Ryan Adams, critical indie darling and impressively prolific songwriter, is also a monster who used and abused women for decades. This revelation led a group of incredibly brave women within our more insular roots community to call out someone who had the same pattern of behavior, Ian Fitzgerald.

I have a complicated history with monsters. I spent two years working for one completely unaware. Discovering the damage after the fact shook me to my core and I haven't really spoken publicly or acknowledged it for a decade. It was such a shock that I mostly avoided discussions about abuse and sexism. I felt and continue to feel a very deep shame that I could have been that close and been unaware and done nothing. I know that that behavior continues I read and listen and watch as eagle eyed as I know how, but I rarely say anything because... well... shame.

That changed after the conference. I was able to work with a few gentlemen I respect greatly to create a website of men who recognize that they have room to grow, and to hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard as it relates to listening to, respecting, and supporting women in our community. I will continue to listen, but I will not let my silence lead to more abuse if I can help it.

#maleally #folkalliance2019 #NERFA

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The germ of the idea started long ago, but what brought it into motion was of all things an explosion. When Boston was attacked in 2013 Jake Bush immediately began connecting people and events reaching out to start a fundraiser for the victims of the event. His music partner's wife worked a mile away from where the blast happened and the two focused on how they could leverage the music community to help.

It wasn't the first time they had put together a show for charity and in truth it wasn't even a particularly successful effort as wonderful giants of Boston were able to put together much more, but it was the first time Jake & Ethan began speaking with major venues and artists. Those efforts attracted attention from like minded community members and led to their involvement in other charitable events.

It's taken five years to refine that idea and to broaden what we hope to do. It also took the addition of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance's Courtney Rodland and MOR Wealth Management's Matthew Ramer to put together the full picture. Our goal is significant, but our dedication is unwavering.

We have built an organization that matches brilliant artists with worthy causes, and in the process created a realistic and sustainable fiscal path for Folk and Roots Artists.

  • Through embracing modern content platforms - Youtube, Spotify, Discord, and Twitch - we will present the artists we work with in a 21st century way.

  • Through a focus on Career Development, our Artist Management team will partner with our our Musicians to plan, create, and execute against realistic and sustainable career and fiscal goals leveraging a partnership with MOR Wealth Management Financial Firm at no cost to our artists.

  • Utilizing a world class recording facility in the Greater Boston area, Mastering Studio in Philadelphia, and location based services available for projects in Mid-Coast Maine, Tribal Mischief can offer Production Services and Consultation both in one of our studios, or one closer to you, we will ensure that the artists we work with have recordings that reflect their vision and maintains technical excellence.

Most importantly, artist development is only half of our story. Our dream is to build a community of Thinkers, Doers, and Creators. We'll talk more about that, in the next blog post! Welcome to Tribal Mischief, or should I say, Welcome Back.

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