Updated: Mar 10, 2020
In the 1960’s there was a folk explosion - music became topical and personal and people started gathering forming and creating the beginning of the counterculture (hippy) movement. Coffeehouses and home show venues popped up across the country and people came together to not just listen to music but to discover their tribe; although the truth is that tradition started long before 1960 and continued in new artists and musicians writing sharp, thought provoking, and sometimes just plain jubilant songs of celebration. The infrastructure hasn’t changed though. The Festivals and the listening rooms that first come to mind in our community have about forty-years as a baseline behind them.
The growth of the music scene is contingent on the growth and evolution of how and where we present ourselves. My introduction to the scene was made after years of building up my love of the music through hippie parents and years at the Windsor Mountain Summer Camp. The evolution of that love turning into community involvement took a 13-year-old boy being invited to a Church coffeehouse by a 13-year-old girl. I have to admit, in 1993 getting me to go to a church would never have occurred without that crucial piece of the puzzle. Of course, I went and fell in love (with the live music experience). The Me & Thee Coffeehouse became my home away from home for over two decades. Back then I was the youngest attendee. Twenty-Five years later, I still rank as younger than average in most of our spaces.
The Southern growing church going community doesn't tend to match up with the generally liberal Northeast roots scene (although it likely does more so in the Southern Americana cousins of the folk scene), but this post isn't about the evolving cultural landscapes of America... it's about the virtualization of community and building a virtual one.
Man... that's way too much for a single blog post, but let's start talking about it at least. There are fandoms who live, eat, and breathe in virtual connection to each other. This isn't really a new thing. My band's manager was literally part of a mail in fan club and has what many would call "virtual" friends. Her love of Todd Rundgren predates the internet and that group is not an example of how kids interact. This isn't a new idea - there are just more tools to facilitate that kind of relationship now. This is the beginning of a series of discussions about those tools, coincidentally coinciding with Tribal Mischief's piloting of those techniques.