Wanted to say a quick hi and share a little of what's been going on and what's ahead. Thanks to Folktography (https://www.facebook.com/Folktography) for this great shot from New Mountain Asheville, a fantastic new music venue in Asheville that hosted Larry Keel last weekend. We enjoyed a great set, and later Jed joined Larry on stage for a rousing and, as expected, lengthy rendition of Reuben Train that also featured occasional Tellico member Jon Stickley.
It's been a great summer for us, and we are building into fall with some exciting regional appearances starting at the Fiddle and Bow Society in Winston-Salem this Friday, the 5th. We'll also be performing at Highland Brewing in Asheville for a fun early evening show on Saturday the 13th. We'll open for flat pickin' lady Rebecca Frazier at the Isis Theater in Asheville on the 25th and then head to middle Tennessee for the Jammin' at Hippie Jack's Festival on Saturday the 27th. All show details can be found here. But I want to tell you something about Hippie Jack's, and below is a video about the fest.
About Hippie Jack: you could say that most music promoters are certainly music lovers and are passionate about connecting quality entertainment with fans. Hippie Jack has at once a more basic purpose and a higher vision. Almost as a rebellion against the manufactured charade of his 1950s childhood, Jack Stoddart seems to be on a life-long quest for finding and sharing something true, sincere, and authentic. He wants to connect to the world as it truly is, to help it understand itself and make itself better. And to celebrate, in the process, the beauty of everyday things, the sweat of hard work, the pain of struggle. And he starts from his own backyard, literally, and brings people together at the Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s Festival near Crawford TN.
Hippie Jack found me in 2008 when we had just started our first band, Dehlia Low, and had just put out a short EP. Completely green and right out of the gate, he brought us to his stage and made a video documentary of our performance which appeared on PBS affiliates nationwide. What I didn’t know then was that I would be developing an enduring relationship with him and that he was invested in me for the long haul. Most promoters bring you in, you perform and then you leave. If they like you, they might have you back in a few years.
Hippie’s approach is antithetical to this. Six years later he is still in touch, through my transitions in life and work, encouraging me in my music. I can call him on the phone, we laugh, he sends me his thoughts, I send him my songs. He has, more than any other music promoter will probably ever be able to do, given me a sense of the worth and importance about what I do, and brought a feeling of connection between my music and the audience in new and special ways. Being a songwriter and performer can be a solitary, and honestly, narcissistic pursuit without the reminder of the real reason that we make music -- which is and should always be, to connect with people. Music allows us to feel hope or grief or loss or joy more intensely, and it allows us to walk in the shoes of the faceless strangers in our world.
I would not be exaggerating if I said that Hippie is a constant source of inspiration, a muse, a father. And while I would like to think I’m special, I know that he is just as devoted to all of his artists. If they are like me, they struggle with finding ways to pay him back somehow for all he has done for us. I feel honored to be one of the voices he feels helps to communicate the story, the vision, he is creating. I think he believes that music can change the world. If he’s right, that means that I can change the world. That’s how he helps musicians, by celebrating them, believing in them, investing in them and giving them a platform to make a difference.
Hope you can make it out!
Anya, Aaron, Jed and Stig