Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just Plain Folks

Just Plain Folks is a worldwide organization with a membership of musicians, songwriters, poets and artists. They had a showcase downtown last night in the Birmingham International Center. We have been members for several years and learned about the gathering so we signed up to play. As it turns out, the line-up was very diverse. There were songwriters who were just beginning their journey along side professional musicians. There were also classically trained musicians that perform all over the world. There was a young black man who is a Fullbright Scholar who recited a poem he'd written and it made the hair on my arms stand on end. There was a woman recovering from cancer who sang a gospel song she'd written when she was ill and her voice was like that of an angel. Four other women sang a spiritual song acapella. Five young guys performed an experiment in sonics buy using a bow to play a handsaw and a banjo. Another member used a padded drumstick to play a guitar like a drum. One guy in the group also played a clarinet through a guitar distortion box. As I said it was a very interesting evening. What blew me away was that everyone was really respectful and supportive of all the performers.
Brian Whitney is the one who came up with the idea of Just Plain Folks and the mission of the organization is to be a free resource for musicians. It's that simple. Brian now travels all over the world holding these showcases and spreading the news about the organization.
We played a couple songs, bought a hat, got our picture taken with Brian and then we headed home. It was almost midnight where we got here and I had to be up again at 5:30 a.m.
My head was a little foggy but I was still buzzing from last night so today was not that bad. It was touch and go after lunch when the instructor in our training class started talking bits and bytes but I made it through. I can tell you tonight will be an early night.

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