recently begun saying she sings “old and new songs about all of us” Which struck me as a very nice way of putting it.
Here at Otter Creek, we work hard in two main directions, mining the traditional music of our country, (and hence a great number of other countries from whence many of this nation’s inhabitants hail) and the creation of new songs. You could call us folk musicians, but when we bust out with something Celtic, old-timey, bluegrassy, klezmerish, or singer-songwritery (or just confusingly genre-bending such as the “chamber influenced acoustic tweeny punkpop” song we just wrote, or the “apocalyptic heavy metal death folk” setting we came up with for a favorite Robert Frost poem) we don’t want anyone to feel betrayed or confused. We’ve tried calling ourselves “Rocky Mountain roots music,” and that’s about as close a description as we’ve been able to find.
I kept my friend’s description of her music in mind and one evening found myself saying that we play “music of the people, by the people, and for the people…” and I realized that was about as true as it gets. We’re dedicated to keeping alive many of the great songs that rose up from the common folk of our nation, and we’re dedicated to writing terrific new songs about our surroundings and the journey we share through life with all of you.
So I’ve found a new way to describe what we’re doing. I hereby declare that Otter Creek is first and foremost dedicated to the proposition that music of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. We’ll do our part to keep people humming and tapping their toes to “Shady Grove” and “Sally Goodin'.” We’ll keep on playing old songs that draw a tear or leave us with a sigh, like “Fare Thee Well, or Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times” We’ll rollick with an old Scottish tune turned into “Jefferson and Liberty” (Thomas Jefferson’s presidential campaign song) or cavort with “Farewell to Ireland” (while inserting a little American funk) and we’ll keep on writing songs about the people we meet on our own journey.
That, for me, is what folk music is about. It resonates deep in our souls, and hopefully, if we’re doing our job right. It will move you as well.