In the news: The People's Music Person
From CBC Radio 2 Blog: The People's Music Person
Posted by Philly Markowitz on July 25, 2008 at 08:04 AM
In my experience, the folk music community is an unusually egalitarian oasis at the edges of the music industry.
Sure, there are outstanding folk musicians who go on to become stars, but generally speaking, you don't hear much about folkies behaving like stars: throwing backstage tantrums when the food is too hot or cold, trashing their hotel rooms or brawling with paparazzi. Mostly they're just folks, and treat others that way. Likewise, the folk community is one in which the people who support the artists - the publicists, promoters, agents and festival directors - are thought of as smart, hard-working, honest and decent people rather than parasitic status seekers. (How unlike the popular Hunter S. Thompson quote: The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.)
A handful of the behind-the-scenes people in Canada's folk music community have engendered the kind of awed respect usually reserved for the stars. One of those people is Gary Cristall. He has been at the forefront of Canada's folk music scene for close to 4 decades (if one can be in the forefront and behind the scenes at the same time), and we're thrilled to have him as our guide for Inside the Music's 5-part series The People's Music. Cristall founded the Vancouver Folk Music Festival over 30 years ago, and for the past ten years has been collecting interviews for a book about folk music, many of which are integrated into The People's Music. The series takes a long look at what we call "folk" music in English Canada.
Listen to the series.