I just got back from the Strawberry Music Festival. I love going because it’s probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I also love it because despite my wishes to get bigger artists, they never will. These are artists that are dependent on the festival circuit. They play to an audience that ranges from hippies to hipsters
of all ages. It’s one of the few places where I don’t feel like I’m the old guy at the show. These are people who love this music and are willing to support it by actual buying CDs. It’s the only way these artists can survive but I’m sure if you asked them it’s the best way. They create music they love and they make their money by presenting it to an appreciate audience. There are a few artists that break through at Strawberry. I remember being knocked out for the first time by Nickel Creek in 2001 and The Avett Brothers in 2008. Mostly though it’s artists on their own label who hope to sell a couple thousand CDs hit the circuit and do it all over again. This year my favorite artist was a grizzled veteran by the name of Martyn Joseph. He hails from Wales (poet, didn’t know it) as he constantly reminded us but he also constantly reminded us of how great American Music is, specifically Elvis Presley (circa 70s Vegas) and Bruce Springsteen. His brilliant dissertation of “One Step Up” won me over and made me realize all you need is a guitar and the ability to directly relate to an audience through song to make me a fan. Martyn Joseph has that gift.