The Roots Report: Send in the Crowds: Fuzek lauches his latest rant

Okee dokee folks… I have a hard time comprehending the crowd-funding phenomenon. Maybe I should rephrase that, I have a had time understanding the things are are funded by crowd-funding. Most of what I come across that folks are looking to fund are personal CD projects. I guess because we live in America people are entitled to put their dollars where they want to, but should they just because they can? I know I am going to go into another “get off my lawn” rant, but hey, it’s what I do, so here goes!

I have always funded my recordings myself: as a solo, duo and producer. The first “albums” I put out were with my duo, and we worked hard, played gigs and saved our money to pay for the projects. Neither one of us had money, but we didn’t ask anyone for it and we only recorded when we had enough saved. When I produced the Twelve Steps of Christmas CD I borrowed a couple of thousand to enable the production. It didn’t turn a profit, and I had to pay that money back on my own so that project cost me money. Even though the holiday compilation lost money, in the big picture it was a winner because the various artists’ songs received a lot of airplay and the disc wound up in top holiday playlists every year for many years after. I learned the hard lesson that the window of opportunity for working with holiday albums was very small, and learning lessons is part of what makes you a wiser and better person.

I tend to be a do-it-yourself type of person, consider myself fairly resourceful and often practice sweat equity. We did the album art ourselves, and to save money, we folded and inserted our own tray cards and booklets into the cassettes and CD cases. Basically we had a lot of ourselves invested and worked for every bit of what it took to make things happen.

Nowadays, people routinely think nothing of asking for $10,000 to fund a CD project and, as I see most of the time, they do raise it. I have used crowd-funding to try to pay for things, but NOT for my own gain. I have used it to fund public events — namely The Providence Folk Festival (PVD FF).

Now this is why I have a hard time understanding crowd sourcing. In Star Trek’s The Wrath of Khan, Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Logic doesn’t always prevail. You would think that an event such as this that benefits MANY local, regional and national musicians and is FREE and open for anyone to attend would be a sure hit in the crowd-funding world. Well, I have news for you, it’s not. And it’s hard to understand why some events get funded and others don’t.

Anyway, what is my point? As usual I don’t really know, but we do need a lot more damn money to fund the Providence Folk Festival! If you want to learn more or help, then get the folk over to: ProvidenceFolkFestival.com. End of rant. Read on…

A few months back my bandmate, Dan Lilley, came to rehearsal with a CD and his hand and told me that “this guy is on Neil Young’s website as a recommended listen.” A few weeks later, we were playing at City Winery in Boston and I went into the bathroom, well, you know what for. Music was playing on speakers in the bathroom; I personally find that odd, but, anyway, I really liked what I was hearing. I went back to the green room and mentioned it to Dan. He told me that was the CD that he had brought to rehearsal. That artist was Kurt Vile. I had a chance to speak with Kurt by phone the other day in advance of his upcoming show at the Columbus Theatre in Providence on July 27. To read that interview take the “Freak Train” over to motifr.com/kurtvile

That’s it for now. I am always adding to my concert photos at fb.com/motifri. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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