I need help, too, with performance description

Salt Springs
@salt-springs
last year
101 posts

Let me be serious and set the kidding aside for a moment since this is a sensitive topic and one which I have had to deal with for many years with my work with a wide variety of people.   The statement that Rob makes concerning resentment is right on the money and it goes far beyond who is a "Native American" and who is not; or who is a member of a recognized tribe and who is not.  For the most part there are two prevailing issues at hand one having to do with identity and the other having to do with entitlement.   Let me explain.

Some folks use external groups or badges or whatever to give themselves some sort of identity that enables them to identify with a group or "clan" which creates a sense of belonging while at the same time providing some sort of boundary between themselves and the larger, "herd."  I have seen this with a large variety of folk.  Some claim to be Irish, some Italian, others German or Native or LGBT or whatever...could be religious in orientation too. " I am a Baptist or a Presbyterian, or Pentecostal or Catholic"........the same be true with a political affiliation as well.   Identity and belonging to a substructure that is part of the larger picture is the key here.   There is nothing wrong with any of that unless that self imposed identification real or imagined becomes the driving force in ones life and begins to mask the obligation to live as a genuine human being, setting aside our distinction as sentient beings charged with the responsibility of living in harmony with all beings.

The second issue is that people have somehow latched on to the idea that as human beings they have inherent right to claim for themselves whatever it is that they feel they want at any given moment.  Hence, in the resentment that Rob points out, and rightly so......some folks dislike and criticize folk with Tribal Cards, because they want one and feel entitled to it and if they can't have it, no one else should have one either.  At the most basic level this is a a form of jealousy that has no place in the life of a person who has even remotely begun to have a sense of self realization and emotional maturity.  Fred Beuchner once wrote that "jealousy is the desire to have the other person be as unsuccessful as you think you are."  If I remember that book was titled a A Theological ABC.  Rob has a card, it is who he is........his heritage, his familial solidarity.  That is worth cherishing.  I don't, but I also have heritage and solidarity with a group as well.   We are just different people all living together with all sorts of histories and traditions to recognize and appreciate.

To further muddy the waters just a bit, there are also folk who will totally disavow who they are or their traditions etc. in order to avoid anything that might make them feel limited in any way.  Sometimes this can be a most positive thing and enable someone to overcome all sorts of difficulties and issues.  Other times it can be  way of avoiding those things that need to be integrated into their personality and utilized as a stepping stone towards emotional and psychological maturity.  In other words, "get over it."  It only exists in your mind, it is gone.....now what have you learned from this would be a good way to overcome that issue.

Now isn't that one hell of a post for something that started out as a performance description?   So Rob, maybe the clearest way to describe yourself and what you do would be to put in your Bio or cut line...........          

                                                                                                       Rob N. Lackey

                                                                                      Singer, Song Writer, Mountain Musician

                                                                                                                and

                                                                                 Member of the Great Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
last year
1,460 posts

I always liked the term Amerindian because it distinguished New World "indians" from those people south of the Himalayas...

Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

You're native because you were born here.  Yes, there are benefits from carrying the card.  Compromise, because a lot of pow wows are put on by those non-recognized groups that claim to be Indian.  Don't know if I could have associated with them very long.  I could have gotten away with most of the songs I would have wanted to play (I think.)

 

Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Unfortunately most of these critics either have Indian blood but can't prove it or are wannabees.  I love Arvil Bird and his music but when he criticizes, from the stage, "card-carrying Indians" it really gets me. Yeah, I prefer Indian.  You're as much "native American" as I am, right?  You were born here, so you're native, too.  At one time some were trying to get folks to use Amerindian.  I started to try to go on the Pow Wow Circuit once, singing Indian songs, Pete Lafarge, Floyd Westerman, maybe some originals.  Decided there'd be too much compromise involved, so I didn't

 

Salt Springs
@salt-springs
last year
101 posts

And one other thing Rob.............there are lot's of, "Hits" out there rooted in old songs,  I once heard that that one that goes, "Your Not Woman Enough, to Steal My Man," started out to be........."If Your not Fat Enough, Just Eat More Ham".   There are others of course........remember, Leader of the Pack?   It, I am told became a favorite of construction workers who changed the lyric to, "We See the Plumber's Cra_k."  As of yet I am unable to confirm any of this so we will have to say right now those myths are busted.

Anyway, as soon as these meds wear off, I'll be doing lots of in depth research......I even heard that the "Water's Wide" became a weight loss commercial tune that had something to do with, "It's Just So Wide and They Won't Go Over"....., might of been one of those new fangled underwear commercials too...not sure, I'll  keep digging.  Betting that's a myth too.    

Salt Springs
@salt-springs
last year
101 posts

Yup, I needed a good laugh too.... and figured you'd get a chuckle out of that one.  Glad I made you laugh...............BTW......remember, Polk Salad Annie?   So I figured, Ramp Salad Lackey.............the lyrics could go anywhere, whew!


updated by @salt-springs: 06/15/16 07:16:31AM
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Salt.... Ramp Salad... that's just too much, man!  I've laughed about that one since you've posted it.  Some folks probably think I'm a blithering idiot since if that comes to mind I chuckle regardless of where I am.  Good suggestions, too.

Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Terry, Tho' I used "Cherokee Cowboy" as a Youtube handle, I wouldn't use it in a concert/performing situation because Ray Price will always be country music's "Cherokee Cowboy."  I consider myself a country musician regardless of what I'm playing.  I think Alan Freeman said something like that in his 1st (maybe only) interview in Dulcimer Player's News. 

Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Mary, Yes, I am Cherokee, a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, one of 3 Federally recognized Cherokee entities.  Both Grandmothers were what we call original enrollees. I am one of those card carrying Indians that some, both Indian and wannabee, criticize for being able to prove their ancestry to the satisfaction of tribal authorities. 

Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
last year
207 posts

How about:

"The Best of Rob Lackey", the Cherokee Cowboy.

That's my vote.

Salt Springs
@salt-springs
last year
101 posts

Well Rob, at the risk of sounding a bit off me rocker, I think I would present a playbill sort of description, put it in a portfolio and use the show theme to describe my act.   Here's what I mean, and I do this at the risk of sounding rocker-less...........

 

                                                                                 "From this Old Holler"

                                                                                The Songs of Simpler Times

                                                                                                  or

                                                                                       "Ramp Salad"

                                                                               Songs that Lighten the Heart

  or something like a Old Time Gospel Show:

                                                                                "Wait'n for My Slippers"

                                                                   Old Time Music Celebrating the Old Time Gospel

            


updated by @salt-springs: 06/14/16 01:28:55AM
Patty from Virginia
@patty-from-virginia
last year
274 posts

Use your handle that you use for Youtube. Cherokee Cowboy. That's my vote happys

Lexie R Oakley
@lexie-r-oakley
last year
355 posts

Rob, although I've not seen you play live, but I have seen you perform on this site I do not compare you to others', you are your own best character and a great musician. I like when you wear an ole' time hat and period clothes, just say I like your image just how it is. I enjoy your voice and just think you are unique and wonderful all on your own.

I know this isn't what your looking for, but just wanted you to know and that I do not know how to describe to the folks you are targeting, but I wish you well getting gigs.

Jan Potts
@jan-potts
last year
416 posts

Cowboy Rob--He roams the range of music genres....

nah?!!!  ROTFL




--
Jan Potts, Lexington, KY
Site Moderator

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." Henry Van Dyke
Noah Aikens
@noah-aikens
last year
36 posts

The dulcimer Outlaw wouldn't be how you describe yourself, but it would be your stage name.  Willie doesn't just sing outlaw country music. think Always On My Mind and Hit the Road Jack.  Those songs are one of the reasons he's still considered outlaw.


updated by @noah-aikens: 06/08/16 11:52:12PM
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
891 posts

It kind of fits what you do, Rob.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Lordy, DT, that's great. "Where the coffeehouse meets the jailhouse," is pretty cool. 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
891 posts

Rob, Skip has a point. You should probably work on two things simultaneously. One is a bio, which can be as short as a few sentences and as long as a few paragraphs.  The second is a short title for what you do so a list of acts could say "Rob N. Lackey, the dulcimer outlaw playing folk/roots music.  Where the coffeehouse meets the jailhouse!" or whatever you come up with.

I would work on the longer bio first along with a head shot or other image you want to use.  Perhaps in writing the longer bio, you'll find a few choice words to use for the shorter description.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
Skip
@skip
last year
219 posts

It seems to me you're trying to put 10 pounds of apples and bananas in a 4 pound bag, trying to get gigs mixed with billing. I don't do  gigs or try to arrange them but I would think arranging them is something like interviewing/applying for any kind of job. I suggest you develop a 'job description' you can use whenever wanted. A short 'demo cd' may also be relevant. Mary is trying to describe what she is doing in a few words, you want to get a job which will require more.

 


updated by @skip: 06/08/16 07:03:58PM
Terry Wilson
@terry-wilson
last year
207 posts

Rob, it seems to me that you are the "hook".

You are a very good musician and you have a great voice.

"Rob Lackey, Mountain dulcimer and Vocal Artist"

Maybe a trip toz Nashville  or Branson.  

 


updated by @terry-wilson: 06/08/16 05:29:58PM
Strumelia
@strumelia
last year
1,764 posts

Roots/Americana is generally recognized description nowadays, which is good.  Some reference with "Frontier" or "Mountain", "mountain man ballads" or "mountain dulcimer man" perhaps?   Those words will pop up for many 'uninitiated' folks when they first see you or your picture. 

Yeah, you are your own best logo!   thumbsup




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Roots/Americana (I know I ain't addressing it in order) I was that before anyone every called it such, I reckon.  Back in the old days, when it was time for the cowboys to get their buckles polished, I might just play "The Prisoner's Song."  What is that about 1917?  Probably older, even.  So yeah, that's one good way to describe what I do.  Now, to be maybe a little more specific, this isn't for the dulcimer world; this is for the festival promoters, club owners, bookers who might not really know what a dulcimer is.  They should know Roots/Americana, tho', at least I hope so.  So that's a good one to keep in mind.  But I feel I need, not a gimmick, but a hook to get them to listen seriously to what I'm doing.  Good thoughts from both of you, DT & JK.  May address some other things in the posts a little later.

 

John Keane
@john-keane
last year
255 posts

Dusty Turtle:

roots/americana is a good one.

And Rob is kind of a living logo, isn't he?

Well said.

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
891 posts

roots/americana is a good one.

And Rob is kind of a living logo, isn't he?




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger
John Keane
@john-keane
last year
255 posts

Rob, I may be WAY off base here but to me (and I'm sure to many others) it's who you are and what you do that sets you uniquely apart.  If you need a particular genre as a description of your music you could just say "Roots/Americana" or something, but the respect that you gained from me years ago was as Rob, not any kind of gimmick or phylum.  With that said, if you need a logo I can hook you up! 

Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
last year
891 posts

Rob, I think your issue is different than Mary's.  

Mary puts poetry to music in the style of traditional English and Scottish song.  So her issue is how to describe that.  It is not exactly folk music, because the melodies are original. But it all sounds traditional, so the singer/songwriter label doesn't work either.

You have a broad repertoire, and I think how you describe yourself should be determined by what you plan on playing. You play a lot of traditional music but you also do covers of country tunes.  You play fiddle tunes but also sing. You flatpick but also fingerpick.  Heck, you do some drone tunes and also add really cool chording to others.  I think you could call yourself the "dulcimer outlaw" if indeed you were going to play mainly outlaw country on the dulcimer.  But if you would include a range of other tunes, perhaps something else would be better.

Last Labor Day I played at the Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento, and needed a few words to describe my act. I simply called myself "dulcimer player and songcatcher."  Then my "character" was someone who had traveled from the Shenandoah Valley out to the "diggins" in California, picking up songs along the way.  That gave me the ability to play songs from different areas of the country and even from different countries, since people from all over the world came to the Gold Rush.

Maybe that notion of "songcatcher" is something you can use given your broad repertoire.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

"A good song makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think."
-- Pete Seeger

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/08/16 06:48:07PM
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
last year
451 posts

Folks, I've been following Mary's discussion about  a "name for her act" with much interest.  Many of y'all's suggestions are generic enough to consider for a lot of different people.  Here's the deal, though.  I need to describe myself and my performances for venues at which I'm trying to score gigs.  Now many of y'all have seen me in the past.  I usually play in 1870s period clothing without direct amplification.  I've been getting away from the old style clothing just a little.  With my hair, beard and clothing I wouldn't want people to think I'm trying to imitate David Schnaufer! (like I could do that.)  Am I the "Dulcimer Outlaw, the Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings of the Dulcimer?"  I don't want anyone to think I try to imitate either or them (or anyone else.) Am I just a dreamer who will probably never get a major gig?  How do I describe myself to festival promoters?  Do I just link to here or bandcamp and youtube or vimeo and let them look for themselves?   Like Mary, I need something to help these poor old brain cells.  Who better than you who have watched and listened these few years!

Thanks

Rob

 


updated by @rob-n-lackey: 10/06/16 07:17:59PM