When choosing a name for this group, I struggled with the label "Folk". I wanted to come up with a name that was catchy, memorable, and got people thinking about the kinds of music they might encounter in this community. What should we call ourselves, this tribe of musicians and music lovers who enjoy all kinds of non-commercial music?
I'm not so concerned about what the world at large thinks of us, I'm more interested in casting a wide net to find like-minded people. Labels being what they are, I don't want to put anyone off by having them think "Uh-oh, this is just another 1960's Folk revival…". I like the term "folk music", but someone else got to it before I did. So, what's in a name? I'll take my best shot at describing what "Folk" means to me and why I love these types of music.
Things I like about the name "folk"...
I like the way it implies us - the "folks" who are making music for each other, instead of commercially produced and distributed music.
To me, it implies many exciting types of music from around the world that I enjoy - Irish, Quebecois, Breton, Klezmer, Cajun, Zydeco and more.
"Folk" is about imperfect music in this world of highly-engineered, overdubbed, and auto-tuned music.
"Folk" has a connotation of regional music that is handed down across the generations, vs. "pop" music that is so ephemeral and goes "pop" like an insubstantial soap bubble.
Things I don't like about "folk" and some other labels that might fit...
In popular culture and recent musical history, "Folk" implies the "folk revival" of the late 50's and early 60's together with the political and activist (baggage) that goes along with it.
This group has no political agenda; I envision it as a drama-free, politics-free, prejudice-free, group that is inclusive and open to all. It's alll about sharing the music and how it brings us together.
It seems like the label "roots" or "Americana" is gaining traction lately. I like "roots" and its implied handing down of music across generations, and I like "Americana", but the music I hope this group plays extends to many other countries besides America.
What Do You Think?
Since I needed to label the website and get some kind of identity for advertising purposes, I chose the name "Folk Key West". I get the feeling that the name might be a bit risque, but that's one of the things I like about it. It's certainly catchy, and I want to attract attention to this group. The name will do, for now, but I'm open to seeing what it might develop into.
Ultimately, this isn't "my" group - I'm just trying to be the speck of dust that a beautiful snowflake forms around. All of you are the community of musicians and listeners who enjoy these types of music; this is YOUR group. What do you think? Your ideas, suggestions and musings are all very welcome,
P.S. Bonus points for the first person to identify the punk kid in the photo with the political agenda.