I have heard a lot of whining from people about what kind of venues KBS plays at and about the music and about the age thing and, of course, none of the whiners have any kind of suggestions for changing anything, and it's not like we haven't tried this stuff and gotten zilch for turnout- Look! the whiners aren't here! Imagine that!
So starting next spring we will regularly give them an opportunity to shut the fuck up, all summer long. Oh, sure, this could be put more mildly, but this is my thingie and my personal opinions and i'm not representing anyone but my own irritated self here.
Anyway, the idea is on Sundays, either every Sunday, every other Sunday, Second Sunday, or whatever, we just hold a guitar picnic at one of the local parks. It'll be in the paper, and we'll send out the stuff in the newsletter. We ask only that folks bring an acoustic instrument (bass, guitar, harmonica, horn, hand drum, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, whatever) and a picnic lunch and enjoy some hours in the sunshine, strumming, picking, wailing, shredding, or whatever they do. Take some time to learn a new riff or teach someone a favorite. Jam with friends, jam with strangers, all informal, and no stage to squabble over. Open to all ages, all levels, all styles, and basically anyone who plays something that doesn't have to be plugged in, and even people who DON'T play, that want to just come down and check it out. We can't do electric stuff because we have to bow and scrape to the city to plug in. My idea, my big picture, is hopefully to start bringing musicians of all types together, not just the ones who do the blues thing. But also, like I said, to mellow the complaints. We can't make everyone happy. We can try to give everyone something to look forward to, though. More on this, hopefully, as we pull it together.
I have tried in my head over and over to think of ways to make our jams more inclusive to anyone. The issue is that we play at a bar, and the young'ns can't always get in unless we wrangle with the owners and the young'ns do certain things (one of which is that we ask they carry a copy of the ORS statute about underage performers on them while they are in jamming). Wednesdays are my long drive days, and I have nothing to do while driving except think of things. I've learned songs in my head on Wednesdays... better than thinking up ways to get into trouble, probably... Not just the bar issue, we have people who complain about anything else you can think of, from who they get to play with to how the sound is run.. you name it, someone bitches.