May 222012

Last weekend, the Folk School of St. Louis hosted the first annual St. Louis Folks and Roots Festival. It featured a great array of both local and national talent playing everything from traditional bluegrass to folked-up versions of Prince jams (yes, that really happened, and it was awesome). The Folk School hired me on as the event photographer for the day and our local community radio station, KDHX, ran a bunch of photos from the fest. But before you go check out those sweet pics, let me tell you a little about the Folk School itself.

You remember those photos of The Lulus I recently posted? Well it just so happens that one particular Lulu is Kelly Wells, the Executive Director of the Folk School of St. Louis, a non-profit organization that keeps a variety of musical traditions alive by offering classes, performances and more to students and fans of folk, Americana, bluegrass and other “old timey” music. Its run by Kelly and several other truly selfless, uh…folks, and while my musical tastes don’t always trend toward the twangy end of the musical spectrum I do appreciate the forms and what this group is doing to keep the music alive. And I’m a HUGE fan of anything that engages a person in playing in music, especially kids.

A perfect example is young Roger Netherton, who performed a stellar set of fiddle tunes at the festival. He’s 16 years old and an absolute monster on the fiddle. That’s him above, coolly melting faces at the festival last weekend. I strongly believe that playing music of any sort, at any level, vastly improves your quality of life. It can make you healthier, smarter, and better looking**. For that reason, I love to help out music-oriented endeavors like The Folk School anytime I can.

For this reason, I have decided to temporarily stow my banjo jokes (and growing disdain for the accordion) in order to help out the fine folks (that pun never gets old) at The Folk School. If you recall, I have a Kickstarter campaign underway. I am proud to say that it was fully funded in less than a week and even now has 14 days left. From here on out, any extra funds will be used to directly benefit the Folk School of St. Louis. So if you haven’t already, please consider contributing to the project and/or sharing it with at least one person in your life. You can score some nifty photo rewards and help enrich the lives of others through music.

That’s pretty cool thing to do, even if there are banjos involved. Thanks for your support!

Here’s a handy link for sharing the Kickstarter project:

**Not all parts of this statement are scientifically verified. But I am pretty sure they are true.

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