Teeny Tiny Folk Band
"From the desk of the self-appointed tiny folk band fan club president (Alabama chapter) I am listening to the new CD for the first time as I type this. Because you care, I thought I would share my thoughts...
"Teeny Tiny Traveling Folk Band = my personal anthem of 2017. It will take some more listens to learn all the words. Liked it when you performed it at your gig back in November."
--Larry Jelley, Self-Appointed Tiny Folk Band Fan Club President (Alabama Chapter)
In The Rough & Tumble's history, we've had more made up causes than "certain political candidates" during an election cycle. And like "certain political candidates," they were created to manipulate and coerce you into doing what we wanted you to do. Which is to give us all your money.
It started off as a joke. A well crafted joke. We had postcards that we were giving away at our shows and we had a little mailbox we'd found, and we had been telling people that if they filled out a postcard with the address of somebody else who'd like our music, we'd pay for the postage. We saw it as an investment. A marketing ploy. A fun and free way for our audience to drop their friends a note that says "I was thinking of you tonight at this show. Also, you should listen to The R&T." But nobody was biting. Night after night, no postcards were returned to us. This could just be that people have cell phones now and didn't see the need to waste the paper and the gas to get it there or maybe they honestly couldn't think of ANYBODY who'd like our music.
And so, looking at the poll results, we learned that our audience wanted us to be more "cause driven and charitable." And so, very casually, to make it seem like being charitable and giving was just a normal thing we did, at the end of one of our shows we said, "And next to our merchandise, we have postcards. Fill one out, send it to a friend and we'll pay for your postage. It's all part of The Rough & Tumble's Save The US Postal Service Campaign." We even qualified that statement by saying, "Which is a REAL campaign."
The accolades came rolling in. Along with the postcards. "What a kindhearted band," they said. "And generous," they said. And then the other campaigns followed.
You might recall The Rough & Tumble's Don't Take Down Your Christmas Lights Campaign? Did you know it was all an attempt to get you to buy our T-Shirts and wear it year round?
Or what about The Rough & Tumble's Holiday Awareness Campaign? This was just an attempt to trick you into listening to our music. We even ran a Kickstarter Campaign for that one.
There were a few that we campaigned for quickly and quietly, like the I Always Use My Turn Signal Campaign or the Feed Our Dog Campaign. We're still planning to launch our "Tire Blown Out Sale" where we campaign for you to buy us new tires.
I guess what we're saying is, you can't trust campaign promises. Take it from us. We've been campaigning to be your favorite folk band for THE LAST 6 YEARS! There should be a season for this, right?
Which is why we've started the yearlong "Save A Teeny Tiny Folk Band Campaign." We even wrote a theme song for this one, and although it's maybe a little tongue in cheek and folksy, we mean it. Now, more than ever, the arts are threatened by disinterest and defunding.
Including this song on our Cardboard and Christmas Lights EP was mostly from public demand-- people really seemed excited about this latest and greatest R&T scheme-- er, campaign. Plus, Scott's mom insisted this was going to be our hit. But this song also made the cut because we weren't really sure where else to put it. Much like our displaced selves roaming around with two smelly dogs in a camper, trying to find a place to park for the night (or for forever), this song is a wandering anthem looking for a place that folk music can still exist. It cuts through the grime and says, "But seriously, though-- aside from getting a placement in a major Netflix hit, where does music belong? And do you still want it in its free and funny and folksy form?"
Joking aside, we've been thinking a lot about where we fit. Playing to the backs of glowing Apple screens can be a bit daunting, and has us questioning whether or not people even like live music anymore. But, like our little folk ditty explains, the local farmers, the storytellers, the songwriters, the small coffeeshop owners are still an important part of our culture. And we hope that by continuing this vagabond lifestyle and showing up in your coffeeshops and living rooms, we can continue to cultivate those important face-to-face talking circles that make us feel connected-- not just to the music, but-- to each other. And then post it on social media after (wink, wink).
So get out there and perform your civic duty. You can start by checking out this song on Spotify or get your own copy of Cardboard and Christmas Lights at www.theroughandtumble.bigcartel.com.