One of the best parts of my recent four-day search for rest and sanity was a trip up to North Carolina--okay, verrrry northern Alpharetta--to Chukkar Farm. I was introduced to this quaint oasis of horse farms, polo fields and music making in 2008, when my client Beth performed as part of their concert series.
Beth was back this weekend, so we made the trek up past the 'burbs and into the countryside. The air was clean and crisp and smelled of horses and hay and wholesomeness. Couples and families gathered at tables and on blankets, sipping on wine and beer, chasing after children and dogs and soaking up the last bit of daylight.
What I love about this series is that it's 100% about making music. It's like jumping back in time and eavesdropping on the Carter Family harmonizing over the campfire on a chilly autum evening, voices weaving above and below and around one another as logs crackle and spit and frogs and crickets chime in. Songwriters, true musicians--not ones manufactured by record labels, hidden under layers of autotuning, elaborate costumes, heavy make-up and concert-stage theatrics--stripped bare, completely exposed, singing, playing, harmonizing and making music together. On the spot. So organic and real.
And then I thought these musicans, all of them hugely talented, ambitious and driven. But they haven't sold out. They're not playing major amphitheatres or getting mainstream radio play, touring the world on private jets and trashing swanky hotel rooms. They're bunking in each others' houses, playing in every-day clothes in tiny venues across the country where people actually LISTEN to the music. They're earning each and every dollar the hard and the decent and the right away.
It resonates with me, especially as I try to figure out how to grow and scale my business and still be "me." To provide a service, to share what I see as a gift, in a very simple, raw, honest and authentic way. Maybe it's idealistic, but maybe, just maybe, it's possible.