There was this one gig where we knew we'd finally moved beyond the "friends and family" level of fandom, where we looked out at a room packed with strangers who were singing along to our own songs. It woulda been a lot more flattering if they'd not all been wasted, and sang the right words. But as one reporter put it, “The Bodarks of McKinney, Texas, were a beautiful blend of delightful harmonies that had the audience singing along to their songs as if it were their favorite karaoke jam" (Sarah Badran - Blitz Weekly).
Anyway, up until then we thought we were all alone in a North Texas sea of good-ol-boy carbon-copy "country" bands. Then we were invited to Big Folkin' Fest. This was a marathon of experimental folk groups like ours: #LincolnDurham, #TheOs, #TheVandoliers, #LoyalSally, #ParallelPlay, #StrawHatSociety - all creating new styles and unique folk fusions, like some kid making his first sandwich out of anything in the fridge - only, he somehow got these Frankensteined sandwiches just right, inventing flavors that had never been flaved before. So we were in our element. Made a lot of friends there who we'd go on to share future stages with and swap guest players with.
Unfortunately that was the last year for the Big Folkin' Festival. But the sense of community it fostered would plant an idea in my noggin for a festival I would create a few years later called #WhistlestopJamboree in Frisco.
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