Patreon is a way for people to support artistic work with small ongoing donations. Typically, the more one donates, the more special content is on offer.
We have chosen to use the platform in a different way.
Rather than escalating benefits in accordance with one’s ability to pay, we have chosen to make the archive of material on Patreon available to all tiers equally.
We have $5-50/monthly tithe levels that grant everyone access to a growing archive of video lessons, performance archives, and tablature, and articles on Blues and Black American history.
This allows those who donate the $5/month minimum the same access as those who donate $50.
Those who can afford to donate more and helping to buy a place at the table for those who can only afford the minimum. A number of generous souls have done so.
This is the sort of world I want to live in and a founding idea for the community we are continuing to build.
To date, while we aren’t making a killing (see lyrics to my song “Late Last Night”), this has been sustainable. And we are also fostering an open and more equal community.
Some people choose to make a one-time donation in support of this work via PayPal, which does not require that you have a Paypal account, only a valid credit card.
Or you can join us on Patreon, which opens up the library of resources we are building there.
We have been actively looking for an inclusive, rather than exclusive way of presenting the history, music, and stories of traditional music here in America and have settled on Patreon.Their model of a simple monthly tithe will allow people of almost any level of means to join us. Please have a look. And join us if you can.Small tithes from many will help us build a community and the resources to continue to document this work as fully as possible for current and future generations.
There are two moving ideas that have stayed with me from Lewis Hyde’s book, “The Gift.”
First, in his own words, “…It may be possible to destroy a work of art by converting it into a pure commodity…” (Introduction, xiii) And second, Attempting to sell something that is sacred can render it profane.
My life’s work is sacred: the many gifts, interactions, songs, music, techniques, and stories I have been entrusted with by elder musicians (now all dead) have never been a part of the realm of commerce.
And I refuse to make them subject to the dictates of the marketplace now.
Patreon is a platform for funneling support for important work that is culturally, educationally, or historically valuable, but that may not have immediate commercial value.
Our Patreon presence is a way of soliciting support for work that we feel should or must be done–but that either cannot–or should not–make a profit.
We plan to use Patreon as a space that exists outside the marketplace–but firmly inside an evolving gift economy that builds relationships, creates value, and nourishes a generous and open community-of-interest.
Our move to Patreon provides a mechanism necessary to fund the ongoing development of a video/audio archive of blues and roots music history, stories, lessons, techniques, and performances, as well as the access point for the material itself.
Friends and Patrons
We call on our friends and patrons to support the creation of a library of online educational and cultural resources that will preserve, perpetuate, and protect traditions, music, and techniques that in normal times would be passed from hand-to-hand.
Our premise with Patreon–and during this pandemic more generally–is that those members of our community with means will contribute more to save room at the table for those who, for a variety of reasons, are constrained to contribute less.
Each monthly gift supports the creation of this work documenting important music, stories, and traditions while making the work available to as many people as possible without simply giving it away.
We have set a low minimum $5/month tier on purpose. This will get everyone access to the growing library-archives of lessons, performances, and other educational material.
Other tiers are available here to facilitate tithes of other amounts, but aside from the occasional poll for input on upcoming lessons, prioritizing the focus of the next video projects, etc.–the only special privilege associated with the higher tiers is the knowledge that you are keeping access to the material here open to those who have less than you have.
Our goals are to be useful; to engender community and communication; to preserve, protect, and perpetuate traditional knowledge, music, and techniques; and to leave the world a little bit better, fairer, and more pleasant than we found it.
Your help is critical: be generous is you can.
And don’t be shy about being in touch.
I will answer all questions as fully as I can in the time available. I have good boundaries. You can trust me to enforce them, so be in touch if you are moved to.
I will reach out and welcome your feedback as we go along.
Project Areas You Will Be Supporting
• Creating an ongoing series of short, instructional videos on each of the tracks released on Scott’s six CDs
• Hosting the fifteen video Mississippi John Hurt instructional series created to serve guitar camp students isolated by the pandemic
• Shooting additional instructional videos on open tunings, slide guitar, and other valuable techniques for guitar, claw-hammer banjo, and quite possibly Old-Time fiddle.
• Developing a series of videos to introduce the Lessons From A White Blues Singer workshops
• Live-Stream video archive, each performance annotated by song/time code
• Back Stage: Informal videos of songs in progress/first takes/behind the scenes in-studio documentation
• Developing educational archive of teaching performances for schools and educational institutions desperate for online resources in diverse subject areas
• Developing a library of important song/story-history pairings using original and archival materials to document and present African-American music, culture and history, highlighting Scott’s work with elder gospel and blues musicians in the mid-South
• Editing together teaching concerts from Scott’s historical exposition for a friend’s project on pre-Blues African influences
• Creating teasers of educational programs for school groups
• Supplementing live in-studio video with green screen video and images
• Scripting, shooting, and editing video versions of Scott’s written BluesNotes posts using archival and original photos where appropriate