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Have you ever had a question for a folk musician but were afraid to ask? Of course not. Folk musicians are the most approachable and friendly people on the planet.
We posted a few questions to Ken Whiteley, our September performer and he provided some great answers.
- What’s the secret to your longevity in the music business? I love music – many kinds of music and at the end of the day, the music is what it’s really alla bout. While the business aspects have their ups and downs, it is the music and the relationships with people that keep me going. Years ago, in conversation with a visual artist friend (Viktor Tinkl), I had an epiphany where I realized I was an “artist” and I was going to keep making my art regardless of other external circumstances. I make art as a way of communicating with people, so whether it is other musicians, audience members, folks who purchase recordings, presenters or just people singing with me in a room, it is in making those connections that something special occurs. I try and make something special happen every time I play music.
- What are the three things you know to be true? It is in this moment, the “now” that life happens. We can’t change the past (though we can learn from it). Tomorrow is another day and the sun will keep coming up and setting for a long time to come.
- What do you know now that you wish you knew 25 years ago? About 23 years ago I started a daily meditation and yoga practice and that has been enormously beneficial in many levels of my life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. One of those benefits has been opening up the intuitive faculties. I had thought that a regular meditation practice would be helpful ever since my teens, but it took certain events for me to finally act on that thought. I would encourage people to act on thoughts they think to be true. At the same time, circumstances, whether internal or external, have to be right for any of us to successfully make changes in our lives (or in the world). Making “good effort” will bear good results, even if those results aren’t necessarily immediate.
- What’s the best thing about performing with family members? Whether with my son, Ben, my brother Chris or my niece and nephews (Jenny, Dan, Jesse) I love the chance to make music with my family. We all bring a lot of shared personal and musical history to the music-making and performing. Especially with Ben and Chris, we know each other so well as musicians and people that I can go wherever the spirit leads and I know they will pick up on it.
- What does your perfect day look like? Today.
- What makes you laugh? Things that are funny. There are lots of things in life that are amusing. Some of the times I’ve laughed uncontrollably have been with Chris, Jenny and Dan.
- One musician I really enjoy listening to is . . . There are too many to keep it to one. Here are seven of my favourites: The Golden Gate Quartet, Pete Seeger, The Nat King Cole Trio, Louis Jordan, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters and Mahalia Jackson.
- Where is your favourite place on Earth? Wherever I am in this moment. However I do like being around mountains and natural bodies of water are beautiful. I don’t mind it hot, but I don’t care for biting insects. And I like living in Southern Ontario.
- What moment in life would you like to relive? When I was in Grade Two and I made the rounds of several classrooms singing “Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces.” I had a manager/agent (from Grade Three) at that point and it was my first taste of musical “success.
- At this moment in time, what song lyric best describes your life? “It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for.” (from “The Moment We’ve Been Waiting For” by Ken Whiteley and The Beulah Band).
The Barrie Folk Society was formed in response to the wants and needs of the local folk music community in and around the Barrie area.
The main goal of the Barrie Folk Society is to bring Folk music to the masses through a not-for-profit organization that cares about the growth and nurturing of the folk music movement.
Countdown to Ken Whiteley and the Beulah Band!