Although gentrification is rampant and universal in so many places, this is not a new song. It’s quite old. One tip off is the reference to the ATM machine. When I wrote this song, the ATM was a new phenomenon. Then it was a freakish imposition of Bank of American automation. Now it’s everybody’s best friend. That makes me ancient.
This song remains special to me for one particular reason; it was the first song I ever played at the Wildflower. What’s so great about the Wildflower???? What, do you live in a cave????
The Wildflower used to be a tent. Now it’s a beautiful wooden building on the grounds of Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, Colorado. Planet Bluegrass is sacred ground for a lot of music, but I call it home for one in thing in particular, The Song School. It would be utterly impossible for me to express how deep and profound my love and gratitude is for the Song School at Planet Bluegrass. Suffice it to say that it’s a gathering of songwriters who openly share their creativity and love. It is where I found my tribe, met my teacher, courted my muse. If my sprit has a home in this world, this is the place.
The Song School lasts for 4 weekdays every August, just prior to the Folks Festival that happens on the weekend. The Festival typically draws a few thousand people. The Song School is usually in the neighborhood of a hundred to a hundred fifty. There are songwriters there of all stripes: some well seasoned, some writing their first tunes. All equally nurtured and cherished. My first song school was over twenty years ago. I have not missed one since.
There is an open mic at the Wildflower every night of Song School. It shines a spotlight on every soul who musters the courage to stand up there and sing a song. And those performers are routinely lifted up by the most loving and supportive audience imaginable. The song I played at my first Wildflower was Get Rich or Move. I was appropriately scared. I was not new to songwriting, but was also not used to singing solo and standing on my own two feet. The song went over well and I soaked it up. Since then the Wildflower has been a reliable source of electrical energy, love and support. I have ridden that wave of good feeling from each year to the next. It’s been one long, beautiful ride. Thank you Planet Bluegrass!