Co-Mission Collaborator: Kath Bloom
Meet Kath Bloom & David Shapiro:
In these days of Covid -19 the best and worst of humanity seem to be illuminated. I am so grateful and proud of all workers on the “front-line” They ALL should get raises. I am humbled everyday!! I am also sickened by some others: their ineptness and selfish motives. But this is also the territory of artists-to connect us on strong emotional and spiritual levels. To find beauty!!!
Co-Mission Contributor: Kevin Killen
Meet Kevin Killen
From a working standpoint…this situation has it’s good and bad…. I no longer need to come up with a reason to hide away in my studio for days on end, tinkering away at noises. But, the live gigs are gone now and that is where most of the money and enjoyment comes from all of this music stuff. I had big plans for this spring….In April I was supposed to drive out to IL to record an album with my dear friend Peter Adriel. That was going to be book ended by a big tour all around the country. The monetary loss on a project like this is one thing but you cannot put a price on an experience missed. I look forward to a chance to make up that session but for now……I’m still here…tinkering.
Support Kevin Killen:
Paypal @ email@example.com
Venmo @ Kevin_killen
Co-Mission Contributor: Squirrel Flower
(Photo by Maria Gelsomini)
Meet Squirrel Flower
Thankfully i’m living rent free and getting unemployment right now, so i’m not in extreme hardship, but I have lost pretty much every other source of income for the foreseeable future. Downloading my earlier music on bandcamp and supporting me on Bandcamp Day is probably the best way to support me, as well as streaming+sharing my music with others. My tour promoting my debut LP got cancelled, and it’s a strange thing to promote an album without touring. I also urge people to donate to others who are more in need, specifically to bail funds and undocumented worker funds.
Co-Mission Contributor: Louisa Branscomb
Meet Louisa Branscomb
We’re really always standing at the edge of the precipice, but we don’t look down until we trip.
Everything seemed perfect. I had launched a new all-woman band, Geez Louise, and we had some gigs and plans for an album. My regular band, Branscomb-Williams, was touring my new CD I’d worked on for 3 years, and we were at the top of the wave. Then came that that day in March. The full impact of the new pandemic hit me, and I got in the car in Florida and drove 13 hours home to my farm, non-stop.
I’m a songwriter, but my music has always been collaborative. I love the shared experience of co-creating a song together – it’s a special intimacy and bond. So not being able to hang and perform with my bandmates has been one of the hardest parts. When I heard about the project, I decided to take the dare. How could we fly over the landscape of loneliness between us and create again together, from 3 towns in 2 states?
The song that jumped to mind is one I’d never recorded, but one that gave me solace in another disaster – when the tornado of 2011 destroyed my farm. I’d lost 75,000 trees and my home and barns. There had been no time to grieve and crying was a luxury I couldn’t afford. In a moment of stillness, sitting on top of the scalped hill, I saw a thin pine tree stripped bare that I had tried to save. There it was still standing – the skeleton of a tree, refusing to fall. I was flooded with grief. I thought, what redeems this tragedy – 460 people killed, all the destruction?
Suddenly I was filled with peace. We are all held by this benevolent old world that keeps giving us chances. It’s all we’ve got, and it’s not so bad. We are each the pine, sometimes stripped to the core, but… together or apart, as Ram Dass said, we are all just walking each other home.
I’m honored to be joined here by my distinguished band mates, Jeanette and Johnny Williams, (Branscomb-Williams) and Jody King, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and friend who made it possible to pull this off in 2 weeks across 250 miles, with improvised studios lined with grandmothers’ quilts and flannel PJs, varying software, and makeshift equipment.
Sure, I’d rather we were on the front porch playing. And it’s quiet here in the country – I long for the songwriter retreats I’ve had here for 30 years, like in the picture (the lonesome pine that inspired the song is just to the right of center, top of the hill). And fear still lurks in my mirror. But it’s comforting that we are all on this walk together.
Co-Mission Contributor: Janice Jo Lee
Meet Janice Jo Lee
Support Janice Jo Lee:
Co-Mission Contributor: Jolie Holland
Meet Jolie Holland
The pandemic is a real shock to our musical community. I’m concerned for our side players, for the venues, for the culture. My main source of livelihood is gone. Please consider supporting me at Patreon.com/JolieHolland where I’m sharing new songs or videos every week, even at the lowest tier. You can buy merchandise directly from me via my website joliehollandmusic.com, or by tipping me at Venmo or Paypal. I’m the first Jolie Holland on either of those platforms, i.e., no numbers. I was about to start recording a new album with my friend Heath Cullen as co-producer. I was about to go on tour for the vinyl release of my 2004 album ‘Escondida’. Consequently, I have a lot of ‘Escondida’ themed merch available on my website, including 6 shirt designs. Hopefully we can revisit these ideas when the pandemic is past us. During lockdown in the eye of this hurricane, I continue to write, to coach other songwriters, and to work on some longer form writing: a memoir and an illustrated collection of first hand ghost stories.
Co-Mission Contributor: Driftwood Soldier
Meet Driftwood Soldier
Presenting ‘Co-Mission: An Artist Relief Compilation, Vol. 2’
(Art by Haley Potter)
Co-Mission is a project started by Folkadelphia during the COVID-19 pandemic to help get money in the hands of in-need artists and musicians during a time of financial, professional, and personal instability and uncertainty.
We have been very fortunate to raise a significant amount of money from Co-Mission: An Artist Relief Compilation, Vol. 1 to continue the project. W’re excited to now share Co-Mission: An Artist Relief Compilation, Vol. 2, the second wave of commissioned and donated recordings from artists affected by the pandemic, now available on Bandcamp.
Today on release day, Fri. 6/5, Bandcamp will be waiving their revenue sharing fees, which means that the money you spend counts even more. We will also be donating 50% of all money we raise today, from the Co-Mission compilations or any Folkadelphia release, to Philadelphia Bail Fund, who are doing critical and important work in our community.
We hope you listen, download, and learn more about each artist and how you can help them out, as well as spending your money to support the organizations and groups in your community that are engaging in anti-racism work.
- 1. Brittain Ashford – “In the Sway”
- 2. Sinkane – “Favorite Song (Acoustic Version)”
- 3. Squirrel Flower – “Shut In (Strand of Oaks cover)”
- 4. Janice Jo Lee – “Still of the Lake”
- 5. Driftwood Soldier – “Strange Time to Be Alive”
- 6. Louisa Branscomb – “We’re All Just Walking Each Other Home”
- 7. Jacob Augustine – “White Hearse”
- 8. Twain – “Tulane U.”
- 9. Erika Lewis – “In the Time of the Roses”
- 10. Sadie Dupuis – “My Pretty Poet”
- 11. Kath Bloom with David Shapiro – “Young Again”
- 12. Adam Lytle – “The Fatal Share”
- 13. Jolie Holland – “B Bottom Girl (Michael Hurley cover)
- 14. Kevin Killen – “Get What’s Gone Back”
- 15. Sarah La Puerta – “Absent from flesh! O Blissful Thought!”
Co-Mission Contributor: Jackson Pines
(Photo by Michael Kravetsky)
Meet Jackson Pines
This pandemic came in the midst of the busiest year of my life. I’m sure lots of us have had to postpone or cancel fun and important things and milestones. For me, my wedding is currently postponed to August, and we’re hopeful we’ll be able to have it then. But all the other functions associated can’t be duplicated and my fiance and I are working through that. I’m currently a student of musicology in NYC and although the commute was rough everyday I have lost access to the music library, in person seminars, and opportunities. And although the recording of Jackson Pines’ second full length album is totally on hold, we just hope we will be able to record it before September when are booked to play the biggest stage of our careers at Sea.Hear.Now in Asbury Park opening for bands like Phoebe Bridgers, Dr. Dog, and The Beach Boys.
All in all I know I’m really lucky to be here, to be safely housed, to have food, and to be able to work a few hours a week teaching some students remotely at the Philadelphia Folk Society and beyond to make ends meet. And although we all the summer touring gigs we rely on for a large percentage of our yearly earnings to keep this project afloat, I did this just because I love making music and I wanna help somehow from home. You can listen to and buy our digital and physical copies of our albums at www.jacksonpines.bandcamp.com/ and of course stream it wherever.
Co-Mission Note: Jackson Pines graciously donated the track “Half Light” for the compilation.
Co-Mission Contributor: Anna Vogelzang
Meet Anna Vogelzang
This kind of turbulence isn’t new to musicians… It’s new to be in it together, yes – and that together-ness feels like a small blessing, to be honest; we’re all on pause, no matter what part of the album cycle we’re in. But we’re scrappy and used to hoofing it to make sure we can pay our bills next month, and the month after that. And while those skills come in handy emotionally in the face of this crisis, they do not change the fact that suddenly we’ve lost hundreds or thousands of dollars of gig and teaching income, the livestream market – while amazing – is heavily over-saturated, and we cannot start booking future shows until anyone knows what The Future’s going to look like. I’ve lost gigs, had to cancel the recording session in LA for my next LP, and am waiting to hear if my late summer festival shows are even going to be an option. All of our usual go-to ways of making it to next month have suddenly vanished.
I’ve been talking to a lot of friends who’re grateful for the pause – folks who knew they were about to burn out on tour but had planned on it anyway, because it’s what their team/career demanded; folks who’ve been trying to find a few weeks to focus on writing a new album and here it is in their laps; folks who just moved into new houses and are taking this as a gift to unpack and create their new space. Those people are struggling, too, without their service industry jobs, without their tours to pay their teams, without any certainty ahead of them – but they are still grateful. And I’m finding my version of that, too. Time to foster more direct connection with my Patreon community. Teaching toddler music classes to cooped up parents who are losing their minds. Eating lunch with my kiddo every day no matter what. Yoga in my bedroom. Writing a song a week. I’m just hoping we can all find one piece of joy in the everyday – because that will be what gets us to the other side.
People can support my efforts by joining my community at Patreon (patreon.com/annavogelzang) where I’m performing live once a week until the end of quarantine, and posting two new song demos/month. If you are a parent, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) about joining the toddler music class experience. You can also directly support via Venmo (@annavzang) or PayPal (email@example.com). <3