Been there? From the Internet Archive, what they call the “Wayback Machine“, with a history of the Internet- I think they started before us, as they have us from the very beginning, if I remember correctly.
Here’s the record of efolkMusic beginning on Oct 9, 1999, and the Wayback Machine has snapshots through the ages! The mission is the same is it ever was, really, same rock to push. Luckily the edges have been worn down through the years and it’s a bit easier to roll. Depending on the size of the rock, you don’t always “pick it up and carry it on..” as we have been known to say; more often it’s OGS – of good size – and you ROLL it.
The graphic to the left is a month later, Nov 1999, sorry about the missing graphics. Some of these hairpins are kickin’ grass’ as I write, somewhere, I hope. The idea was grand, using “digital delivery” to get and keep the good music in the air, all with a little compressed file called an “MP3” that flew across borders, from our servers right into your computer, and nearly frictionless (not to mention green).
The market was defined- a large niche of music fans who found no satisfaction listening to most of what they heard on the radio; they also saw their neighborhood record stores close down. Voila, efolkMusic, MP3s by the track, 98 cents.
The artists in our broadly-defined “curated” folk music family were required to offer a free MP3 to our website visitors. Most didn’t know what an MP3 was, and were afraid to “give it away” even though they had no other practical way to get their music to the fans.
Ah, how times have changed. We became a non-profit in 2003 (May 31st is the first snapshot), and have continued to be a valuable distribution channel for an exceptional roster of too-often overlooked musicians.
MP3.com and MySpace have “gone out”, Facebook and Twitter are having their 15 minutes of fame, Google + is too late to the ballgame- we all “compete” (ha!) for your clicking attention, and golly, we are practically venerable by comparison. Folk music does get some respect, but ask any folkie, if you aren’t in it for the ART, and if you aren’t ready for the LONG HAUL, you don’t last long on the bluegrass highway.
SO here we are today, thanks to your support- you know the difference between real music and empty cowboy hats, that’s why you are here. Help us keep it going, won’t you?