“A Medicine Show was a traveling group that held performances and entertainment to lure people in, then gave a sales pitch for their ‘miracle cures’ and elixirs. ”
In the case of the current day ASHBURY MEDICINE SHOW the “miracle cure” is music and the actual elixir is Folk Rock.
As then and now medicine shows are an ever changing mix of performers, musicians, singers and instruments, Ashbury Medicine Show is no different. Since its original incarnation and the commencement of its trip along Rock n Roll Road the musicians riding on the wagon has been changing … people get on people get off.
What remains the same is the music, in this show the music it will always be Folk Rock original Folk Rock for the most part. It will be written and played by different musicians, different instruments and in different arrangements from time to time but it will seek to deliver a message, a picture, a feeling, an idea and that message will be laid out for the listeners to interpret.
From the song THE MEANING OF THIS SONG … a songwriters view.
What you hear might be what I play but it makes you feel a different way
What I write well it might be day but what you hear may be the dark of night
But as long as you feel something I’ve hit all the right notes
So if you don’t see the song my way well I hope you like it anyway
The beauty of Folk Rock is its flexibility from finger picking ballads to uptempo rock, from Joni Mitchell to the Jefferson Airplane … the message is Folk the delivery vehicle is Rock. That allows for a myriad of instrumentation and vocalization possibilities which is a construct of the “medicine show” format. Currently ASHBURY MEDICINE SHOW has at its musical disposal;
- acoustic and electric guitars a plenty
- acoustic and electric bass
- 3 vocalists
- hand percussion of a sorts and sizes
- and a vast array of ideas on songwriting and arranging
Now there is some difficulty getting all of this in to and out of the wagon and on to the stage … and the mule is none to happy about the grand piano. There are lots of ideas and inputs that need to be considered but the end result is the song … and that is the single most important item, it is all about the song.
ASHBURY MEDICINE SHOW continues on down the highways and back roads of music and performance and we will continue to do so no matter who is on the wagon at any given time. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open … we may be showing up at a stage near you, and we hope you come and have a listen.
It’s great to be out on the road with ASHBURY MEDICINE SHOW !!!