1) First and foremost, who are you, what do you do? That is, what band are you in or are you a solo artist, what have you guys been up to leading up to the festival, anything exciting we should all know about? Your chance for shameless self promotion…go!
I'm Patrick Coman and I've been performing with my backing band The Lo-Fi Angels for the past year and a half playing music made for Saturday night sinning and Sunday morning redemption. I also run the For the Sake of the Song concert series and host WUMB's local music program "Local Folk" on Saturday afternoons.
2) New England Americana and the Fest firmly plant their roots and morals in “community”. The event is a culmination of a community of musicians and artists that is going on all year. What does that community mean to you?
I've found the Boston music community one of the most welcoming, helpful, and egoless groups I've ever been a part of since I moved here four years ago. As a newcomer, I definitely felt I was welcomed with open arms at open mics, shows, song circles, and all sorts of events (not the least of which was the New England Americana Festival). Now as a DJ and concert series host, I'm glad to have the chance to help create exposure for other new artists (as well as those who've been on the scene for years and may have been overlooked) so I think our local music community is built on a great virtuous circle.
3) Name a record that shaped you as a musician early on. What music initially made you want to sing, or pick up an instrument and make music?
The thing that made me want to play guitar was hearing Pearl Jam's Ten when I was 11 or 12 years old, although I think the album that really shaped me as a songwriter and performer was Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker. In addition to being a great album it also introduced me to artists like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and re-introduced me to the music of my youth and people like Emmylou Harris (who sings on Oh My Sweet Carolina) and Gram Parsons and some of the early Dylan.
4) What are you listening to now that you think folks should be aware of?
I've been listening to the new Bob Dylan bootleg series reissue of Self Portrait (called Another Self Portrait). Most of the tracks are way more stripped down that the original releases and they're so much better than the originals, so it's interesting to hear how production can make (or in this case, break) an album.
5) Music festivals, in general, are fairly well known for surprise sit ins, improvisational jams and collaborations. If you could see any two of this year’s acts collaborate on stage at this year’s NEA Festival, who would you like to see?
I'd love to see Tallahassee and Old Jack have a beard off, or combine their powers for the good of beard.
6) Why is creating music important to you? Why do you pick up your instrument and write songs? Why do you play that dive bar on a Thursday night? What keeps you going?
I've tried to quit once or twice over the years, I don't believe anyone who says they haven't, but I couldn't stay away. There is no better drug than being up on stage and connecting completely with other musicians and the audience and once you've felt that once I think you're always looking for it again.
And as always, online at: http://patrickcoman.com/