I don’t know what came over me as I sat across from novelist Scott Alarik while he read from his new book, Revival, a Folk Music Novel in the studio at NHPR. My throat closed up as my eyes started to well while he spoke from the heart of his character, Nathan Warren, a singer/songwriter, now open mic host who never quite got his shot at the big time. (whatever that means for folk musicians) Something about the tone of Alarik’s tale, the tell- it-like-folk- really- is love story, cracked my heart, just like the time John Gorka’s “I Saw a Stranger with your Hair” made me weep on the blanket under the stars at Falcon Ridge, as I pined in unison.
Alarik’s story isn’t all about regret. It’s a tale of hope, just like we get from new folk and the up and comers who are holding down the folk fort in coffeehouses and festivals across the country. It’s a tale of being real and true and remembering what brings us to the side of the dial that we can count on. It’s about the beauty of the songs that don’t get sung as much as the ones that do. It’s about community and it’s for the volunteers Scott dedicated Revival to: “You are what you have always been: folk music’s beating and gracious heart.”