The Farmers’ Market has always been home for the Hoosier Hotcakes, and this is our 30th year playing songs about farming and food. So infants we played for in the 80’s are bringing their babies to see us here in the aughts.
We began playing regularly in 1980, when the Market was at Third St. Park. From there it moved to the Square, and we went with it. But the merchants on the north side of the square felt their business was being hurt by all the people there, so we moved again, to the parking lot between the old and new Libraries. The time here was a golden age, there was organic produce, great crowds, and it was here that other musicians started showing up to share the space.
For several years we played with Mary Dart, who like Lotus Dickey, showed me many of the old popular songs of the 20’s and 30’s. Brad and Linda played at this location, as did Pete Sutherland and Karen Billings.
When the Market finally moved to Showers Plaza, we found a corner distant from the amplified stage music. I guess we should be flattered the city has found that music should be part of the scene, but we find that stages keep people at a distance, we just feel more natural in a crowd rather than in front of one. So for the past 29 years we’ve played tunes on Saturday morning, IMHO it is Bloomington’s best to community event, where meeting with our neighbors is casual yet meaningful ways.
We enjoy this place and time for music, I hope others do as well, and that we keep acoustic music in public spaces as part of our cultural heritage.