Appreciating Your Local Music Scene: Milford, PA
It is nearly impossible to call yourself a music lover if you haven’t taken a step back to enjoy ALL of the music surrounding you. Sure, it’s easy to check out your favourite band’s newest release on Spotify and fall in love with it. It’s easy to keep up on your go-to record label’s activity on Twitter to ensure you don’t miss any news on your favourite tunes. It’s easy to follow music that already has millions of existing followers.
What I’m saying is, it’s easy to be the Chainsmokers. It’s easy to be Walk the Moon. It’s easy to be the bands you hear every day on Spotify, on YouTube, and (ugh, I hate to say it) on the radio.
It isn’t easy to be 22, 39, or 60 years old, living in small town Pennsylvania, or small town New Jersey, or small town Connecticut, trying to get your surrounding peers interested in a song or an EP or an album you labored endlessly on.
Loving music means loving the very roots at which your favorite bands grew. It means appreciating those small town artists that we often underappreciate or pass over because we are unaware of the incredible talent they possess.
I grew up in one of those small towns, Milford, PA, in which the local music scene draws the town together. Weekend evenings at our favourite corner bar and inn meant sipping a cold Goose Island IPA and listening to the local artist they had for the night. Thursday nights at the local café meant watching all of the town’s blues players come together – scatting and ripping guitar to “Shaky Ground” until it was 11:30 pm. The Milford Music Festival held every summer is a town staple. It’s a single weekend for all of the local artists – the guitarist at the bar, the scatters at the café, the restaurant-worker-by-day-musician-by-night – to perform at various places around town in front of their peers, their friends, and even non-locals. It is an opportunity for them to do what they love in front of an audience who appreciates them.
Not only does supporting your local music scene benefit those who play to make it happen, but it benefits the surrounding inhabitants as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many interesting people with similar musical interests as myself from attending local performances. Local music allows you to discover people in your small town when you thought you already knew everyone there was to know. It brings locals together and creates a certain bond that spans beyond small talk at the grocery store or a quick hello in the doctor’s office.
Every town has what my hometown has. Every town has a local music scene that feeds off of its listeners and grows from their support. Sure, there might not be a weekend dedicated to the Darien, Warwick, or Belmont Music Festival, but the next time that little cover band is performing outside the deli, or that gentleman is blowing the harmonica on the sidewalk, throw a tip in the tip jar and urge them to jam on. Love the music you listen to – but be sure to love where it came from as well.