Inspirational Places to Write

So there I am on my very comfortable hammock just relaxing and hoping for either a moment of inspiration or going to sleep (I am fine with either, if you ask me). Let me put down some specific reasons why I love to write music while on the comfort of a hammock.

It is relaxing

I find it surprising that even when I am in a peaceful, soothing, and relaxing position, I still get inspiration for very energetic songs. I maybe have the tune in my head, try to reproduce it over and over to remember it, but when I come to putting it together, I whisk in features that add up to the mood of the song. I owe it to my indoor hammock, though, for providing the relaxation needed to clear up my mind and compose the next great hit.

Other times I would just sit down with my guitar and start humming and trying to play it on my guitar. It is a really fantastic experience for me.

It is quiet

Trust me, the quieter, the better. I have my hammock hanging on my very personal spot. I say personal because, under normal circumstances and most of the time, I sit down alone on my hammock. This allows me to send a message that I want to have some quiet time. This is exactly what I need if I want to compose a new song for our gigs.

Hammock Bed

Sets the right mood for shutting down my brain from external stimuli

I love the swaying and the soft breeze that results from it. Love the fact that my body is in a natural position and that this is my moment of relaxing. It truly sets the mood for shutting down my brain from external sounds or noises. This is the kind of setup that I need to compose a song.

If you really want to have a quality hammock that adapts to your needs you might want to check out Hanging Hammock Reviews. They have the best styles in hammocks for you to choose from. Test their quality and I know you will be satisfied.

Why I Pack a Foam Roller

I remember I first started using the foam roller when I accidentally landed on a YouTube video on how to use a foam roller. It is funny because I was not really looking for such video or anything related. I was just trapped on the “I am looking for a video on how to prepare a good margaritas and ended up watching a video on how to talk to a giraffe” kind of thing. But now I am grateful that I found it.

Believe it or not, every time we hit the road to get on tour to the band, I kind of feel a bit of stress at the adventures ahead of us. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love these adventures as I am in love with what I do. But never is a road trip complete if I don’t pack with me a good foam roller. These are the reasons why I do this:

It is the easiest piece for exercising to carry around

foam roller on the goA good fitness foam roller is easy to carry around. As we go on tour and we have to stuff in all our artifacts, there is usually no space for anything else. But a foam roller will fit almost anywhere. The benefits I get from using this great piece for exercising have helped me stay fit for our folk presentations.

It is pretty versatile when it comes to exercising

The amount of exercise I can perform on my foam roller seem to be endless and they are pretty fun. Great thing is that I can practically train myself anywhere. I especially love those exercises that work my quads and my hamstrings. It is pretty important to have these in tone in my career. The foam roller provides all kinds of exercising and with lots of fun while at it, pretty much anywhere.

It helps me relax before a Concert

To me, exercising and having a healthy life is pretty relaxing. Call me crazy but the sight of my foam roller relaxes me and in fact helps me warm up for when I plan to run a bit. There are great articles on a runner’s guide to foam rollers. Anything that has to do with releasing toxins and getting relaxed prior to a presentation is more than welcome. My foam roller provides the kind of exercise that puts me in a great mood and ready to deliver my best at every presentation.

It keeps me in shape to fit in my folk outfit

This is pretty important to me, of course. Even when folk music is catchy and places everyone to dance, as artists playing instruments, we don’t get to do much dancing. We do have to always fit on our dresses and well, I have to stay fit in order to stay in. So my foam roller keeps me warmed up and fit.

It is a great way to exercise while on the go

As I have expressed, exercising with a foam roller is a great experience. It is versatile, easy to use, and fun. It really puts your muscles to the limit, a limit that you give to yourself. I love to feel the pain as it seeps through my muscles after a great foam rolling. It is really great and has helped me stay fit and always up to the challenge of a new concert.

5 Tips For Getting Your Skin Ready for the Summer Round of Folk Music Festivals

With the summer folk musical festival well under way, you are going to find yourself outside in the sun for hours at a time while you groove to your favorite artists. This can be hard on the skin, and make you look well beyond your years if you don’t take some precautions beforehand. Follow these tips and your skin will not be harmed by your love of folk music and its festivals.

Rinse off your face often – There is a lot of dirt and dust at an outdoor festival, and when combined with your own natural sweat can reek havoc on your pores. To avoid this, have a warm bottle of water handy that is used specifically as a quick rinse. Don’t towel dry afterwards, as this is rough on skin, rather let the heat of the day dry your face naturally.


Use fruit packs at night – It may not sound all that appetizing, but if you apply fruit to your face at night time, you can help replenish moisturizers and vitamins that were lost during the day. Papaya is a great source of natural nutrients for the face, and large enough that you can use half as a skin healer and half for dessert.

Watch how you wash your face – Many of the exfoliants and cleansers you are using can be particularly drying to the skin, on top of what the sun is already doing. Wash with a mild soap and a konjac sponge daily to cleanse the pores without the irritating the skin. Reviews of the konjac sponge show that even when used by people with sensitive skin, there is no redness or peeling. These Japanese miracle products are small and lightweight making them easy to take along with you, wherever the folk music is taking you this summer.

Protect your skin from the sun – The most important thing is to provide protection to your skin from the suns rays. Wear long skirts or pants and lightweight long sleeved shirts. Use sunscreen on all exposed areas and invest in a hat that shields your face. The less contact your skin has with the sun, the less likely it will be able to cause any damage.

Don’t lather on extra creams – There are dozens of creams and lotions that claim to rejuvenate the skin, yet only serve to introduce harmful ingredients to it. Instead of an expensive bottle of store bought lotion use natural moisturizers like cocoa butter or shea butter.

You can’t really enjoy the music if you are spending too much time worrying about sun damage. Following these tips, you can prepare your skin for what’s to come and then let loose and dance without any fear of how your face is going to look and feel in the morning.

A Look at Folk Artist Iron & Wine

At first the name sounds like it should belong to a rock and roll band, not a one man folk legend, yet Iron & Wine is the stage persona of Samuel Beam. Sam is an American born folk singer who for the last decade has made a name for himself with a number of soulful hits that epitomize the heart of folk music.

iron-and-wine-2011_article_story_mainThe 41 year old Sam hails from South Carolina in the United States, where he was raised by a school teacher mom and a father who worked in land management. He spent most of his summers on his grandfather’s farm, where he learned how some folks are making a living the hard way. He went on to study painting in Virginia and film in Florida before deciding that the musical arts was where he belonged.

A professor of film and cinematography in Florida, he had been writing songs for years but never recorded one until he was lent a four-track. This led to his first LP The Creek Drank the Cradle which was produced and recorded all at his in home studio. It was an instant hit in folk culture, and likened to the early works of Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young.

His acoustic sound has mass appeal, and his second album, Our Numbered Days was recorded professionally. This time other musicians were brought in, giving more substance to the music. His next album, Woman King took things a bit further with the introduction of electric guitars. This was an album clearly designed to bring to light the mysterious wonder that is woman kind.

Beam is a married man, living in North Carolina with his wife and 5 daughters. This is likely has led to his obvious appreciation of women, and reverence to them. He sports a very typical folk singer look, with a full beard that would work perfectly on an Amish farmer. Although it is obviously well groomed and taken care of with some quality beard balm by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.

He is also dedicated to his extended family, having his sister Sarah contribute back-up vocals on a number of his tracks. This is a folk singer who has never forgotten his past, and uses his experiences and influences to create music that calls to everyone who loves the genre.

Now having achieved worldwide recognition, Sam Beam is a frequent guest at many of the festivals that highlight the best in folk music every spring and summer. If you have an opportunity to see Beam in person, don’t pass it up. He is a modern folk singer who is well versed in the soulful history of folk music.

An Interesting New Innovation To Take Along on To the Next Folk Festival

infrared-canvas-saunaFolk festival season is just around the corner, and already you are probably making plans and getting your itinerary together. For some people, the idea of missing out on some of their daily necessary health routines is scary, but there is something to try if you are one of those folks who likes the feeling of a daily detox.

Introducing the Portable Infrared Sauna

Holistic individuals have known for a long time the many benefits of a half hour sit in a sauna. It helps to maintain a healthy weight of course, but it also does so much more. Saunas encourage your body to sweat, without the benefit of exercise, which actually helps your body purge itself of toxins naturally

And now you can get that benefit while on the road following your favorite folk stars. But instead of hot and sticky steam, these portable saunas use infrared technology to stimulate the body to sweat.

Is Infrared Healthy?

So long as you use it in moderation, just like anything else, infrared will not harm you. In fact, if you are suffering from any muscle aches or joint swelling, it will ease the pain and restore function. You just need to remember to drink plenty of water before and after the sauna, not spend more than a half an hour and take fifteen minutes to relax afterwards before doing anything strenuous.

Since infrared does penetrate deeper than a steam sauna will, your body is cleansing itself of deep rooted toxins, which you will realize once you start to feel better from the effects.

How Can This Be Portable?

Since you do not need insulation to protect from the steam, a very lightweight material is used for the construction of the portable infrared sauna. This makes them easy to fold up and carry wherever the folk music takes you to.

Units are sold to fit 2, 4 or even 6 people if you want to share, or just invest in a light infrared sauna blanket and take joy in the pleasure by yourself. For the best brands and prices available, you should check infrared sauna review sites. These will help you in making the right decision about which one fits your purpose.

Whether you are a folk singer or groupie, the relaxing feeling of an infrared sauna will be of great comfort during busy festival season. If you want to stay up with at least part of your healthy living lifestyle, than the portable infrared sauna may be the way to do it.

A Look at Joan Baez – One of the Best Female Folk Singers of All Time

Joan Baez is one of the most well known female folk artists of all time. Performing for over 55 years, she was one of the voices behind the 1960’s peace movement and is known for her activism in a number of worthy causes.

Joan Baez hails from New York, where she was born in 1941, but lived all over the world due to her father’s profession in the health care system. She developed a love for music of all nations and treated herself to an acoustic guitar for her 18th birthday.

Joan’s family settled in Massachusetts in 1958, just as folk music was beginning to make waves. She started playing in clubs and colleges around Boston and Cambridge, eventually making a small name for herself in that local music scene. By 1960 she was asked to perform at a major folk festival and to record an album.

It was Joan who introduced the world to a then unknown Bob Dylan after she had made become a household name in the roots revival. She also appeared on the cover of Time magazine during this time, an amazing feat for a female musician in the ‘60’s. By 1969 she had achieved worldwide acclaim after her appearance at Woodstock in upstate New York.

Joan Baez Today

In 2009, Joan returned to the stage of the first festival that she had hosted to mark her 50th anniversary as a singer and songwriter. She is still very active in music today, often seen on stage at festivals with a signature essential oil diffuser necklace and acoustic guitar. She has never strayed from her “hippy” demeanor, and is still an activist for a number of causes.


She is very active in protecting the environment, and practices environmentalism in her everyday life. The use of natural essential oils like showcased here over chemically enhanced perfumes is just one of dozens of ways she has shown the world her commitment to this cause.

Joan was also very vocal about her disapproval over America’s involvement in Iraq and was an active participant in a number of protests and rallies. This led her to a special tour in 2004 where she encouraged young people to vote for peace minded candidates. In her 55 years as an activist, the only presidential candidate she has ever openly endorsed was Barack Obama.

Joan Baez has been the voice of dozens of records and hundreds of songs over the course of her career. Yet it is not only her music that has made her a stand out in folk music. It is her continued commitment to world issues and willingness to voice her opinion that makes her such a legendary artist.

Canadian Folk Bands: Elliot Brood

One of the best known folk bands in North America is Elliot Brood. With a new CD dropped this past October, they are now busy touring Canada and the United States. This tour is expected to last into next year.

Band members and their friends worked around the clock on this new collection of music and are very proud to be able to showcase it live.

This new CD – Work and Love- is a compilation that truly epitomes the spirit of folk music. Band members Casy LaForet, Mark Sasso, and Stephen Pitkin know the genre well and present it in a way that will warm your heart.

I have seen the band live more than once in Toronto and can tell you that rugged looks and unruly beards aside, they really do put on a great show. Stephen most of all really looks the part, and could really use a beard trimmer and beard balm to take with him on tour (hint hint Santa)


Folk music has never been mainstream, unless you count the iconic John Denver. This is a genre for the free spirited who only want to hear heart warming lyrics sung along with simple music. The festivals that are sprouting up all over Canada and the United States show that more people are falling in love with that simplicity and calming effect folk music has.

Many people confuse folk music with country, but if you are a true fan, you ear can pick out the difference. While both styles like to use story telling in their lyrics, country music is more brash in its approach. While some die hard country fans are able to appreciate the soft melody of folk music, it is hard for a folk music lover to get used to the change in tempo.

If you are unsure if folk music is something you might enjoy, check Elliot Broods tour schedule to see when they are playing close by. If you can, try and catch them at a folk music festival which showcases a number of different bands and artists. This will give you a well rounded perception of what folk music is all about.

I will be looking for Elliot Brood when the folk music festival starts back up in the spring, but am also going down to Toronto to catch them live this winter. They are really that good to hear twice. If you are going to try the same, don’t forget your copy of Work and Love. If you are lucky, you could get one of the band members to sign it for you.

Day Jobs to Help Fund Your Folk Music Without Interfering With It

Most folk musicians need an alternate source of income if they want to keep on playing their music. While it is rewarding on a personal level, it is not on a financial one. In order to keep your self from going bankrupt, while still getting to play at festivals and gigs, you need to find the right day job.

Trying to find a career that won’t interfere with your folk music? Canada has a loving history with folk music, and a number of career opportunities to support it. Here are a few ideas that you should consider:


teacherIt should come as no surprise that many teachers are closet folk musicians. The hours are perfect, with nights and weekends always free. Plus, they get the entire summer off, when the best folk music festivals are being held around the country.

Picking teaching as your profession will of course require that you continue your education at a local college, but this will only give you a chance to expose more people to your music. Expect four years of college in order to get a degree that will allow you to land a job in a local school.

Ultrasound Technician

There are special ultrasound technician schools that can help you obtain the licensing you need to become a sonographer. An ultrasound technician is responsible for taking images of people for medical purposes. These images are created with sound waves which are then projected onto a TV screen. The most common use is in obstetrics, where a sonogram creates a picture of the unborn baby.

An ultrasound technician salary is substantial enough to carry your folk music dreams, especially if you work inside of a private doctor’s office. This type of job will give you nights and weekends off where you can schedule your practices and gigs. Consider applying to schools or look for jobs at

Forex Trader

If you are more involved with your music, and need complete flexibility with your time consider becoming a trader in the Forex market. This is a currency market where you make money by predicting the growth or decline of the currency. Although it may sound complicated, there are tons of sites online that can assist you in starting out. Plus you will need a broker, who will provide you with a trading platform to learn off of.

What makes Forex trading so appealing is that the initial investment can be as low as fifty dollars. When you work with a broker, they will leverage your trades to help you make more money. This is a type of loan, which is paid back from your profits. Since you can trade whenever you want, this type of money making venture gives you all the free time you want and need for your folk music career.

Make sure that you choose a day job that gives you the time and space you need to do the things you love. Playing folk music can take up a lot of your time, so ensure that the career path you choose to fund it does not cut into that time you need.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe When Attending Music Gigs

If you are a musician and you are looking for ways to keep yourself at ease when you are on the go, most of the time you get yourself a pet to keep you company. Traveling with your pet cannot be that easy at all as is you are busy rehearsing and performing, chances are you forget about that little buddy who keeps you company when you are feeling lonely.


One of the biggest concerns of musicians who carry along a pet dog with them is keeping their pet in a safe place. Musicians travel a lot and bringing along a dog fence with them is not at all a perfect solution. That is the reason why technology advancements for pet gear are being offered nowadays to be a part of a solution for the usual issues that pet owners have.

As you are preparing for the next big gig that you are about to go to, you are now wondering what you can do to make sure that when you leave your pet in a certain area, it is safe from harm and at the same time it as well enjoys its freedom without being in a container or being locked inside your van. Well, one great solution to this is making use of a Petsafe wireless containment system.

This time around you don’t have to worry about putting your pet dog in chains or putting your pet inside a container where it cant move at all for hours. With the new wireless fence technology, your pet can now stay in once place and at the same time play.

How it Works

The fence is like a virtual cage but it allows your pet to roam at a certain radius. This radius can be controlled through a collar that you will be placing on your pet’s neck and a controller that will send a signal so you can control the radius where your pet can roam. Investing on this kind of pet confinement system especially when you are always on the go will save you all the worries about leaving your pet in a safe place.

Knowing that a musician is always on the go and cannot afford to bring his pr her own pet along to keep it safe, taking advantage of a wireless technology that will promote safety for pets and convenience for pet owners can surely be the best solution to this.

For more travelling info for the musician or festival-goer, take a look here.

Basics you’ll need if you’re overnighting at a folk festival!

folk festivalHey all! Mike Hauk here. Before I became a folk singer, I used to be just like you. Waiting in massive line ups to see your favorite singer and get their autograph, camping out overnight to see your favorite band, going up to who-knows-where for a weekend long festival. I’ve done it all, and as of recent years I’ve been on the other side watching it all happen before my eyes. Fans are the greatest aspect of being a musician, we would be nothing without you guys! So I wanted to share a few tips with you about the best camping gear and how to camp safely and properly!


Finding the right tent can be a long and expensive journey if you don’t do it right. Start out by doing a bit of research on the kind of tent you need and what attributes best suit your needs such as amount of people, weather resistance, and more (try checking out for some pretty unbiased info on camping gear). Seeing what your options are and weighing your needs is the first place to start. There are tons of awesome tents out there, some specialized for camping, some tailored to families. My best suggestion for a more than 2 person tent to bring to festivals and camping would be the Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and fits 4 people pretty easily.

Sleeping Bags

Comfort is key when you’re tent-camping. Generally you won’t be bringing a mattress (unless you happen to have an inflatable one on hand), so you want something that make your nights sleep as cozy as you can get under the circumstances. There are tons of different styles that run at all sorts of price ranges. Finding something that will keep you warm, is easy to transport, and washable is important. If you’re just using it for summer camping and festival-going, you won’t have to worry as much about keeping warm in cold climates. Summer nights can get chilly though, so don’t cheap out too much! If this is you though, I’d probably pack something like the Wenzel Conquest 25-Degree Sleeping Bag. It’s very affordable, pretty cool looking, and you can curl up pretty well in it.


Let’s face it, you’re going to have to eat during a festival. Sure, most will have food carts and the sort, but why blow all your money on food when you probably spent a decent amount to get in there in the first place? Picking yourself up a little camping grill or stove will save you tons of money in the long run. You’ve got gas powered, propane, coal, and butane to choose from. Basically whatever best fits your needs and is easiest to manage for you will be the right one. I don’t suggest cheaping out too much in this category though. Cheaply made stoves can be have a short life and possibly be dangerous if not handled with utmost care.


If you’re more of a backpacker and want to carry it all yourself, there are tons of great backpacks out there for travelers and outdoor overnighters like you. Some small, some massive, make sure to pick one that is not oversized for your frame. You can do some damage to your back and legs if you’re carrying too much! Just make sure when doing your research that you take into account everything you might need to bring with you (food, water, sleeping bag, supplies, etc).

Have some fun at your next festival!