Social Justice Songwriter Takes on Marijuana Prohibition
Social Justice Songwriter Patrick Dodd is taking on prohibition with his planned new CD, to be followed by a musical production, "Doin' the Deed".
A songwriter that likes to make a difference, Patrick has turned musical activism into a lifestyle. With a four decade long catalogue tackling issues ranging from poverty to war, racism to labor, and much more, Patrick Dodd is a songwriter consistently able to transform truth into poetry. After living in Southern Oregon for a decade Patrick was horrified as we all watched the Federal government flip flop on DEA policy regarding the raiding of legal state grows and the seizing of patient medicine. Patrick felt he had no choice but to turn his sights on prohibition and the devastating effects these draconian policies are having upon patients and providers. Many of us who live in these beautiful valleys know that the "outlaw farmers" whose family farms sprinkle the Southern Oregon landscape are not very different from farmers everywhere, except in the eyes of the federal government. The stories of these families are much like the stories of farmers around them past and present. They hold the same values as most of the farmers who raise our other crops, and they face the same trials of nature and market. The differences, however, artificially and cruelly applied to these farms by the federal government, are startling and life threatening.
"Outlaw farmers live under constant threat; the threat of having their land taken, the threat of having their families broken apart, the threat of having years of labor and financial investment seized, often without trial or due process. Their stories are about living in fear of their government, of prosecution and incarceration. Their lives are about being stripped of their constitutional rights just for registering as a provider to patients. Their lives are about the restriction of their rights to free commerce, indeed their right to employ their own labor to the ends of life, liberty, and security. All of this not only in absence of sufficient evidence of harm, but virtually NO evidence of social harm or risk. In fact, evidence indicates that not only does prohibition cause more harm than the consumption of marijuana, but that for many people marijuana can improve their lives. Their states agree; yet the Federal Government continues to deny these patients and farmers legal status. Something has to give."
As most of their fans know Patrick and his partner Mary have been sharing their views on "outlaw farming" and their outrage at the effects of prohibition for several years, both in music and on a popular local radio program that aired for a year and a half on the Hope Mountain Radio Station in Takilma. It was a rare episode of the "Siskiyou Mountain Outlaw Radio Show" that did not touch upon this important subject. Now Patrick has recruited a musical team of dedicated, highly talented, like-minded souls to take on a new project - recording an entire suite of songs dedicated to advancing the dialogue on cannabis cultivation and prohibition. In a voice that is at once gently humorous, deeply humane and unflinchingly honest, Patrick has crafted over a dozen tone poems that show the lives of these "good-hearted down home folk" standing in stark contrast to the federal propaganda of foreign cartels and reefer madness.
Patrick's began the project by reaching out to old musician friends and informing them that he was living in a village of peaceful farmers who were surrounded by an army from far away. This group of highly armed and publicly financed soldiers receive their marching orders from a faraway federal government and, in spite of treaty rights granted the farmers by their states, is raiding the farmer's fields, destroying their crops, seizing their lands, imprisoning the farmers, and breaking up their families. Patrick told them he was looking for a few Samurai who were in the mood for a good fight. He apprised them that the pay was low, the hardships were steep and that the risks were real. To a person they simply ask him when the battle was going to start; they didn't want to get there late and miss all the fun.
There is one small hurdle that must be jumped in order to complete this project as envisioned - money. The music industry is in such a state that it has become hard to impossible to make money off music; something that has always been the status quo for social justice songwriters. While many indie songwriters are now adapting a style Patrick and others in the social justice community pioneered of releasing solo recordings captured on small home systems, we all felt that these stories of struggle needed to reach out to a much broader audience than solo recordings generally receive.
Enter a whole new way independent artists are finding to finance their art projects in this changing economic reality - Kickstarter. Kickstarter allows artists to offer inspiring incentives to potential supporters for their projects. Patrick found Kickstarter about a month ago when a friend who was seeking funding for their project reached out to him. Patrick supported that project, as did many of his friends, which encouraging Patrick to try Kickstarter himself. Patrick has teamed up with his daughter Amber and wife Mary to create a rather impressive Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Kickstater artist offer "rewards" for supporter pledges. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal. If an artist raises the funds needed and requested for the project, great; if the target is not reached, however, supporting pledgers are not charged, and the project goes unfunded. If the fundraising campaigns are successful, pledgers get some cool rewards from the artists for their support. CDs, DVDs, T Shirts, Art, meet and greets with artists, lessons in drop D tuning and songwriting by Patrick Dodd, master classes in fiddle by Adam Moss, catered house concerts, chests full of memorabilia, Patrick's 12 string Taylor guitar, and more are all included as potential rewards supporters can earn while supporting the project. One reward includes an OMMP catered house concert and a CD for each of your guests. Patrick has even included an opportunity to team up with him and play a little joke on fiddle player Adam Moss. The time the artists have to raise the funds, supporters make pledges and earn these great rewards is limited, usually between 30 and 60 days.
Patrick's n Friends "Doin' the Deed" kickstarter campaign has a very short window in which to raise these funds. If you are interested in learning more about Patrick's project, you can go to kickstarter.com and search for "The Outlaw Farmer Poject", write down this link, http://kck.st/WQNgZ1, or call Patrick directly at 541-787-8746. The funny outtakes on the kickstarter video are worth the view.
address: 12108 Redwood Hwy, Wilderville, OR 97543
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