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Reflecting on Three Years of Kinnfolk

Kinnfolk under the sky. Photo by After Eden Photography.

Three years. That's how long we've been performing music together. In so many ways, Kinnfolk has been the greatest thing we've ever done, a sort of culmination of all the preparation, love, and practice we have put into music over the years. Despite the hard work it takes to maintain, it truly feels like a life purpose. There is so much we want to do and create in the future, and we are so excited to continue to grow and share more new music.

One thing that has always been constant is that we have both always had a passion for Celtic music. Through Kinnfolk we have both learned a whole new aspect of that passion, and that is the joy of really sharing music with others. It's not just about playing a song, but how that song is performed that creates a unique experience for the listener that will stay with them over time (hopefully in a good way). Over the last three years, we've both learned a lot about what works well, what doesn't, and using that knowledge to figure out how to create the best possible experience within those constraints. There have been high points and well...let's just say some amusing points where we really learned those lessons well! At the end of the day, no matter how difficult the work week has been, no matter how exhausted or distracted one or both of us might be when frantically getting set up before a gig, there really is nothing quite like performing for an audience.

Another thing we've learned over the past three years was there is a whole world of business when it comes to promoting your band's music. Compared to where we started, we learned a ton about social media marketing, branding, music production, sound engineering (meaning we learned how to fiddle with the soundboard until we got our balance just right), business negotiation, sync licensing, and online distribution to name a few. There is so much more to learn about and we'll continue to grow so that we can reach as many people as possible.

Looking back on how far we've come, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes which says, "most people overestimate what they can do in a week and underestimate what they can do in a year." It should be a mantra to live by for any business, but musicians especially would do well to remember those words. We have learned so much about how to pace ourselves and hopefully avoid the traps that so many small bands like ours run into that lead to burnout. So far so good, though there were a few close calls during our more overzealous months. It has in effect been an exercise in balancing hustle and passion, a microcosm for creating a sustainable system that in time puts out much more than one would have to put in to maintain it. In time, we hope Kinnfolk will be something bigger than us. What form that will take remains to be seen, but our goal is to leave a legacy, something that will tilt the world in a positive direction. It might be a tall order to meet, but it's a good goal to aim for.

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