ConGregate 8

White Plectrum

White Plectrum (Keith Brinegar)

In all the years I’ve been performing as White Plectrum, one thing has remained constant:  the support of all those who have listened, sung along, and helped spread the music.  I couldn’t continue to do this without your support.

When White Plectrum began, I had no idea it would go this long.  Bill and I wrote and performed songs together, then began to perform songs others – James, Erik, Raymond - had helped us write or had written for us.  The first WP songbook, “Filks For Our Times”, was done by Bill on his computer.  We made cassettes and sold them at the conventions to the few who requested them.  It was pizza and gas money, but to us, it was a labor of love.  We both loved doing the music and doing the shows.  Bill got married and moved to South Carolina.  When he moved, I asked if he was ok with me keeping the name we’d come up with together.  His one caveat was “don’t embarrass me”.  I hope I’ve done you proud, old friend.  I’d really love to do one more show with you.  Maybe someday …

I moved to Roanoke.  That’s where my solo “career” as White Plectrum began.  I started working with new people – Jerry, Michael, Rhaps, Shrewlet, and whoever else showed up - writing and coming up with new ideas.  We’d all get together at my place for pizza, or just to hang out.  Sooner or later, someone would toss out an idea, the guitar would come out, and a new filk would be born.  Other times, it would be just myself and Jerry; I’d throw and idea I had been struggling with in his direction, only to hear him respond “damn you, go make tea”.  When I’d return, the song would be fleshed out and ready to go.  (Then there was Iron Filk.  I’m still hoping someone will find a copy of that again, just so I can see it one more time.)

There were the filk-writing workshops at conventions, better known as “Filking 101”.  The Filk Collectives arising from those at YeagerCon, Rising Star, Technicon, Patriot Games, and other cons  produced songs that became favorites.  There were even late night sessions at Technicon.  Filking 401, we’d call them, when we would take over a corner of the hotel bar at the end of the evening, just to relax and unwind.  Just like hanging out at my place, though, the ideas would start to flow, and another filk (or two) would be born.  I can still recall the filk circle at Marscon, when someone dared Michael O’Brien to come up with something new on the spot.  He accepted the challenge, opened a 60s songbook someone had with them, and by the time the circle came back around to us, “Red Pill” had been written and was performed. 

Nowadays, Michael Kazalski, formerly of Coyote Run, has joined me on the bass.  Michael loves the music just as much as I do.  He’s even co-written a new filk to a song that has been haunting me for a filk for the last several years.  He even did it on his way home from Marscon in about 30 minutes.  (Bill and I had tried to work that one out for a long time, but just couldn’t get it right.)  It has been performed live only once, but I guarantee it will be done again.  To find out which one, you’ll just have to come to the show.  Either way, Michael adds something to the show that has been missing for a long time.  We’ve clicked, just like Bill and I did.  I’m thankful he’s joined me on stage whenever he can.

I’ve still got a great crew, although the names and faces have changed.  Gene, Isaac, David, Andy, Heather and John – you guys rock!  I couldn’t do it without you.

Come out and give a listen.  I may even have music to sell, if you want.  Either way, I hope you enjoy the show.  I promise I’ll do my best.  Who knows, I might even get you to sing along!