Sunday, August 7, 2016


In the name of my grandfather Mike Porco- a man who was a champion for aspiring acoustic musical talent for two decades- I am launching a contest where 
the winner shall earn studio time and production costs paid for as the prize.
Bob Gibson, Mike Porco
(Photo Doug Yeager)

Rules, of course, shall apply. 

Here is a first draft of the rules: (Dated August 7, 2016)
Rules are subject to change as well as 
the name of the contest

Music created will have an identifiable and undeniable POSITIVE sound. 
(whatever that means…you know it when you hear it)
The songs created should fit relatively in the FOLK and BLUES sound category 
Or genre. 
(Not a limiting factor. Not excluding Bluegrass, Rock etc. Keep it real.
Keep it original)

Song Lyrics must have UNIFYING theme that can be read aloud, sans music, and 
still get the juices flowing

Entrants may be
Bands or Duos only

(September 2016)
ANY musician on Earth willing to enter a song
are eligible

Band or Duo must not suck

Fast Folk

Winning Band or Duo will record in New York City
arriving on their own expenses to get there 
(some concessions may be made in support of the artist at judge's discretion)
Local bands and acts traveling through
 need apply 

Other rules not yet written or even thunk about must be considered.
Including and not limited to:
Final ownership or recording,
number of units for sale,
type of final product release,
ancillary live performances of winning single

This song contest is not some low-rent, Wi-Fi song "drop."
We're not just gonna fatten up the Internet. 
We're pressing a vinyl record. An actual tangible item. 
Two sided by nature. 
Length will be determined by money raised.


The cart is before the horse, admittedly. But where's your sense of excitement?!
The Producer and studio are not even yet sewn up.
In New York, I've got friends downtown.
However, my job is to get the costs covered
by an as-of-yet decided social funding site.
No biggie.


Vinyl... because it's gonna sound better.
So the winning entry should 
be a wonder to the ears.
Hence the exclusion of solo artists. Extra tracks and instruments of sound
 will sound better.

An electronic/digital (youtube video or otherwise) track may and will be used to promote the ultimate sale of the single/EP/45

A song of UNITY will win. 
That is the parameter for subject matter in this contest. 
Use your own words and music. 
or something to that effect should be the message.

Don't bother to refer to anyone in this election season.
The song should be timeless.
Won't you feel like a fool when neither of the current candidates win. People are already asking "Bernie who?"
Don't do it. Songs referencing Slovenian wives or serial raping husbands shall be disqualified. 

Sammy Walker, Mike Porco
(photo Theodore Lee)

I'll be on the level with you;
the gist is that 'we' record the song(s) and YOU own them and take them with you.
I'll help promote the message and thusly the song.
If the song is worthy, then it will create its own rolling thunder (pun).
If the Band or Duo are bad dressers, difficulty may need to be overcome.

Matching dress….maybe not

In a wild daydream, this may seem like the first pressing of 
a budding recording company.
I've truly got too many other things to do such as completing the first documentary
 Perhaps you've heard of the place. 

Songs by emerging artists need to be recorded because
record companies today are not willing to break even anymore.
They don't want to just perpetuate business.

They need 
to make a KILLING.
They would never want to be accused of starting a 
positive movement.
They would never want to be accused of UNIFYING people.
They want money.
I want money, too.
But cashing in on one Band or Duo's song is, 
not only impossible but also, uncouth.

If some Band or Duo or SOLO
ARTIST out there thinks that they can write a song
all by their lonesome and enter it into the CONTEST, have at it.


Rules on submission are simple (I think)
Dropbox or email or Wetransfer or 'whatever'
your entry to Bob Porco at

That simple.

I will reply 'Thank You' upon receipt
and the next email to contestants will be to announce the winner.


(Mike Porco's Birthday, doncha know)

One winner. Everyone else comes in second. 
Hate to be the first to break the news.

All second place song entries shall be deleted from my possession. 
Digital expunge.
Names will be kept on file for merry invites. Reciprocate should you wish.


The dream ending is that this song leads to 
something on the order of
World peace. Not kidding.

Not to make this post any more political than it has to be, I will state that there have  been counterfeit and fraudulent grown-up human beings on the streets attacking other fellow Americans for having opinions of their own.
Some of these brats claim that they are 'activists' or 'inclusive' as they rip other protestors' signs and otherwise force them away. 

I've been active at protests. I've done street actions. I do them every year. I'm no professional at it but if any one came over and ripped my sign…well that would be a problem. If I went and grabbed another person's sign, that would start quite a fight. In other words, it's just not done unless the streets are filled with phony humans acting like fucking children.

AS IF we have time to battle each other of the streets of our country…
sheer idiocy and social suicide.

If societal suicide is your thing, then maybe this contest 
is not for you and your lone friend. If pissing in your neighbor's yard is 
more inviting than pissing in your own,
then maybe this contest is not for you.

It's preferable to have a song and message that
may cause some widespread compassion. 

Hindrance of free speech should not be tolerated by any

This song should be worthy to show your momma
and your landlord.
This song should be good enough for me to send to my lovely 
12 year old daughter.
This song should swing.

This song will be the first of many
done this way
should the planets stay on course.

Bob Porco, writer of this blog
Folk Music Journalist
Artful Dodger

How will I know if the winning song has a Folk quality?
To paraphrase Supreme Justice Frankfurter 
and to directly quote Israel G. Young,
''I'll know it when I hear it.''

 I know that music is the way to bring people together.

I know that I have a small, humble platform here on this blog and here on social media and I know that if I did something to promote UNITY 
then something good may come of it.

In addition, some ACOUSTIC GROUP OR DUO will get studio time and a product to show for their efforts.

My politics don't matter. The winning musicians' politics don't matter. 

In my opinion, Bob Dylan's 'Masters of War' or "Union Sundown" is a song of unity: the artist and the listener join against the folly of war and greed. 
Phil Ochs' songs 'There but for fortune' and 'I ain't marching anymore" are songs of freedom. 

If I could change one thing about
Music leading the way…as per norm
John Lennon's songs, I would say "Power OF the People" instead of "to" the People. "We can work it out," "All you need is Love..." Yes yes Yes!

The People already have the power to end wars and negotiate prosperity. Music has led the way forever!
From drums of war to the drummer and fife player to the march in Selma to Occupy. 

Arlo educated me dearly during our time together by saying:
"That's what the music was doing in the 1960s. That's what it has done and what it will ALWAYS continue to do."

Believe it.


  1. I had the great pleasure of driving Mike Porco and his wife Helen from Manchester to London Heathrow in the early 1980s. They were flying to Jerusalem the following day. We had been attending a Bob Dylan Convention which included Robert Shelton.

  2. well done! glad to see you here. I know well of the convention.

  3. Nice effort Bob..good on ya!