ISSN: 17526299
First published in 2008
3 issues per volume
Volume 8 Issue 1
Cover Date: March 2015
Swamp Sistas: Beth McKee and a socio-musical swamp revival online and real time
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Authors:  Susan Wilson Mills 
DOI: 10.1386/ijcm.8.1.105_1

Keywords
social networking,co-creativity,participatory culture,socio-musical community,virtual and real time,online music communities

Abstract
Beth McKee, the singer/songwriter known for her Mississippi roots and music-recording career created a community of mostly American women known as the Swamp Sistas. Although the network was developed to energize McKee’s female fan base, it quickly became a virtual and real-time social fabric, where artists, authors, colleagues and friends weave an ongoing tapestry of tradition and renewal. McKee’s performances, tours, merchandise and albums ground the artistic and social repertoire of the Swamp Sistas. The message of sharing with and supporting one another served as a powerful and creative vehicle for McKee’s musical presentations to new audiences. Her collaborations with educators, authors and artists fuelled the shared socio-musical trend, along with the performance venue she created in collaboration with the Swamp Sistas called the ‘La La’. The Swamp Sistas phenomenon is about fans who became co-creators. They inspired song lyrics, planned, staged and performed with McKee or in other groups at La Las, changing a musician and her audience into a community, complete with shared values and social engagement. This article describes the Swamp Sistas based on research in the field that included online and real time musical and social participant observation. Lessons from the swamp include emphasis on the participatory and co-creative culture of Swamp Sistas and implications for building community in music education settings.
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