Well it’s Tuesday. I needed one day to just decompress. I think I was essentially awake for five days. That sleep deprivation thing is a trip. I use to pay good money to feel like that. Now it’s just disorienting, but worth it.
I spent the last week at the National Folk Alliance as you regular readers will know. If not, check it out, www.folkalliance.org I heard every kind of acoustic music there is and I heard rank amateurs and I heard people who humbled me with their gifts and their grace.
If you are an acoustic musician, you owe it to yourself to experience this conference. It happens once a year on the national level, but there are region conferences, which are actually a great place to get your feet wet. The national can be daunting. Just the level of talent.
Being a performing singer/songwriter myself, I leaned towards hearing those types generally, though I heard all kinds of music through the course of the week.
My personal singer/songwriter favorites were Cliff Eberhardt (www.cliffeberhardt.com); Greg Greenway (www.greggreenway.com) ; Dirk Hamilton (www.dirkhamilton.com) ; Jim Photoglo (www.jimphotoglo.com) :
Four completely different kinds of songwriters and performers and each one truly a master at what they do. It was humbling to watch them work. And to hear such different approaches to playing the guitar, singing, and their lyrical gifts were consitent, powerful and profound. All this in such a musical setting that it went down like fine wine...and no hangover.
I put their websites up there so that you could check them out. These guys are the real thing.
If you are looking for guitar players, the list is endless. There were simply too many to name and actually I have forgotten a thing or two over the course of this week of being awake. If you read the Friday post, you know I saw James Burton and Albert Lee play. Amazing chops on those two. And right behind them and beside them were a crowd of younger players, all of whom will be something to reckon with in the years to come.
I saw Bobby Bridger (www.bobbybridger.com) do part of his historical one man musical, in full costume. There’s probably a piece of it up on his site. Interesting fellow. I met him when I was recording for Wooden Nickel in the early 70’s. We were both singer songwriters but he’s taken his into another arena. Check it out.
Heard a wonderful band called 3 Penny Acre. (www.myspace/3pennyacre) . Kind of Nickel Creek, but simpler. It was blue grass but more fun, Good voices, songs, players and Shannon Wurst had eyes that sparkled like diamonds up there. And no, that’s not why I liked them. I just happened to notice that when they were playing. It’s not my fault.
There were luthiers Bob Gramann, (www.bobgramann.com) Ron Berlanger, (www.ronbelangerguitars.com) ; Cliff Bear (www.ocbearguitars.com) , as well as Taylor, Gibson, Martin all represented. Amazing craftsman and amazing instruments.
There were also all the radio stations, venue bookers, house concert presenters, agents, managers, pr people. I’m telling you, if you are in this acoustic music scene, you must make this part of your agenda.
Trust me...and this time I mean it.