I'm working on switching my website over to this one... here are a couple of archived blogs from some of my adventures this year...
March 2nd, 2015 by megan
It’s not easy to sum it up.
Let’s call it 2500 musicians in the Westin/Sheraton complex near downtown Kansas City, MO. It’s right across from Union Station, which is a very pretty place that reeks of railroad history.
Music fills every corridor possible. Almost all of it is good. People at the Folk Alliance are a special breed. There is so much joy in the making. We meet up once a year to see old friends, make new ones, and seek inspiration in what everyone has to share. It’s a genuine love fest. This year I was very fortunate to play almost every day in the Momentary Love Management Room, hosted by Lou DeMarco and Rain Fusco. Getting to know them was one of the highlights of my time in KC.
What happens at Folk Alliance is fairly simple. People play music wherever and whenever they can. Sometimes you find yourself playing in front of a crowded room of people, other times there may be 1 person there to listen. Either way it doesn’t matter because someone is always listening. Lou and Rain’s room was my ‘home room’ and the vibe there was always right. I also gravitated to the ‘Oklahoma Room.’ The music there was so good, and would go very late into the night. One particular evening I was fortunate to be David Amram’s sidekick. Besides being his bouncer, I was also making sure he didn’t lose his multiple flutes (one did go missing but not on my watch), kept his shoes tied, and most importantly, finding the right jam at 3AM. To the Oklahoma room we went. Sure enough, the music and clinky drinks were still flowing. We sat down and a song circle formed. There was the fiddlers 3 (me, T. Bruce Bowers, and a cool guy named Jason), David, Jesse Aycock, Wink Burcham, Levi Parham, and many other awesome musicians that Brian Horton of Horton records has corralled and tamed just enough to play outstanding music in the room. Another reason to love Oklahoma, as if I needed more. We played songs until they kicked us out at 5 AM. It wasn’t the first or last time this happened in the OK room.
The next night I got to sit in with David Amram during his set in the large Chicago room at the Sheraton. It was a great honor, and somehow he worked me into his improvisational tune about Kansas City, and said I had a ‘magic violin.’
I had the honor of playing with many others in addition to David… Tim Easton, Nellie Clay, Jesse Elliott, Jay Aymar, myself (yes, I did a couple of my own sets too). I have a few pictures to post, most of them courtesy of my friend “Frag” AKA Rob Hanning. Frag (pronounced Fraj, like Fragile) is a talented photographer and general documenter of all things Folk Alliance. And also just a great guy who enjoys music…
January 29th, 2015 by megan
I just got back from my first cruise ever, and luckily I was fortunate enough to be part of the entertainment. While I was on the cruise, I remembered a funny story my Grandpa B used to tell. He and my Gram were ‘cruisers’ for a few years post retirement. This was pre-Cayamo and other such ‘music-centric’ cruises… where I am sure there was ‘entertainment’ but not the same overdose of good music as I experienced. Anyway, according to Grandpa B, the piano player on his cruise ‘broke his arm’ and therefore Grandpa Bob got the gig for the week… there was speculation there was a set up, but nevertheless he found a job on the boat for himself…
I had a blast playing with Amy Speace on Cayamo 2015 The lineup was incredible and in addition to playing fun sets with Amy in the Spinnaker Lounge, I also saw some longtime favorites and also got to know some new people I’d never heard before but walked away inspired by… Seeing John Prine twice on the boat, and knowing every night I was falling asleep in the same vessel as him was ultra sweet in my stalker’s opinion. Hearing him play his songs that have inspired me to be a songwriter for so many years was beyond anything I could explain or articulate. It was also a treat to see Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, John Fullbright, Birds of Chicago, Joe Purdy, St. Paul and the the Broken Bones, and tons of other talents… it was almost an overwhelming experience… plus being down in the Caribbean in January wasn’t too terrible either. We stopped in St. Bart and St. Croix too and had fun times there… I have a few pics too prove I was there, but I forgot to take very many as I was livin in the moment!