Tuesday, September 22, 2015 – Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) opens its 2015 regional conference in a new city this year, convening at the Sheraton Hotel in Iowa City, Iowa beginning Thursday, October 22. In addition to the standard fare of workshops, industry panels, mentoring sessions and networking opportunities for music professionals and others involved in the music industry, This year’s conference will offer several performance opportunities that everyone will enjoy.
Smitty Smith, co-Coordinator for this year’s conference said the choice of Iowa City as the conference location became an obvious one. “We were in St. Louis for 3 years, and before that we were in Chicago. We looked at many locations around the Midwest, from St. Paul/Minneapolis to locations in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio and Iowa. Between the facilities available, the local interest in hosting the conference and economic considerations, Iowa City won out. That is where we will be this year, and the next two years following.”
The new location also brings a fresh set of talent to the conference, which will be featured in showcase performances throughout the 3-day event. Official showcases begin at 8 p.m. nightly, presenting approximately 31 acts over the course of the conference. Smith said the talent selected to appear in the Official Showcases are the cream of the crop, so-to-speak. “Approximately 130 acts applied to appear in the Official Showcases, and only about 1 in 10 make the cut.” A panel of 8 judges representing music venues, radio DJs and other “well-known people in the music scene” made the selection.
While the conference itself is designed for those with ties to music and the music industry, Smith said the general public is also invited to attend the Official Showcase shows. “We call it ‘Taste Of Farm.’ The public can come in and enjoy the Official Showcases, which include the DJ Presenter’s Showcase, the keynote address, as well as performances later in the evening.” Tickets are $20 for any single-night show, or $50 for all three nights of the conference. More information on attending the Offical Showcase shows is available here.
Although early-bird registration has ended, Smith said it is not too late to register for the conference, and walk-in registration is available. “It is not prohibitively expensive. If you walk up the day of the conference and want to register for the entire conference it is just $130.” More information on conference registration is available here.
Recently, Smith talked with KC Cafe Radio’s John Dutton previewing the 2015 conference. They discussed the decision to locate the conference in Iowa City, and new features on this year’s agenda. Smith also highlighted some of the acts that will appear in the Official Showcases, and describes the process of selecting from the region’s finest performers for the show.
Listen to the interview here:
Carlo L Grimelli, AKA The Acoustic Man, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. At the ripe young age of 6, he made his first recording at Hoffman Studios in Chicago, playing the accordion. At 11, he started playing the guitar, and at 13 played in his first band, The Guill-o-Teens – a gig that lasted for about 7 years.
Carlo then moved on to tour the Midwest with the rock band Together, which landed a studio agreement with The Chicago Sound Factory Studio and Ferris Wheel Records. Following his stint with Together, Carlo bounced between a number of different bands, and eventually embraced his passion in music – writing. Since then Carlo has written over 200 songs, and is still at work!
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste caught up with Carlo via Skype. They talk about Carlo’s extensive music career, and passion for writing. They enjoy a frank conversation about the art of music writing, and the commonality they both share with all music writers and performers.
Listen to the interview here:
Music by Carlo Acoustic Man on KC Cafe Radio:
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Singer/Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and KC Cafe Radio Performing Artist Ned Gray is perhaps the luckiest person alive. He has traveled the world several times over, from Alaska to Hawaii, from Tahiti to Indonesia and all points in-between. And, to top it all off, he gets paid to do it! Ned travels the world as a cruise ship entertainer, bringing his original music along with his favorite covers to travelers spanning the globe.
Ned is no stranger to traveling! He got his start in music as a drummer, playing on the road for Blackhawk. He eventually settled into the Marin County area near San Francisco where he performed with the likes of Joan Baez, Commander Cody, and Doug Adamz (another KC Cafe Radio Performing Artist). Today, in addition to his gigs out on the open seas, Ned has recorded three albums, Looking for the Groundswell, Choreograph and Texas Chrome, the latter of which was recorded in Willie Nelson’s recording studio.
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste caught up with Ned via Skype between cruise ship voyages, at a restaurant in the Tampa Bay Florida area. They talked at length about Ned’s musical travels, and what it’s like performing on a cruise ship, and he explains how his travels inspires and influences his performances and songs.