Author Archives: KC Cafe

FARMette 2017: Showcase Performances

Folk Alliance Region Midwest’s “FARMette 2017” conference was held June 24, 2017 at The Buffalo Room in Kansas City’s Westport entertainment district.  The day-long event culminated in a juried Showcase Performance, featuring seven Midwest musicians.

KC Cafe Radio broadcast the show live that evening.  Here we offer the archived recordings of each performance from that broadcast.

 

John Keck (Kansas City, Missouri)

John Keck is a Kansas City songwriter who creates lyrics with the intent of capturing emotion, depicting a moment in time. Much like a photograph define can define the light. With one foot in the south and one in the Midwest, John’s music is a modern blend of traditional American and a willingness to be undefined.

“I write songs for people who love Van Gogh’s paintings. I want to have a conversation about the emotions behind the songs with our eyes. I want to provoke thought and connect with people. I’d like to see if I can get you to dance, laugh and cry a little.” – John L Keck

John is currently rehearsing songs in the studio in preparation to record a new album this year. This will be a follow album to his “Jack Moon Sessions.” He is performing nearly every weekend this summer, somewhere in the Midwest.

Listen to John’s performance here:

Download John’s performance here: FARMette 2017: John Keck

Caleb Ryan Martin (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Caleb Ryan Martin has, according to one reviewer, “a lonesome voice and rhythm that can at times invoke a lonesome ramblin’ man sound, a voice that will haunt you with some type of mysterious mountain holler sound, like a banshee singing in the nether woods.”

Caleb Ryan Martin hails from the hills of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Looking like a man from leaner and meaner times, Caleb has traveled and played music all across the Midwest and Gulf Coast region, singing with expressive vocals, playing guitar, and picking the banjo providing people with melodic medicine. Caleb currently averages between 150 – 200 shows a year.

Listen to Caleb’s performance here:

Download Caleb’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Caleb Ryan Martin

Bill Scorzari (Huntington, New York)

Often likened to Sam Baker, Tom Waits, and Kris Kristofferson, New York singer-songwriter, Bill Scorzari is “a force. His songwriting is stellar, his picking above par and his voice fits his songs perfectly” (No Depression).

Through These Waves (released 3/10/17), was produced by Jonah Tolchin and recorded at the Bomb Shelter (Nashville, Tennessee with musicians Joachim Cooder, Will Kimbrough, Chris Scruggs, Kim Richey, Laur Joamets and more. “Bill Scorzari has a lived-in voice that says, ‘Listen to these songs.’ They spring from the earth and the ocean with an open heart and the wisdom of experience.” (John Platt, WFUV).

Listen to Bill’s performance here:

Download Bill’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Bill Scorzari

Ryan Herrick (Chicago, Illinois)

Inspired by the raw, visceral power in traditional Delta blues and Appalachian folk music, Ryan Herrick allows his music to merge from within. His soulful songs express his passionate belief in human unity and the interconnectedness of all things with a percussive blend of rock, folk-blues, Celtic, and Indian raga.

Listen to Ryan’s performance here:

Download Ryan’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Ryan Herrick

Jeff Krause (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Rooted in the tradition of classic Americana and folk storytelling with a tip of the hat to blues and southern soul, Jeff Krause pairs lyric-forward songs with a guitar style that moves from acoustic coffee house strums to dusty bar blues.

Jeff Krause got his start in the Midwest as a lead guitar player in the vast and ever growing songwriting culture of the Twin Cities. He says “I’m constantly inspired by the seemingly endless talent harbored in Minneapolis and working to create something worthy of that influence.” Jeff Krause writes original songs that are all too relatable about the lost and found of love with a common thread of the persevering spirit born from the highs and lows of life. Inspired by the lyric writing of greats such as Jason Isbell and John Prine and the acoustic grooves of Amos Lee and Ray LaMontagne, Krause crafts songs that are suited for an intimate acoustic show or a full stage.

Listen to Jeff’s performance here:

Download Jeff’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Jeff Krause

Jodee Lewis (Chicago, Illinois)

A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Jodee Lewis was raised on folk songs and honkytonk, and her music reflects the best of both worlds. The Chicago Tribune says she is “a singer-songwriter whose outsized talent is as big as her voice,” and calls her first album, “Whiskey Halo,” an “impressive solo debut.” Her song, “In The End,” took first place in the 16th annual Great American Songwriting Contest. Additionally, the 14th annual Independent Music Awards chose “Whiskey Halo” as country album of the year, and the single, “From A Bottle,” took top honors for a country song. Lewis plans to release a second album, “Buzzards Bluff,” in 2017.

Listen to Jodee’s performance here:

Download Jodee’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Jodee Lewis

Betse & Clarke (Kansas City, Missouri)

Their music is familiar…and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Old time music and song celebrated alongside inventive new compositions: a passion for the depth of tradition and a look to new creative paths. “Betse and Clarke go together like peanut butter and jelly.” — Chuck Haddix, host of The Fish Fry, KCUR-FM. “Authentic…from the heart with plenty of soul. Betse and Clarke are as good as it gets.” — Daren Dortin, Ozark Highlands Radio Executive Producer/Music Director, Ozark Folk Center.

Listen to Betse & Clarke’s performance here:

Download Betse & Clarke’s performance here: FARMette 2017: Betse & Clarke

Joy Zimmerman releases 4th album, “Say My Name”

Joy Zimmerman was just 5 years old when she first became acquainted with music.   Her mother played piano and her grandmother was an organist.  Mom thought Joy would also take a liking to the piano, however it was the violin that piqued her interest.  There was something pure in the sound of the violin, a sound that would lure her in to a fascinating musical world.  

Joy grew up enjoying a very diverse exposure to music.  Thanks to St. Louis rock radio, she became influenced by the likes of Carol King, James Taylor, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Beatles, Sting, and Simon and Garfunkel.

Joy continued to play violin through her college years, performing in churches, for weddings and for funerals.  With all the love that she had for the violin, however, there never seemed to be a real connection between music and career.  She pursued studies for, and eventually a career in social work.

Her interest in music would again become piqued when her son began taking guitar lessons.  She became so intrigued that she asked if she could also begin taking lessons.  As she became better at learning chords, she discovered her own melodies springing forth from the strings. She would go on to join a Folk trio that allowed her to experiment between the violin and her newfound guitar interest.  She would go on to challenge herself with songwriting, and found that it came to her quite naturally.  From that fortunate discovery,  Joy went on to release 4 albums, the latest of which is titled Say My Name.

Recently KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Joy about her journey of musical discovery, and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way.  She also talks about recording her latest album, Say My Name, and the decision to record this one in Kansas City.  And we hear her reaction to having received an Honorable Mention award from American Songwriter Magazine for her song, “Messy Girl.”

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Joy Zimmerman 5/31/2017

Music by Joy Zimmerman on KC Cafe Radio:

Raveis Kole: A unique musical duo born out of unique synergy

Perhaps it was luck. Perhaps it was some kind of divine intervention. Or maybe it simply was a case of being in the right place at the right time. What is absolutely certain, however, is at the moment when Laurie Raveis and Dennis Kole first met, a synergy was born that would blossom into one of the most talented singer/songwriter duos around today.

At the time, Dennis had been working in a law firm. There was something else nagging at him intellectually however, and music seemed a perfect fit. He was first introduced to music at age 8 when his teacher put a cardboard cutout keyboard in front of him. His mother had bought him a violin, but he was more partial to the guitar, and at 14 purchased his first guitar. He played mostly classical music, but occasionally made up his own tunes, mostly revolving around “primitive teenage” themes.

Laurie Raveis comes from a long line of teachers. She had been teaching marketing in Boston Massachusetts, but also felt the urge toward the performing arts. Her first introduction to music came about thanks to the piano lessons she took at a young age growing up in Connecticut. Later she would try her had at various performing arts, and found she liked music the most. Later in life she would perform in various bands, including an all-girl band.  Eventually she would be asked to sing in some of those bands.  Her singing would lead to songwriting, exposing her to a whole new world of expression.

The two met at a guitar festival in Montana.  They had both attended the same guitar jam, where Dennis found himself impressed with Laurie’s inventive and original style. It wasn’t  long before the two began playing together.  They would continue to collaborate their musical talents, which eventually lead to the dynamic musical duo we know today simply as Raveis Kole.

Their newest album, Electric Blue Dandelion is an excellent representation of the “chemical reaction that ignites the human spirit by melding Raveis’ caramel smooth, emotive vocals and percussive, groove driven acoustic guitar rhythms with Kole’s fingerstyle and harmonic explorations.” Indeed, it is the essence that is Raveis Kole.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with the duo via Skype. They discussed their lives growing up discovering their unique musical talents, that moment when they first met, and how they have grown together musically since then. They also talk about their contrasting approaches to writing music, and how that contrast is the “magic” behind their synergy.

Listen to the interview here:

Listen to the interview here: Interview: Raveis Kole, 5/10/2017

Music by Raveis Kole on KC Cafe Radio:

New Music on KC Cafe Radio: May 16, 2017

Tim Johnson - Gone Tim Johnson – Gone ~New Artist~

  • Country

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Scott Cook - Further Down the Line Scott Cook – Further Down the Line

  • Americana

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John Batdorf - Next Stop Willoughby John Batdorf – Next Stop Willoughby

  • Alt. Folk

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Laurie Raveis - 101 Laurie Raveis – 101 ~New Artist~

  • Pop

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The Tearaways - Thats Rock/ I'm Just Trying to Be Nice/All She Wants Is the Ring (singles) The Tearaways – Thats Rock/ I’m Just Trying to Be Nice/All She Wants Is the Ring (singles)

  • Rock

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 Ann Armstrong - Knockin' Myself Out  Ann Armstrong – Knockin’ Myself Out

  • Blues

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Mari Black - Flight Mari Black – Flight ~New Artist~

  • World Celtic

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Gary Baugh - Acoustic Key Gary Baugh – Acoustic Key ~New Artist~

  • Country

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Gary Baugh - Connections Gary Baugh – Connections ~New Artist~

  • Country/Americana

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Gary Baugh - Sound Waves Gary Baugh – Sound Waves ~New Artist~

  • Folk/Pop

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Gary Baugh - Watercolors Gary Baugh – Watercolors ~New Artist~

  • Country/Pop

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Jonathan Cavier - Blue Room Jonathan Cavier – Blue Room

  • Pop/Rock

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Smisch - The Story of My Life Smisch – The Story of My Life ~New Artist~

  • Folk/Rock

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 Bridget Kelly Band - Bone Rattler  Bridget Kelly Band – Bone Rattler

  • Blues/Rock

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The Comancheros - I Stare at Trains The Comancheros – I Stare at Trains ~New Artist~

  • Rock/Blues

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Erisa Rei - Glass Jar Erisa Rei – Glass Jar

  • Folk/Rock

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Elaine Mahon Keeps Reaching For The Stars

Photo by Randy Batista

Elaine Mahon’s songs, as her new album is titled, may Reach for the Stars but they are also deeply rooted in the natural world we all live in. Elaine’s sensibilities as a songwriter developed from a childhood spent roaming the woods and the beaches of North Florida. But it was her work in extragalactic astronomy, which earned Mahon a Ph.D., that broadened her perspective and strengthened her appreciation for nature. Elaine left her career in order to remain near family, and to begin to explore her creativity through music. A masterful storyteller and tunesmith, Mahon has made her mark. Elaine forms an immediate and intimate emotional connection with her audience by drawing them into lyrical songscapes that shimmer with imagery gleaned from the natural world.

Elaine’s newest release, Reach for the Stars, builds on themes of life and love that Mahon explored, through story and myth, in her 2013 release, RISE. However, in this new, cohesive collection of songs, Mahon subtly introduces her astronomical perspective in order to evoke wonder and offer hope and empowerment. A deft finger-style guitarist, Mahon employs alternate tunings to create a rich harmonic palette for the melodies of her songs which often take unexpected, yet pleasing turns. Add to that a sweet, resonant voice capable of expressing a wide range of emotion and you have a winning combination.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste visited with Elaine via Skype. They talk about growing up musically, including a very pivitol moment in her life when she discovered her skill as a songwriter. They also talk about the interesting diffences and similiarities between musicianship and songwriting, her decision to pursue music full-time, and her plans beyond Reach for the Stars.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Elaine Mahon 4/20/2017