We conclude our coverage of the 2016 Folk Alliance Region West Music Conference with 2 interviews and a photo album featuring the sights of the 2016 conference. Our thanks go out to Mark Kaufman and Jeanette Lundgren, co-coordinators of the 2016 conference, as well as all of the members of the “Movers and Shakers Committee” for their invitation and cooperation that made our live and recorded coverage possible here on KC Cafe Radio. This was only our second year of covering this event, but was most certainly our most enjoyable and successful experience so far. Here we present you with 2 interviews recorded at the conference, and pictures representing our conference experience.
Our complete archived coverage from the conference is available here.
During the conference, Artist Relations Director Kathleen Coleman spoke with Britta Lee Shain, author of the book, Seeing the Real You at Last: Life and Love on the Road with Bob Dylan, released earlier this year published by Jawbone Press.
KC Cafe Radio’s live coverage from the Folk Alliance Region West conference concluded with an outstanding evening of original music representing Washington State, California, Iowa, and Oregon. Performances featured the talents of Jaspar Lepak, Rita Hosking and Sean Feder, Melanie Devaney,Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan, Nathan & Jessie, and Otter Creek. Here are the archived recordings of the performances:
Singer-songwriter Jaspar Lepak is best known for her bell-like voice and introspective storytelling. Sweeping across landscapes with an emotional depth that is extraordinary, her lyrics expose a brave vulnerability while her clear, pure voice touches the heart.
Hosking’s fierce and captivating country-folk voice narrates a working class legacy in songs and stories that span forest fires, culture clash, dishes, black holes and hope. Feder accompanies artfully on dobro and banjo. Their performances transform audiences and deliver authentic American folk music to stir the soul, awaken the senses and inspire action.
Classical training in piano and guitar, a degree in creative writing, and limitless curiosity combine to craft elegant, yet accessible, songs from personal experience and/or keen observations of the world and characters she encounters. Unapologetically, this rural-Iowa-bred singer-songwriter’s gentle mission is to create beauty and change the world one song at a time with compassion and understanding.
This duo has traversed a wide Americana landscape, tipping their hats to bluegrass bands, Village folkies, blues divas, jazz cats and singing cowboys. Claudia’s expressive voice and distinctive guitar style lend an unassailable authenticity to each genre. Bruce’s accompaniment, on mandolin and guitar, is the perfect polish. Their shows are warm and comfortable with a side of funny.
Delightful trilingual performances are a synchronous fusion of jazzy folk and blues on National Reso-Phonic guitars and accordion, with an interesting interplay between female and male vocals that always feels fresh and spontaneous. Often joined by Trevor Mulvey on upright bass, their shows are uplifting, fun, and bridge all ages and cultures. The duo travels worldwide.
The alchemy of patience, skill, artistry and humor presented by this charming duo with 10 instruments and 53 strings delights audiences who clamor for more. Touring coast to coast these married folkies spread their musical joy from house concerts to school assemblies to concert halls to folk radio and also license their music for TV shows.
KC Cafe Radio’s live coverage from the 2016 Folk Alliance Region West music conference continued on Saturday, October 15, with an event that celebrated folk music’s finest in the great West. This year’s Best of the West (BOTW) honorees were legendary songwriter/performer Danny O’Keefe music educator Peter McCracken with the Centrum Foundation, and the Seattle Folklore Society.
Danny O’Keefe (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)
Danny O’Keefe, the FAR-West BOTW Performer Honoree, has released a string of albums since the early 70s that have cemented his reputation as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Although casual fans remember him best for his Top Ten hit, “Goodtime Charlie’s Got the Blues,” or Jackson Browne’s version of “The Road” on his classic Running on Empty album, his story didn’t end in the 70s. He has continued to record the occasional brilliant album and recently returned with “Light Leaves the West,” released in September 2015. Danny’s songs have been recorded by a veritable Who’s Who of legendary artists over the past thirty-plus years including Elvis Presley, Cab Calloway, Charlie Rich, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Earl Klugh, Chris Hillman, Conway Twitty, Leon Russell, Dwight Yoakum and Jerry Lee Lewis among many others. He has also shared his knowledge and experience with students and other musicians through classes and workshops that he has presented throughout the West for more than thirty years. As a prime mover in the Songbird Foundation, Danny has taken an active role in successfully preserving habitats for Western Songbirds and has selflessly held numerous benefit concerts in support of the environment, Native American rights, and other key social issues. For over four decades, Danny O’Keefe and his music have been a source of inspiration and delight for colleagues and fans throughout the world.
Danny O’Keefe joins previous Best of the West Performer Honorees Cris Williamson, Barbara Dane, Chris Hillman, Eric Lowen & Dan Navarro, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, The Kingston Trio, Joe Craven, John McEuen, Laurie Lewis, and Barry McGuire.
Peter McCracken (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)
Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation were the BOTW Ambassador Honorees. The Centrum Foundation of Port Townsend, WA, is a unique arts education and advocacy program that promotes creative experiences that change lives through intergenerational workshops, bringing together aspiring and master artists to foster creativity, provide mentorship, and build community. Peter McCracken has long been an integral part of this inspiring organization, serving in many capacities over the years including Arts Program Manager and Traditional Arts Program Manager. Peter has established and led the Foundation’s Country Blues, Voice Works, and Ukulele programs and has organized many other short, themed, focused workshops. In 1992 he started the Blues Workshop and Festival and in 2000 he led the initial curatorial project for Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes Preservation and Stabilization. As a visionary and administrator, Peter McCracken has influenced and inspired thousands of musicians from the western states and around the world through his brilliant leadership.
Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation join previous Best of the West Ambassador Honorees Russ & Julie Paris, Cassandra Flipper and Bread and Roses, Ed Pearl and the Ash Grove Foundation, Roz & Howard Larman, Steve Baker, Clark & Elaine Weissman, Mike McCormick, Bob Stane, Cloud Moss, Phil & Vivian Williams and Chris Strachwitz.
Seattle Folklore Society (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)
Seattle Folklore Society received an Organizational Achievement Award in recognition of 50 years of service to preserve and foster awareness and appreciation of folk and traditional arts in the Seattle area. A non-profit folk organization, founded in 1966, SFS has one of the largest and most stable memberships in the country. They produce folk music concerts, dances, song circles, camps and a newsletter. Many members are active concertgoers, dancers and players of the acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele and other folk instruments. The award was presented by Victory Music founder and Ancient Victorys president, Chris Lunn.
KC Cafe Radio’s live coverage from the 2016 Folk Alliance Region West conference got underway Friday night, October 14, with a showcase featuring musical talent from California, Washington, North Carolina, Alberta, Canada, and Colorado. Performances featured Rachel Garlin, Uncle Bonsai, Jamie Laval Duo, Scott Cook, Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore, and March to May. Here are the archived recordings of the performances:
A far-from-weary world traveler with new and different stories delivered with an infectious on-stage joy. As an accomplished guitarist, vocalist, crafter of inspired melodies, and storyteller, she serves up themes that are fresh and moving. She seamlessly weaves her middle school teaching skills with a natural stage presence to deliver tasty folk, rock, roots, and bluegrass flavors.
Original, contemporary folk/pop music. With soaring and intricate 3-part harmonies and incisive humor, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar, the trio delivers unflinching portrayals of first-world problems, underachievers, and the passing of time and genes — the truth of everything seemingly buried somewhere under the family tree. Crowd pleasers and perennial favorites in multiple venues/festivals.
U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion creates rapt audiences with his passionate, virtuosic performances, uncanny imitation of Highland bagpipes, and engaging stories and humor. Jamie performed for Her Majesty the Queen and presented a TED Talk.
A roots balladeer with a rare personal warmth, he has distilled the stories collected over a decade of near-constant touring across Canada, America, Europe, Asia, and Australia into straight-talking, keenly observant verse. His shows are mesmerizing and fun. Hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change people’s lives, and, in turn, change the world.
For 30 years her Grammy-winning voice and his stellar guitar accompaniment (and side-splitting patter) have treated audiences to classic interpretations of America’s most popular music along with an impressive canon of original tunes. Genre-defying, ear-pleasing, heart-opening, laughter-inducing performances are their stock in trade. A marriage of music and mirth: few do it as well or as (seemingly) effortlessly.
Serendipitously meeting around a campfire on the Washington coast, March to May overlays driving, rhythmic guitar and the mellifluous timbre of Celtic harp, with rich vocal harmonies, haunting melodies and riveting lyrics. Their live performances are heartwrenchingly captivating and unabashedly raw, charming the audience with an undeniable onstage chemistry.
The 2016 Folk Alliance Region West music conference kicked off Thursday evening, October 13,2016 with a wonderful lineup of original music hand-picked by the operators of performance venues throughout the great Western region of the United States and Canada. Featured at this year’s Venue’s Choice Showcase were: Holly Gwinn Graham, presented by Traditions of Olympia, Washington; Orville Johnson, presented by the Seattle Folkolore Society; Avery Hill presented by Artichoke Music of Portland, Oregon; Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons, presented by Wintergrass of Bellevue Washington; and The Kaddywompas Radio Show, presented by the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater of Snohomish, Washinhgton. Here are the archived recordings of the performances:
Traditions presents: Holly Gwinn Graham
Traditions is a place to discover folk-art products from cultures around the world, made available through fair and equitable trade relationships with low-income artisans and farmers from more than fifty countries. Traditions is also a cafe and center for concerts, workshops, and public forums; a gathering place for a community of interesting and involved people.
Holly Gwinn Graham is a seasoned international performer whose career includes songwriting, acting, directing, visual arts, and writing. With her late ex-husband, guitar legend Davey Graham, she recorded two albums on Decca and President and toured Europe and the UK with him in the late-60s and early-70s. She has released 8 albums on her own label since 1980, and was an artist in the schools from 1984-2005 for Washington State, Nevada, and Alaska Arts Councils doing theater and music. Holly holds a Masters in Teaching and is still actively involved in teaching, the arts and performing.
A non-profit folk organization, founded in 1966, Seattle Folklore Society has one of the largest and most stable memberships in the country. They produce folk music concerts, dances, song circles, camps and a newsletter. Many members are active concertgoers, dancers and players of the acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele and other folk instruments.
Orville Johnson is a singer, instrumentalist, record producer, songwriter, session player, teacher, the top dobro player on the West Coast – and, above all, an instinctive and sensitive musician. As his entry in the “Encyclopedia of Northwest Music” (Sasquatch Press 1999) states, he has become a vital figure on the Northwest music scene in the thirty-some years he’s lived there.
Artichoke Music is a 40-year-old nonprofit music community center. We develop and support musicians, attract and educate audiences, and create a connected community of acoustic music lovers of all ages and backgrounds. Artichoke Music is an integral part of the creative community of musicians in Portland, Oregon and in the Pacific Northwest.
Family legend has that Avery Hill sang before she talked. Since then, her winding road toward music has shaped her singular style of writing as she uses songs to integrate stories of the past into her observations of life today. Her latest album, “Dreams & Ghosts: A Family Album,” (2015) was released independently and reached the Top-10 in all three categories (Album, Song, Artist) in September of that year. She is currently based in Portland, Oregon, where she also has a thriving teaching practice.
Wintergrass is a a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to making sure good music is a part of your world. They are committed to preserving and promoting traditional acoustic American music through presentation and education, with special attention given to the bluegrass music community. Their annual festival at the Bellevue, Washington Hyatt in February draws performers and audience from around the world.
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons have been playing together for almost 5 years, the last 3 of which sent them to the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, learning at the feet of the elders of the acoustic blues tradition. The duo found an affinity in the many branches that tied into the blues and created this duo as a way to explore these branches, and their musical kinship and sense of joy in interpreting this music is evident. Earlier this year the Washington Blues Society sent Ben and Joe to the 26th-annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, where they won First Place (out of 94 solo/duo acts representing 16 countries) for their unique blend of pre-blues a cappella field hollers, fiddle/banjo breakdowns, and duet distillations of early jazz.
The Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater presents: The Kaddywompas Radio Show
“The Pacific Northwest’s Cozy Home for the Performing Arts,” the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater is a community based, all volunteer non-profit organization that offers private lessons, classes, workshops, a Friday Night Open Mic, a national touring artist series, family concerts, live theater and more.
The Kaddywompas Radio Show is homegrown community radio from the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theater; with music, stories and fun for the whole family hosted by Tim Noah. The show features old-timey, folksy, bluesy, and rootsy music by The Shed Players and the sweet, soulful sound of contemporary singer-songwriter Dawn Madsen. The Kaddywompas Radio Show is a sample of the burgeoning music and art culture in Snohomish Washington. A KRS series has been performed and recorded live at TNTT and broadcast on Everett radio station KSER.