The 2014 Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) conference returns to Saint Louis, Missouri October 23rd through the 26th, at the Sheration Westport Chalet hotel. The annual gathering of folk musicians, promoters, venue operators, radio DJs and enthusiasts is in it’s 23rd year this fall.
2014 Keynote Speaker: Tim Grimm
Tim Grimm lives on an old 80 acre farm outside Columbus, IN, near where he grew up. He is the son and grandson of schoolteachers and farmers. He has toured and recorded with his friend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, about whom Tim’s song- The King of The Folksingers – is based (the #1 song on the Folk DJ chart to start 2014). He appeared with Harrison Ford in the film, Clear and Present Danger, and worked steadily as an actor in film & television in Los Angeles throughout the 90?s.
He and his wife, Jan, returned to Indiana to raise their sons- a conscious choice to live a life of significance rather than one of “success’, at which point Tim found himself writing about the land and people around him. He released FARM SONGS in 2000 , for which The Chicago Sun-Times named him the year’s “Best Discovery in Roots/Americana Music”. He has subsequently released 8 solo recordings, including a tribute to Tom Paxton (THANK YOU TOM PAXTON), and also a group recording- WILDERNESS PLOTS- with Carrie Newcomer, Krista Detor, Tom Roznowski and Michael White– the video of which received an Emmy nomination. Most of his recordings have reached the top of the Folk- DJ and Euro-Americana charts, along with outstanding reviews and songwriting awards.
He is a music presenter in his hometown of Columbus, IN, where for the past 10 years he has hosted The Americana Music Series. He has shared the stage with writer and poet-farmer Wendell Berry. He has composed music for the theatre– most recently The Grapes of Wrath at Asolo Rep in Florida, and continues to work as an actor in film and tv. He performs in Festivals, in coffeehouses, in community centers and house concerts… across the US and for the past 6 years in Europe. He believes in the power of folk, in the spirit of tradition, and the value of culture. Michigan Folk Live has dubbed him, “The Poet Laureate of the rural Midwest”. He has recently, and happily- been a part of two trio groups– THE TALL TREES with Ben Bedford and Diederik van Wassenaer, and THE GOOD BAD LUCKYS with Joe Crookston and Krista Detor. His most recent album, is THE TURNING POINT.
Grimm will be delivering the 2014 FARM conference keynote address, and conducting a Songwriter’s Master Class.
2014 Folk Tradition Award: Eric Peltoniemi
Photograph by Travis Anderson
The Board of Directors of Folk Alliance Region Midwest has named Eric Peltoniemi, singer, songwriter and President of Red House Records, as the 2014 recipient of its Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award. The FARM Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Award is awarded annually to an individual, nominated by the membership, who has made a significant contribution the folk community for at least 25 years.
Eric Peltoniemi has worked several sides of the music industry for over 40 years: as performing artist, songwriter, graphic designer, Grammy-winning producer and record label executive. Three of those decades have been with acclaimed folk label Red House Records, where he has been president since 2006 (after the passing of his friend, colleague and label co-founder Bob Feldman).
Eric’s long relationship with folk and country music began in rural Minnesota in the early 1960s in a small Minnesota farming town performing on his grandma’s old guitar at county fairs, dances, township halls…and even boxing matches. Along the way he added Finnish songs to his act and spent several years performing across the US, Canada and northern Europe..
An important side career since has been writing music, lyrics and occasional book for the music theatre. Principal works include Ten November (a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Steven Dietz) for which the score and lyrics received a 1987 Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best Music (Chicago), Plain Hearts, and Heart of Spain (a collaboration with playwright Peter Glazer, underwritten with a 1994 endowment from The National Endowment for the Arts, Opera-Music Theatre Program).
Eric’s songs have been recorded by Bok Trickett & Muir, Robin & Linda Williams, Sally Rogers, Claudia Schmidt, and Finnish artists Topi Saha and Koinurit, among others. His own recordings include: Trova and Healing Zone (with Trova), Kävelin Kerran and Suomi (on Finnish labels), Songs O’ Sad Laughter, and the more recent Gales of November, with Prudence Johnson, Claudia Schmidt, Peter Ostroushko and others.
2014 Official Showcase Performers
Finalists for Official Showcase performances have been announced. They include:
- Ashley Condon
- Scott Cook
- Dana Cooper
- Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole
- Mark Dvorak
- Josh Harty
- Paddy Mills
- Moors and McCumber
- Bernadette Morris
- No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow
- Heather Pierson
- Lyal Strickland
- The Underhills
- The Wilhelms
Alternates that would appear in the event a nominee becomes unavailable include:
- Andrew Calhoun
- Jim Green
- Matt Harlan
- The Shaw Brothers
“Early bird” registration ends August 31
If you plan to attend this year’s conference, you have until the end of August to take advantage of the reduced rate of $90 for the conference. Beginning September 1 the rate becomes $110, and increases to $130 beginning October 1. More information and registration for the conference are available here.
KC Cafe Radio provides live coverage beginning October 23rd
KC Cafe Radio will once again provide live broadcast coverage from the 2014 Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference. Interviews with conference attendees can be heard throughout the daytime broadcast, while live performances from our Private Showcase stage will be featured beginning at 10PM Central Time Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Look for a complete schedule of showcase performance posted to our website as the event draws near.