Tag Archives: Cris Williamson

FAR-West 2016: Best of the West Awards

FAR-West 2016 Conference LogoKC 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 (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 (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 (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.

Listen to the ceremony here:

Part 1:

Download Part 1 here: Best of the West Awards Ceremony, Part 1

Part 2:

Download Part 2 here: Best of the West Awards Ceremony, Part 2

FAR-West 2015: Saturday Night Showcase

Folk Alliance Region WestKC Cafe Radio’s live coverage from the 2015 FAR-West Music Conference concluded Saturday night, October 17, with a stellar, award-winning lineup of showcase musicians.  The evening’s performance began with Best of the West award winner Cris Williamson, and continued with the talents of Spark and Whisper, Rick Ruskin, Jalan Crossland, Freddy and Francine, Dan Weber, and Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band.  Here are the performances:

Cris Williamson



Spark and Whisper



Rick Ruskin



Jalan Crossland



Freddy and Francine



Dan Weber



Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band



FAR-West 2015: Best of the West Award Ceremony

Folk Alliance Region WestFolk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) honored three recipients with the Best of the West Awards, at the 2015 Annual Music Conference in Oakland, California on Saturday,  October 17.  Singer/songrwiter Cris Williamson was presented with the Performer award, house concert proprietors and Far-West co-founders Russ and Julie Paris received the Ambassador Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to music educator and mentor Penny Nichols.

Listen to the ceremony here:


KC Cafe Radio Live @ FAR-West 2015: Saturday Night Showcase

Folk Alliance Region WestOur live broadcast coverage from the Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) 2015 music conference continues tonight with performances from the Official Showcase stage beginning at 8:30 PM (Central Time).  Tonight’s broadcast features music from Cris Williamson (Best of the West Award Winner), Spark and Whisper, Rick Ruskin, Jalan Crossland, Freddy & Francine, Dan Weber, and Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band.  Here is the schedule of the performances:

8:30 PM: Cris Williamson (Best of the West Award Winner)

cris_williamsonCris Williamson, the FAR-West BOTW Performer Honoree, has had a career in music that spans over five decades as a performer, activist and innovator. Born in South Dakota and then achieving her first musical successes in Wyoming and Colorado, the former school teacher reached national attention with the 1975 release, “The Changer and the Changed” on the independent label Olivia Records, the first woman-owned woman-focused record company which was her brainchild. This revolutionary album has long been cited as the beginning of a new genre of music that was primarily for and about women. Over the years Cris has continued to produce exceptional music, releasing over 30 albums and collaborating with luminaries such as Bonnie Raitt and Holly Near. Through all of this, Cris’ music and lyrics remain the vehicle for something larger and she is often featured in women’s studies curricula, teaching and inspiring new generations.

7:00 PM: Spark and Whisper

spark_and_whisperSpark & Whisper performances are intimate and dynamic, reflecting traditional roots and a modern perspective on life and love. They entwine their eclectic/electric pasts with acoustic treatments and reflect their perceptions of the evolving American cultural, political, and environmental landscapes, guiding the audience out of the mundane into moments of higher consciousness and connected spirits.

7:30 PM: Rick Ruskin

rick_ruskinRick Ruskin offers up an enticing musical buffet composed of unequal portions of original songs and cover songs served in his unique vocal style accompanied by lush guitar arrangements that sound as if there are five hands on the guitar, not just two. Listen with joy and watch wide-eyed as he entertains and satisfies any appetite.

8:00 PM: Jalan Crossland

jalan_crosslandJalan Crossland is a treasure, a treat, and a truth-bending singing storyteller. He’s one part national fingerstyle guitar champion, one part rodeo clown, one part rough-hewn cowboy from rural Wyoming, and one part ultimate showman. The other parts, and there are many, range from hobo to bad boy to jammin’ banjo slinger, and that’s just the tip o’ the iceberg.

8:30 PM: Freddy & Francine

freddy_and_francineFreddy & Francine is an explosive Americana/soul duo that tours well outside their home base in Los Angeles. They have a connection on stage that radiates infectiously through audiences. Their performances feature tight two-part harmonies and engaging songs that reach deep into hearts. With just an acoustic guitar and their two voices, they deliver a dynamic and engaging show.

9:00 PM: Dan Weber

dan_weberDan Weber is an authentic troubadour who began writing and performing only 7 years ago at the age of 40. In the short time since then, his songs which are rooted in real world vagabond life experiences, have won numerous accolades and song contests (including the prestigious Walnut Valley Festival, Woody Guthrie Festival & Kerrville New Folk competitions) and fans!

9:30 PM: Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band

susie_glaze_and_the_hilonesome_bandSusie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band blends classic folk music with rough-edged stories of tragedy and fate, with orchestral arrangements sounding like chamber music gone folk! This is a lush Americana folk fusion quintet presenting gorgeous blends of mountain folk and grassy, Celtic-inspired originals, all fronted by the distinctive voice of Susie Glaze and supplemented with sweet band harmonies.

KC Cafe Radio Live @ FAR-West 2015

Folk Alliance Region West 2015 ConferenceKC Cafe Radio travels to Oakland, California this week to bring you live broadcast coverage of the 2015 Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) conference, held at the Mariott City Center Hotel.

Our live broadcast coverage begins at 8:30 PM (Central Time) Friday evening, when we bring you live performances from the Official Showcase show, featuring the music of Nels Andrews, Berkley Hart, Rebecca Folsom, Ashleigh Flynn, Ragged Union, Alice Wallace, and The Bombadils.

Saturday afternoon beginning approximately 2:30 PM (Central Time), we will broadcast the Best of the West awards ceremony, this year honoring Cris Williamson, Russ and Julie Paris, and Penny Nichols.

Then on Saturday night our live broadcast coverage concludes with the the Saturday night Official Showcase show, beginning at 8:30 PM (Central Time).  Tune in to hear outstanding sets of music from Cris Williamson (Best of the West Award Winner), Spark and Whisper, Rick Ruskin, Jalan Crossland, Freddy & Francine, Dan Weber, and Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout our regular music programming, tune in for “Conversations from Far-West.”  We will be talking with musicians and music industry specialists attending the conference.

Covering the 2015 Far-West Conference is our most ambitious project yet, and we invite you to tune in and join in on the fun and excitement!