Tag Archives: Waylon Jennings

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

Lee Sims Sings From Deep Within the Heart

lee_simsSince childhood, music has been in Lee Sim’s blood.  As early as age five, at the encouragement of his parents, Lee was singing.  “As a youngster I would listen to my Mom and Dad’s record collection of Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, and Tennessee Ernie Ford …” Lee said.  “When I was eight years old my Dad would take me to local music jam sessions, and I experienced the thrill of performing live. It was an incredibly exhilarating and humbling experience.”

It didn’t take long for Lee to begin his performing career.  Lee’s first “real gig” was at a Junior High school talent show, and within a month he founded his own band and was performing professionally.   From his home base in Colorado, Lee and his grass-roots accompaniment, The Platte River Band, have performed across the United States and Canada.

Lee’s authoritative voice has also attracted the attention of radio commercial and television show producers. As a result, his voice has been a staple with Colorado radio listeners for decades.  Additionally, Lee has performed on a laundry list of demos for songwriters, attracting the attention of producers in Nashville, where he was a finalist on the You Can Be a Star! television show.  Lee’s credits also include performing with numerous Country Music stars including Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Buck Owens, and George Strait.

Lee has earned the distinction of being Nashville’s 3-time Golden Award Winner in 2001, Colorado’s Entertainer of the Year in 2001, and Colorado’s Country Music Hall of Fame Entertainer of the Year in 2003.

Lee’s latest album, Deep In The Heart of Me represents a culmination of Lee’s musical career and influences, with nine original songs, world-class musicians, and Nashville production.  It has already rocketed to the top of the music charts, hitting #1 on the New Music Weekly Chart (Blues on Parade) and #7 on the Roots Music Report’s Weekly Top 50 True Country Album Chart.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Lee.  He shares his memories of growing up in the performing spotlight under the encouragement of his parents, as well as his experiences performing along with some of country music’s greatest talent.  We also get a peek into what Lee has in store for the future, with some news of his upcoming projects slated for release later this year.

Listen to the interview here:

Download the interview here: Interview: Lee Sims 5/25/2016

Music by Lee Sims on KC Cafe Radio: