Mudcat Café message #2842510 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #127055   Message #2842510
Posted By: DebC
17-Feb-10 - 08:27 PM
Thread Name: Anyone going to Folk Alliance? Feb 17-21 2010
Subject: RE: Anyone going to Folk Alliance? Feb 17-21 2010
To be honest, I never know what to think about Folk Alliance. On the one hand, I have made some fantastic connections with people and on the other I get very frustrated with the private showcase situation. So much so, that I decided this year not to do any private showcases at all. I got very tired of dropping a lot of money (yes, you have to pay for slots in the private showcases in addition to all the other expenses) and singing for a turned-up bed and the dude who sleeps in the room. No more.

My hat is totally off to Andy Cohen for single-handedly (and in his own wonderful curmudgeonly way) has been able to bring the traditional songs and tunes of the English speaking world back to FA.

I love the old songs and I had been dismayed year after year to find that as the years rolled on, trad had been left out more and more.

At FA 2007 I asked one of the FA Board members, Why is there no official Traditional Showcase or Traditional Peer Group [that year]? There had been both of these things in the past, yet it seemed to have slipped the minds of the Powers That Be to include these in the 2006 convention. He wasn't aware that these two events had been omitted.

I did not attend the convention in 2008, but in 2009 Andy got together Folk University, an all-day group of sessions focusing on Traditional music of the English speaking world. It was FANTASTIC. But, it was held on Wednesday, the day before the official start of the conference. It's really sad, because there were some amazing musicians and demonstrations that took place. The highlight for me was Tracy Schwartz and Ginny Hawker being recorded on wax cylindar.

Have I gotten gigs from FA? Maybe, but certainly not directly. But if it weren't for FA 2002, I would not have met Nancy Jean Ballard who told me about the Flanders Collection. If it hadn't been for FA 2006, I wouldn't have met Andrew Calhoun who shares my love of traditional ballads. And if it hadn't been for last year's FA, I wouldn't have connected with a couple of guitar players with whom I am working with on various tours.

I have always told folks, FA is what you make it. It's worth going to establish the connections, but then it's also a lot of work to keep those connections alive throughout the rest of the year.

I now go to FA with my AFM Local 1000 hat on and I prefer to go to FA to promote something I believe in rather than myself, tho I'll probably do a wee bit of that as well.

Deb Cowan