Folk Alliance 2011: A Wrap-Up

“I really appreciated how encouraging the musicians were to each other. This conference could be seen as a sort of ‘competition,’ but the collaboration and admiration expressed for so many of the musicians by their peers was exciting to see!” – Kelly Wells, The Swells

“I feel privileged to have participated in the 2011 FAI. The concentration of talent, knowledge, and community was truly inspiring!” – Ryan Spearman, solo artist/The Swells

“I had a great experience at FAI this year. I was there solo on a reconnaissance mission to see what the conference had to offer. We plan to attend next year for sure. I particularly enjoyed the Colorado enclave centered around the SPPS showcase room. It always had great music and a great vibe. Colorado was well represented. My friends were all there and all my new friends eventually showed up. Saturday night, the last night, just felt great. There was a perfect buzz about the hotel, everyone was smiling, and from room to room the music was stellar. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I’ve attended IBMA and this had a completely different feel, [it was] very open. It was well run, and pretty dang chill the whole time. I loved that so many musical styles were recognized and featured. I even enjoyed the 20 min sets. Groups can slam you with everything to make it count and I like that. There was so much to see and hear. I feel like I only was able to scratch the surface of all that was offered. And that was plenty.” – Bill Powers, Honey Don’t


“Wow! What an awesome experience! This was one of the most supportive gatherings of musicians that I’ve had the fortune to be a part of. There was just a high level of excitement about new music, new groups, and new songs. Our band got a great reception at FAI, and all of our showcases were well attended. In fact, we are honored to be included in the Folk DJs list of bands to watch for 2011! There were so many cool bands there. We’ve already gotten airplay with DJs that got our CD at FAI.” – Jodi Boyce, Lonesome Traveler

“FAI was a great experience for us. We made a lot of music, new friends, and many connections that we will keep as long as we are in this business. We are so happy to be involved with the SPPS. This was our first FAI, but it won’t be the last.” – Taylor Sims, Spring Creek


“It’s difficult to summarize the whole FAI experience in a few sentences. I met so many great people and saw so much great music! The biggest thing I got from attending my first Folk Alliance International Conference was the importantance of attending as a band to meet and strike up business relationships with people, venues, organizations, and other bands.  We discovered there is a South Western Folk Alliance that includes Colorado that we didn’t even know existed until we went to the Regional meeting at the Conference Friday morning! What a great connection that was for us to make, one of many that week. We’re already looking forward to next year.” – Erin Youngberg, Finnders & Youngberg


The Atomic Duo by Vigil

“Folk Alliance was a truly wonderful experience for the Atomic Duo. It was refreshing to see an organization that tries to promote a broad range of approaches to folk music, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of relationships as the foundation of a homegrown American art-form. I was really impressed by groups like the Steam Powered Preservation Society, who recognized and promoted the role that string bands have played in the shaping of American Folk music. For me Betse Ellis, The Two Man Gentleman Band, The John Hartford Stringband, Blind Boy Paxton, The Swells and Spring Creek were the aural highlights. Thank you Folk Alliance for giving me the opportunity to meet and play music with such fine people.” – Silas Lowe, Atomic Duo


“During Folk Alliance, it is refreshing when the official showcases end.  In the hidden corridors, music returns to its source, rather than the show.  In the unknown sectors of FAI, truth and magic arise from the chance meetings of old friends and new relations.” – Dango Rose, Elephant Revival


“Folk Alliance is always a great opportunity to touch base with some of the large family of musicians from throughout the United States and Canada that I’m lucky to know.  The opportunity Folk Alliance gave us this year to honor John Hartford’s life and music and to bring in some of our musical friends just made it all the more special, as we were able to create a ‘Festival of John’ within the event.  Thanks again to everyone that helped with the celebration.” – Bob Carlin, John Hartford Stringband


“The buzz about Folk Alliance had us excited about our first conference, and we weren’t disappointed.  Hearing and meeting so many other great musicians was fantastic, and as busy as we were with seminars, meetings, rehearsals, and showcases, the camaraderie was one of the best things we took away from the conference.  Of course, the flying trapeze show in the combination raw oyster bar/massage parlor/dirt track motorcycle racing course on the top secret 20th floor was a definite perk as well — not to mention the banjo target-shooting range on the super-duper-top-secret 21st floor.  Sorry if anyone out there missed out.  Hope you at least got to experience the next best thing — the Steam Powered Preservation Society guerrilla showcase suite!” – Scott Moore, The 23 String Band

Continue reading for our digital mix tape of the 2011 SPPS FAI showcases…

March 10th, 2011