Folk Alliance Recap Part 2

19 Mar

Oh yeah. Folk Alliance.  That thing we were at a month ago and I was all, “It was so fun let me split up all this recapping!”  And then I did one recap and now it’s March, exactly one month after Folk Alliance.  Here are my month-after recap thoughts, then.  It’s my blog.

I want to first go back to a simpler time…my first professional conference was (NERD ALERT) with the Western Political Science Association in Oakland, I was a senior in college.  I had done research on a paper with my professor and I got to go help present.  I did my job at our panel, and I tried to sit in on some other panels, but after the first morning I got to realizing…”I have absolutely no idea what any of these people are saying.”  You see, I am a nerd, but I was not THAT kind of nerd.  So with the rest of my 1.5 days in Oakland, I promptly left the conference and went to San Francisco.  Wouldn’t you?

San Francisco
This is me…not at my conference.

Memphis and Folk Alliance was another story entirely.  This was my element, and we barely had time to breathe let alone leave the hotel.  We did attempt to find Indian food via Yelp one afternoon, but after walking past 12 bail bond places and a gas station, we ascertained Yelp had wrong information.  We ate at the hotel, like you’re supposed to do at a conference.

I attended a few really good panels, one on festival booking and one on international touring.  I went to one about social media and was scared I’d either learn I have a lot to learn or that I’d be bored.  Neither was the case…I was reassured that yes, we have our finger on the pulse of most useful social media tools available, and it also gave me a good picture into the next step.  We do a great job at social media at ForTheRecords, but there is a next rung of it, and now I know where to head to get there.  Very satisfying.

I attended the SWRFA meeting, or the regional meeting of our little pocket of states.  It was good to see so many folks I knew in the room and also meet some new ones from states we will be touring in.

One of the coolest tidbits falls directly into the random pile, but many of you who know me know that I grew up on and was musically raised by Mary Chapin Carpenter.  I devoured her albums, videos, TV appearances, etc.  Her guitarist/producer is John Jennings, who is one of my foundational guitar heroes and remains as such to this day.  I have followed that man’s guitar playing since I was 12.  That means 16 years.  Dang.

So anyway, Mr. Jennings has produced an album for a duo from Austin, The Flyin’ A’s, who I also met at Folk Alliance.  (They are awesome, check them out).  John was attending Folk Alliance because of the Flyin’ A’s, and I ran into him in the hallway while Susan was showcasing in one of the hotel rooms.  We chatted (since we go way back, haha), and it was neat to be standing with a mentor at the same professional conference wearing the same same dorky name tag and lanyard.  Rock.  I did not take any cheesy hallway photos.  Sigh.

Anyway…I will most definitely be going back to regional and national Folk Alliances.  It took me about 3 weeks to sleep off the craziness of this one, but it was worth it.

And this is a photo of the coffee maker in our room.


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