I headed up Rt. 209 through PA into NY’s Catskill Maountains for the annual gathering of folkies – North East Region Folk Alliance. This was the first year that Family Music is a part of the folk scene (duh…), so Patricia Shih led the way for this showcase and two workshops later in the weekend.
So, I had a 10 minute set amongst Magpie, Two of a Kind, Jennie Avila, John Flynn, Jay Mankita. Various venues, booking agents, curious folkies and the third grade from a local school. Big stage and lights (I actually wanted to be out on the floor with the kids…). 10 minutes….
I was struck that every one of the acts was good and engaging, but of the same energy. sing alongs, hand movements, humor…. good stuff, but I decided to break the mold, the devil that I am. I walked out on stage with my guitar (I said I only needed it to blend in with the crowd), put it down and did “Shark” and “Peanut Butter and Jelly”, both notoriously lacking in instrumentation, but intensively third grade. It was a hoot.
I got some very nice feedback from random people, including some interesting reflection from some of the younger songwriters/performers as to how good it was. It was a good experience.
I stayed for a Family Music Workshop for venues who want to include performers like me. Tomm Chapin, John McCutcheon, Two of a Kind, Patricia Shih, and the Vanavers were on the panel, so it was preaching to the choir for me, but it was good to catch up with Tom, however so briefly, and these fellow spirits.
I did get to say hello to friends there, from my many days booking Godfrey Daniels, and they truly remain my friends. Anne Hills, Mark Moss, Jack Hardy, Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, Freebo, Chris Thomas from Martin, also the ole gang from GD’s: Patti, Ramona, Terry, Dave, Scott and Ray. Lots of “‘ with many other familiar faces.
I couldn’t really afford to stay for the weekend, so I left around 3 pm into Friday Traffic in NY and CT. Smart….