Boo!!! Here comes November -- the leaves are turning and falling, and we have some of our best weather of the year in the SF Bay Area.
I was down in Los Angeles two weeks ago for the annual FAR-West Folk Alliance conference. It was more than wonderful, and finally I learned what the difference is between folk music and Americana music -- drums!! Seriously though, the workshops were excellent; and I am glad I did not finish my CD before the conference because I got some very good information about planning and production -- I have some re-thinking to do. Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie Records, and Barry McGuire, the singer of Eve of Destruction, were honored; and it was interesting hearing a bit of their history. And, I heard so many inspiring performances at the conference!! I could not possibly list all of them, but I'll give you two to check out: a new band, Salty Suites and a veteran Johnsmith.
I hosted my own showcase room at the FAR-West conference for the first time. It was a bit of work, but it was great hearing so many talented artists up close. Got to sit in with several and that made it even more fun.
Back home, I am working with Dorcas Moulton, and Chappell and Dave Holt on our "Celebration of the American Song". We are doing two shows in Berkeley, at Chester's on November 3 and 4; and in Occidental at the Occidental Center for the Arts on November 11. It is no small challenge telling the story of American song in two hours but we will cover a good part of it, and we have an eight page program booklet to fill in more details. It will be interesting and a whole lot of fun. Hope you can make it to one of those dates.
Other doings: I'll be playing the bluegrass Taco Jam at the Baja Taqueria on November 5th, with wild man Stacy Samuels and other excellent players. Dorcas and I are playing the Kensington Farmers Market on November 11th in the morning, before heading up to Occidental. And we will be at Chester 's on November 15th with the Quake City Jug Band.
I am volunteering with the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old Time Festival again this year. The festival is not until the second week of February, but we are planning and lining up bands for it now. The SFBOT (as we say) is an urban festival taking place in the folk clubs and listening venues of San Francisco and neighboring cities. It is more strictly than Hardly Strictly, if you know what I mean.
There's a wee bit of my news and I would love to hear some of yours. Hope you are doing well and got lots of treats.
all the best, John