Doug Spears On The Road - Folk Alliance Diary - Day 3 I’m a little rushed this morning, so I’ll keep it pretty short. First, a GLARING omission in the Florida Folks I’ve bumped into since getting here. The very first, and most frequent, person I’ve seen here is WLRN’s Michael Stock. In fact, I saw Michael at registration the first day and he was the one who directed me to the health foods store to load up on herbal cold remedies. Thanks Michael! We all have seen and felt Michael’s enthusiasm for this music and its very apparent in his presence here. We had a Southeastern Regional Folk Alliance meeting this morning at 9:30 am (sadistic!). Our region is now “officially” recognized and a conference is planned for April 2008. Likely venues seem to be Atlanta or the Asheville area. If you would like to be on the listserve for the SE region, send me an email (after I get home next week) and I’ll get the info to you so you can stay current and participate in the inaugural conference. The initial focus will be on gathering participation and commitment from the venue / presenter / promoter / consumer side of the equation. The artists, everyone agrees, are easy to get on board. Its having and nurturing the venues to long range success that is the key. Yesterday was a good working day. The Exhibit Hall was much more active and I met a lot of very interesting people (presenters, venues, promoters, radio and print media, etc.) and handed out a lot of CD’s, DVD’s and promo materials. My showcase in the afternoon went very well and my voice held up fine, though I was singing everything a half step lower than usual - no problem hitting the low notes. I feel even better today, so my slots today should be fun. I have a slot on the Exhibit Hall stage (kind of a formal open mic set up so it’s a 15 min. set) in the afternoon and another guerilla showcase slot tonight at 1:30 am. Saw a lot of great music yesterday and last night. My friends, Scott and Michelle Dalziel from Iowa (The Dalziels) are awesome - great energy, harmonies, writing and vibe. They are the whole package for sure. Zane Williams from Nashville was impressive with some of his award winning songs and I liked the energy and stage presence of Ken Gaines from Houston. Dave Potts also has a great deal of charm and unassuming with coupled with some great lyrics and skillful delivery. Its still a very overwhelming gathering and I’m enjoying it immensely. It would be an easy thing to get caught up in the sheer numbers of tremendously talented artists out there and get paranoid about all of the things you could be doing, should be doing, are too late to do, etc. But, it would be a great mistake. There is so much to do and absorb you have to take what you can carry and leave the rest for another trip. If you ever make this trip as an artist and expect to come away with X number of new gigs or promotion commitments you are missing the big picture and you will likely be disappointed. This is about the experience and the exposure. I hope to have time for my last entry in this diary tomorrow morning, but we will be in a push to get on the road towards home. So it may get delayed until tomorrow evening or Monday. But, I’ve made it this far so I’ll finish it one way or the other. Until then . . .