Notes from the Road – Folk Alliance 2009 Day 3 [2/20] Well, after being up until 4 a.m. I THANKFULLY slept in until after 11 a.m. I grabbed a little lunch and picked up my second shipment from DiscMakers (the CD jackets) at the front desk. The sampler really looks nice – thanks go to Beth Thomas for the great design. If you need graphic design work I highly recommend her so feel free to ask for her contact information. I burned discs and put track labels on the jackets while I restrung my guitar. Then, I went down and attended a couple of the panel discussions (music biz stuff), but before too long, it was time to hit the Exhibit Hall again. Another VERY busy, high traffic day in the hall. I made some extremely good contacts with house concert presenters, venue owners and promoters. My chexmix is, as always, a huge hit and, with my picture and showcase schedule on the label, really gets my name around. The tangerines have also been a very nice addition. Amazingly, I will be out of both before too long on Saturday. I had over 180 bags of chexmix and a bushel of tangerines. The chexmix is essentially gone – I’ve got less than a dozen bags left – and I’m down to one table basket of tangerines. Unbelievable! The Hall is a vital element of the marketing I do here, but it’s a grueling three hours each day. By 5:30 all you want to do is push the hands on the clock on up to 6 and get out of there! I wandered over to a popular local eatery (the name of which I’m too brain dead to remember, which is embarrassing because I eat there every year) and had, what I think, is the best Gumbo outside of Baton Rouge. I sat with Clint Bear and his wife, custom guitar makers from Indiana, and had a wonderful meal with excellent company. A couple of draft beers didn’t hurt things either. But, too short as I needed to get back to the hotel and start preparing for the night’s showcases. I had two showcases Friday night, both “important” in the sense that they were the ones best situated in terms of time and location and I knew I would have pretty good attendance for both. David Russell and I got together at about 9 pm and spent an hour or so working up the 5 or 6 songs I would be presenting. With David backing me I made sure to keep the mix fairly high energy to make the best use of his guitar chops. We ran Teppintine, Steam Train, Yellow Butter Moon, Hemingway’s Hurricane, On the Other Side and This Old House and got good solid arrangements set for those. We also touched on a couple of others, just in case the situation called for something a little different. The first showcase was in the suite of Soona Songs, an independent record label based in Austin. We had a nice group of listeners when we started, but as David and I really cranked up the energy we soon pulled a very nice crowd in from the hallway. With all due modesty we WOWED ‘em! Great set. Then we pushed our way through the crowded halls up to the “epicenter” of the private showcase network – Ronda Barton’s collection of three showcase rooms that are probably the most coveted slots at the conference. We were in the SOS Annex and, as we had an hour earlier, gathered a crowd with a high energy set. It was a lot of fun having David on board to back me – in fact he’s going to do it again Saturday night in my final showcase. Excellent results for the entire day. Man, am I beat! I want some quiet, a little brown liquor and some serious shuteye. It’s a little earlier than yesterday – I’m going to be horizontal and out by 3 a.m.! Tomorrow is another day, the last full day, so a little rest is essential. See you tomorrow.