Notes from the Road – Folk Alliance Day 2 [2/19] Thursday – Today I have my first showcases, the first full afternoon of activity in the Exhibit Hall, the Folk DJ reception and more. Wish I had slept better. I woke up at 7 a.m. (that’s only 5 hours of sleep for those who didn’t read yesterday’s entry) worrying about my shipment of CDs from Discmakers. Since I was awake, I went ahead and labeled 20 CD sleeves that I planned to put the discs in when they arrived. I also practiced some, thought about set lists and looked at the showcase schedules. At 10 I could wait no more and I went down to the front desk to check on the delivery – thank goodness it was there! Disks in hand I went back t the room to burn the CDs. It went smoothly, but it was time consuming burning the discs one at a time. I practiced some more while I fed the CD drive on the computer and stuffed the discs into their sleeves. I did 30 so I would have some for the DJ reception and for the booth in the afternoon. They will go quickly to DJs and presenters so I’ll have to burn more tonight – sure wish they were in the nice jackets I ordered with them. There was a snafu in my scheduling – I ended up having a showcase during the first part of the DJ reception. With all that was going on, attendance at this first showcase (Concerts in Your Home) was light. But, it got me rolling and that’s the main thing for an afternoon showcase. Afterwards I hustled over to the DJ reception and mingled with the considerable crowd handing out Samplers and talking about the upcoming release of Welcome Home. I got genuinely excited response to the description of the project and those involved – surprisingly, some already had heard “the buzz” from various sources prior to the conference! That’s ALWAYS good news. On to the Exhibit Hall – what a mad house!! It was wall to wall folks from 3 to 6. I had figured on getting some time to chat with Kelly & Danna (Still on the Hill) during the day, but even though we kept rubbing butts (talking back to back to booth visitors in close quarters will do that to you) we barely got to exchange more than a smile. When 6 came I was EXHAUSTED and ready to get a little down time before the evenings showcases. Back at the room I checked my email, practiced a little, made some “to do” notes, burned some CDs, ate a vastly overpriced room service salad and coffeed up for the long evening to come. I had reconnected with an old acquaintance during the day, David Russell. David grew up in the Orlando area and I knew him 20 years ago through a service club we belonged to. He was a contemporary and guitarist with Gamble Rogers, Paul Champion, Jim Bellew and many others and moved to North Carolina many years ago, dropping out of the music scene. Now he’s getting active again and we chatted for a while in the Exhibit Hall catching up. I may get him to back me on my showcases on Friday – we’ll get together after my last showcase tonight, pick a little and see if we fit well. My first showcase of the evening was a writers round with Ben Bedford and Bill & Kate Isles – great fun. I always like the give and take of that format and this was a great group for it. Then, on to my next showcase, a full solo set in the Kari Estrin Suite. This was a later show, 1:30, but we still had good traffic in the hallways. I had the son of some friends in Florida come to that one and it was fun getting to play for the “next generation” of the home folks. By 2 a.m. I was deadly tired, but still “jazzed” from performing. David Russell and I retired back to my room for a little bit ‘o the Irish and some tunes. David is one hell of a guitarist and has not lost his chops at all. We picked for over an hour and then exhaustion set in. David’s going to join me tomorrow night and we’ll get together to run the tunes a few times early in the evening beforehand. Well, 4 a.m. is late enough for this old folkie – G’night!