Notes from the Road – Folk Alliance Day 3 February 22, 2008 – Long, LONG day, but very productive and fun. Had the usual “cattle call” buffet breakfast with everyone down in the main conference area on the second floor. Did a lot of the “Hi! How are ya! stuff – my cheeks are sore from smiling. Went to the second SERFA meeting. It now looks like the plan for 2008 will be either a “retreat” for organizational purposes and team building or a series of small one day music events in several states, including Florida, to raise awareness, membership and funding for a full inaugural conference in 2009. I’ve volunteered to be part of the group to investigate those possibilities (against my better judgment, of course). From SERFA I went to do some restringing, shower (no details on that, aren’t you glad?) and get ready for my 2 p.m. showcase in the Lilfest room. Lilfest is a festival and concert series in the Chicago area that invited me to take place in their showcase line-up. Nancy Emerick who runs it is a wonderful person and we had a nice little crowd for an early afternoon showcase. The Director of a festival in Alaska was there and showed some genuine interest in having me come out there next year. Wouldn’t that be something! I was followed there by Sons of the Never Wrong, a trio that has been a significant name in contemporary folk for many years – I just saw a little, but what a great show. At 3 p.m. back to the exhibit hall for three more hours of meetin’ and greetin’ – lots of traffic today. Got to see a lot more folks that I haven’t seen in a while – Vance Gilbert, Cliff Eberhart, Ronnie Cox, Joe Jencks and more. Again, the chex mix was huge and I had a lot of interest in the new CD, my touring schedule, etc. I have already booked one firm date for my summer tour and have three others that we need to work on dates, etc. The exhibit hall has, again, been well worth it, but it is a LOT of work, very tiring, etc. The “tangible” results this year are better than last year in terms of bookings, DJ interest and attendance at showcases, but I think that’s as much a product of consistency (the second year in the hall) and other PR that I’ve done in the past year. I was pooped at 6 p.m. and just grabbed some food to take back to the room to eat and recharge before my evening showcases. I did slip back down to see a showcase by Sally Spring, a magnificent artist who I’ve met here – she and her husband put on quite a show! Otherwise, I rested and thought about set lists for my two evening showcases. My first evening showcase was at 10:30 p.m. was in the Houston Association of Acoustic Musicians showcase and it went very well. I was honored to have Bob Baker of “The Buzz Factor” drop in for that one. Then on up to the CMT suite for my 11:30 showcase there. Louisiana DJ Taylor Cafferty was on hand for that one as well as some folks from the Atlanta area that had come by my exhibit booth and some others. Both good showcases with a wonderful response. I went back up to Kari Estrin’s, HAMM’s and CMT’s showcases to see some folks I had promised to drop in on, including Ronnie Cox backed by Jack William’s old band. Good shows all. I didn’t hit the pillow until nearly 2:30 a.m. YAAAWWWWNNNNNN!!!!! See you tomorrow.