Notes from the Road – 2008 Folk Alliance Time to get on the road again for the 2008 Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis. I got started Saturday afternoon after two full days of preparing print materials and exhibit table equipment. First, a stop at my folks’ house in Citra for a great dinner and a Sunday morning fishing trip on Lake Lochloosa with my dad – 15 to 20 good sized speckled perch in about three hours. Pretty good! And, while we were out fishing, my mom put together my exhibit hall snack bags, a baggie with her signature trail mix and a label on the outside that has my showcase schedule on it. About 100 bags – good job mom! Leaving Citra Sunday afternoon I headed to Valdosta and dropped off some CD’s, etc at Hildegard’s, a very nice coffeehouse music venue there. I hope to book something there in a few months, we’ll see. Then, on to Atlanta (Marietta actually) to crash for the night. The weather really turned bad before Macon and there were several bad wrecks that slowed things down. I was very glad to get to Marietta and out of that mess. Monday morning I dropped by Ragamuffin Music in Roswell, Ga., another great listening room that will be hosting John Gorka next month. I’m also looking to book something there towards the summer as I plan my tour schedule. Then on to Nashville. The last time I was in Nashville I couldn’t get in to play at the Bluebird, but this time I did. It’s such a storied venue that it’s always a pleasure to get to take the stage there even for just a couple of songs. Nashville has a distinct energy to it, some of it great, some of it purely depressing. Then Tuesday on to Memphis. It is amazing the devastation of the recent tornadoes that struck this area. Wide swathes of trees along I-40 that look as if they were cut for timber except that many are uprooted instead of cut and many are twisted and snapped like twigs. Large crews of workers were out clearing the debris. The tornadoes here seem less predictable than they are in Florida – they must not have enough mobile home parks here to attract them. So, here I am in Memphis at the Downtown Marriott. It’s Wednesday morning and the day will start with registration at 11:00 a.m. I posted my showcase schedules last night and said hello to some folks (Vic & Reba Heyman, Randall Williams, Kari Estrin, Dalis Allen and some others). I have a meeting starting at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the long awaited launch of the southeast regional folk alliance conference and my load in for the exhibit hall is at around 4 p.m. Opening party at 5:00 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall. I have one showcase tonight, three Friday and two Saturday, so I’ll be plenty busy. Stay tuned!