by Chris Davis
My Friday at the Folk Alliance started at the Stax Academy where students were introduced to the traditions of sacred steel and invited to participate in a Jam session.
Sacred steel player Calvin Cooke.
Sam Baker on some of the things Texas is good for.
This sort of thing happens everywhere all the time at FAI
Ana Egge quotes a bumper sticker: "If you're in a folk song don't go to the river."
Carolyn Martin: Westen Swing meets Paula Deen.
My only regret is that I don't have footage of the Nuala Kennedy Trio playing any hurdy gurdy ballads. Wow.
Ron Sexsmith tries out a new original and covers Elvis Costello
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Elliot, Rose & Da Costa: Three tremendous talents making clever, fun, slyly political music. Joni Mitchell fans will love Raina Rose's voice and phrasing.
Delhia Low: A pure country voice and a band that cooks without being flashy. This was probably my favorite traditional country act at this year's conference.
Brandon O'Bailey shows off his "harp-boxing." Yes, that's beatboxing with a harmonica.
I dropped in on the Atomic Duo again because I wanted to hear their original protest songs. They played mostly covers during their private showcase. Glad I did because I truly love this little ditty about trickle-down economics.
Chloe Charles brings elements of R&B to bear on her wonderfully idiosyncratic songs.
Roosevelt Dime is a dixieland band most often found busking on the streets and in the subway tunnels of New York. This is what they usually sound like, but...
When they were scolded for playing too loudly (and for using drums played with sticks, a no-no in the private hotel room showcases) they responded with this joyful cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring it on Home to Me." Obviously, having a Memphis bias I pretended they were covering Otis & Carla.
While having dinner at Westy's in the Pinch, I had the great pleasure of sitting next to songster Blind Boy Paxton. The bartender was telling filthy jokes and encouraging the patrons to join him. Paxton—who recites the X-rated version of the standard Stack O'Lee here— played along and was the clear winner of this contest.
And here's one last number by Paxton, accurately introduced as a "living 78."