Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday Night at the Nashville Room in Memphis

Since I was running the official Red House Records Folk Alliance showcase on Thursday last night, I only caught snippets of the artists' 25-minute sets as I ran in and out of the Nashville Room at the Memphis Marriott Hotel, dealing with cranky sound guys and making sure there was enough Red House swag at our info table. Despite some serious sound issues, it was a great night with a big audience and amazing performances...

7 pm: Duo Storyhill did a great set, mostly of songs from their April release Shade of the Trees.

7:30 pm: Scottish folk legend Archie Fisher wowed the crowd with his beautiful ballads and wry humor. The highlight for me, though, was watching Red House president Eric Peltoniemi and John Gorka watching the performance like eager school kids, totally enamored.

8 pm: Meg Hutchinson was one of the highlights of the evening with Anne Heaton joining her on harmony vocals, singing mostly stuff from her now Billboard-charting new release The Living Side. She also ended with a new song that sounded really nice.

8:30 pm: John Gorka did a typically solid set full of the great songs you'd expect, including songs from the new album So Dark You See and a particularly nice version of "Writing in the Margins."

9 pm: Danny Schmidt performed with the fabulous Carrie Elkin joining him on harmony vocals. He's been doing lots of writing these days now that he's taking a brief respite from his crazy tour schedule so we got to hear a bunch of new songs...awesome!

9:30 pm: Making her first appearance at Folk Alliance, Pieta Brown did a very nice set without her usual sideman Bo Ramsey. A rare treat to see her completely solo. I actually got to catch most of her set so was able to take down her complete setlist...

- Other Way Around
- Frank Stokes
- Faller
- Calling All Angels (an original, not the Jane Siberry song)
- In My Mind I Was Talking to Loretta (after great story about growing up in a suck in Iowa and remembering going with her dad to see Coal Miner's Daughter)
- Remember the Sun (a tribute to Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers)

10 pm: The winner of last year's Folk Alliance Award for Song of the Year, Ray Bonneville was wrapping up the night with a set with Mike Meadows joining him on percussion. Unfortunately, I couldn't catch most of Ray's set as I had to leave Eric in charge as I ran to my room to retrieve my banjo for a showcase I was doing at 10:30 pm with Pieta and Danny Schmidt.

Pieta, Danny and I performed in the round in a lovely showcase room, sponsored by the Americana Agency. There were several great performances including a riveting version of Danny's "This Too Shall Pass," and one of my favorite Pieta songs "Lovin' You Still." I was also thrilled the way everyone joined in so beautifully on my gospel tune "Revival Train."

For more photos of this showcase, click here.

1 comment:

Matt Winters said...

Sounds like two great sets of music -- would have loved to see MoJo in the round during the late set.