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article by: Michael Canter

28 February 2011

Jivewired Top 20 Songs For February 2011

The list is based upon listener ratings on Jivewired Radio and at Jivewired.com for the period of January 29, 2011 through February 27, 2011 inclusive. Listeners can rate songs through an application on our radio player. A minimum of 10 spins for the month is required to qualify.

Bands can get radio airplay on Jivewired Radio by signing up at http://Jivewired.com

Jivewired.com & Jivewired Radio supports independent musicians by paying royalties for airplay on Jivewired Radio through Live365. Please help us support indie artists by listening to Jivewired Radio and by purchasing their music --- thank you. You can listen by clicking on the following link: Launch Jivewired Radio

JJ Grey

You can purchase all of these tracks, including free downloads of "The Sweetest Thing" by JJ Grey & Mofro and"Sink/Let It Sway" by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at Amazon.com in our Jivewired Top 20 Spins For February 2011 List - we do not receive a commission for your purchases. C'mon......this about the music and the performers, and not Jivewired!

Listener's Poll Top 20 Spins For February 2011

01. The Sweetest Thing by JJ Grey & Mofro
02. Hedonist by Sharon Lang
03. Jesus by Amos Lee
04. Sink/Let It Sway by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
05. Running Out Of Time by Mai Bloomfield
06. The Diamond Church Street Choir by Gaslight Anthem
07. Hard To Say by Shannon Wurst
08. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
09. Asleep On The Lawn by The Hampdens
10. Good Evening by The Concretes
11. Georgie Warhorse by JJ Grey & Mofro
12. Blackwing Butterfly by Noelle Hampton
13. Got Your Back by Matt The Electrician
14. Eclipse by Mai Bloomfield
15. Scissor Runner by Jenny & Johnny
16. Troubled Mind by Red Molly
17. Feels Like Home by Stonehoney
18. Blackbird by Ben Ottewell
19. Tighten Up by The Black Keys
20. NOLA by Sugar Blue

Previous In This Series: Jivewired Radio Top 20 Songs For January 2011

See Also: Jivewired Radio Year End Listeners Poll - Top 50 Spins For 2010

*Note: Listening statistics are provided by Live365 as part of our contractual agreement as a Pro Station Broadcaster. Jivewired currently has a total of 16,045 songs in our library that are played randomly at any given time, with about 2,500 songs programmed for airplay in any given month.

26 February 2011

The Best Of Folk Alliance International 2011 - Highlights Day Two

The International Folk Alliance Conference is an annual event that draws together music industry professionals from throughout the world to share ideas, network, and celebrate traditional music and dance. It is an event of celebration, education, and entertainment. Jivewired.com made it's first FAI appearance at the 23rd Annual Folk Alliance Festival on February 18th and 19th, and we are thankful to have participated and honored to have been invited. Executive Director Louis Jay Meyers and Managing Director Cindy Cogbill and their entire staff made me feel like family within five seconds of our initial meeting.

Today's article focuses on the highlights from our second day at the event, Saturday, February 19, 2011. By the way, clicking on any of the images below will link to a full-sized picture.

Business Panel: The New Music Biz
Heritage Room 1, Noon

Founded in 1989, Folk Alliance was created to increase public awareness of the vital artistic and cultural importance of folk music and dance. Their industry panels and workshops serve to educate both performers and music business professionals in an informal setting. The New Music Biz Panel focused on the following platforms: Fan Acquisition, Social Media Marketing, Mobile Technology, and Understanding Copyright Law.

Moderator: David Macias - ThirtyTigers.com

Wayne Leeloy - TopSpin Media
Seth Saltzman - ASCAP
Frank Brendan - Burnside Distribution
Ann Blonston - Festivalink.net

The scheduled moderator for this panel was Sonicbids founder Panos Panay, however David Macias was a last-minute replacement and filled in admirably. David introduced the panel and Wayne Leeloy of Topspin Media quickly cut to the chase: the paradigm shift in the music industry caused by the explosion of social media and social media marketing gives musicians and publishers a unique opportunity to find new audiences. Where this was once the responsibility of the label, artists are now responsible for leveraging technology and social marketing platforms to overcome the challenge of discovering new fans and enlarging their musical footprint.

Topspin is a direct-to-fan marketing and retail software platform that encourages bands to trade songs for e-mail addresses rather than a fee of $0.99 as companies like Amazon and iTunes do. Topspin also encourages performers to build packages for direct-to-fan marketing that include music and merchandise to maximize revenue streams and build interpersonal relationships. The primary function of this type of campaign is the acquisition and ownership of data, i.e., the artists immediately build demographics and create a target audience. "Free," as Leeloy stated, "is part of the discovery process."

The panel quickly elaborated on Leeloy's platform point. Seth Saltzman did an extremely wonderful job of answering questions from the audience and enlightening everybody about royalties and the difference between publisher and writer copyrights. I thought Leeloy and Saltzman might engage in a little point-counterpoint since ASCAP advocates the sale of music and defining and imposing fees for public performances to generate revenues back to the bands in the form of royalty checks while Leeloy advocates the contrarian platform of distributing free music.

Something learned: Ninety-second previews of songs on iTunes are considered public performances and entitle the artist to royalty payments regardless if a purchase is completed. Also, there seems to be a general uneasiness about Facebook's model when it comes to playing and streaming music on the behemoth networking site.

Free music availability crosses a fine line, and is a behavior that is overwhelming to monitor and an ideal that will be difficult to change, if not entirely impossible. All panel members vehemently opposed illegal downloading. The challenge for the music industry, as Saltzman pointed out, is "turning a 13-year old who is exposed to numerous opportunities to procure music illegally into a paying consumer as that child enters young adulthood."

Leeloy and Saltzman did not share the same viewpoint on cloud-based content, though both acknowledged that subscription-based services merit, at the very least, the attention of the industry. All panelists agreed that artists need to leverage technology to the best of their abilities to streamline the process and simplify the work flow of acquiring new audiences. Saltzman was the only one who touched on satellite and internet radio and the future of both, albeit very minimally.

I was particularly interested in Ann Blanston's viewpoint on grass roots fan management. Blanston doesn't use traditional retail outlets to distribute music. Instead she uses a more festival-intensive and online-based approach with a degree of measured success. I would have liked to hear more about her marketing strategies but the panel never steered in that direction. I thought there was a perfect opening for her insight after Leeloy suggested that the folk music community remains too rooted in its traditions and that advances in mobile and social media technology would be "irrelevant to the genre for ten years," but the topic quickly changed back to Topspin's marketing platform. I personally felt Leeloy's statement was genre-biased and blatant stereotyping; though folk music is indeed steeped in its traditional roots, it's not as if its musicians and fans don't carry credit cards or state-of-the-art mobile devices.

In which direction is the music industry heading? With production costs for a full-length album nearing $40,000 minimum and a target market that spends very frivolously, if at all, the future is indeed unknown. I would have liked to hear more insight on market capitalization for independent artists and alternative ideas for creating and generating revenues and positive cash flow. Perhaps the days of thinking outside the box are gone. Maybe it's just me, but it seems a blood transfusion in the form of new ideas is desperately needed for the music industry, particularly for the independent artists. Considering the panel was dedicated to the "new music biz," it just came across as more of the same old, same old to me.

Brad Yoder
Musical Chairs Private Showcase, Room 1711, 2:00 PM

Positively amazing. Within the first five minutes of Brad Yoder's Musical Chairs I was floored. The concept, though certainly not original, hits an entirely new plateau when performed in the dorm-room intimacy of a private showcase. Brad invites three artists to share his stage, with each artist performing three songs, and with each of the other group members joining in, giving the entire hour-long showcase an improvisational feel.

This is no small feat. In order to pull this off successfully, the following criteria must be met:

  • You need willful participants
  • You need talented musicians with a keen ear for music
  • You need musicians who can adapt to the different subtleties of other musicians at a moment's notice

For this particular showcase, Brad was joined by Shannon Wurst, Seth Glier and Ryan Hommel and fourteen-year old sensation Hayley Reardon.

Frankly speaking, Brad Yoder has an impeccable ear when it comes to playing music with others. During the improvised performances , it was impossible not to notice Yoder identifying the tempo and key changes before contributing accompaniment via acoustic guitar, saxophone or glockenspiel. Once Brad joined in, the other guests followed, contributing something significant vocally or instrumentally. Most impressive of all was the quality of the presentation. Unlike so many impromptu jam-sessions, there were no mumbled or off-key vocals and no sloppy musical accompaniment. On the contrary, the performance by this group particularly was as tight, smooth and professional as any studio recording.

At one point, Jason Rafalak, upright bass player for Brad Yoder, stopped hearts and time with an other-worldy bass line during the performance of Shannon Wurst's "Montana." It was so perfectly timed and so staggering it actually gave the other musicians and members of the audience pause. It was right up there in music-defining moments with the guitar feedback on the Rolling Stones song "Gimme Shelter" or the church organ on the Beatles' "Let It Be."

Though not planned, a very classy and effective trend emerged as the hour wore on: as the musicians became more comfortable working with each other, the artists confidence as a team grew exponentially. Their ability to rely upon and predict what the others might do essentially encapsulated the concert by their final performance, giving it a nice feeling of completion with the entire hour coming full circle.

I cannot say enough about Brad Yoder. His showcase was pure genius. Brad runs Musical Chairs non-stop throughout each day of the festival, with a different group of artists joining him hourly. His performance with each of the showcased artists individually and in a group setting was quite prodigious.

Noted during this performance, aside from Brad Yoder's astute and inventive musicianship; an amazing performance of a new song called "Montana" by Shannon Wurst and the discovery of two exceptional performances by artists I had never heard before - Seth Glier and Hayley Reardon. I heard Shannon Wurst perform "Montana" twice during the weekend and I am very excited for the anticipated release of that song this fall. Wurst has enormous potential and "Montana" is positively beautiful with pop/country/folk crossover potential.

Seth Glier is a rising star with a wonderful voice and a terrific stage presence. His acoustic interplay with Ryan Hommel and the other artists, as well as his lead performances, was quite exceptional. Glier captivated the room with high-octane performances of his material and as a perfect enhancement to the other performers.

Also, keep your eye on Hayley Reardon. She certainly proved she belonged in the company of these fine musicians. She has an incredibly bright future and is a breathtaking singer/songwriter. Her song "Chelsey," a tribute to her sister and performed with Chelsey sitting barely two feet from her in the audience, was enchanting.

Rachael Sage
Soona Songs Showcase, Room 1806, 3:30 PM

My third festival-defining moment: Rachael Sage remembering a photo she took with my friend Kwesi and I four years ago in Milwaukee, and then suggesting I was flirting with her because I forced the tempo with my finger-snapping during one of her audience participation numbers. I may have been sheepishly guilty.

Rachael Sage is a consummate performer and chanteuse. Her piano-driven, private showcase for Soona Songs at Folk Alliance International solidified that reputation, not that it needed to. Her stage presence is quite impressive. Sage is magical in the way she effortlessly gets her audience involved. Her smooth, dreamy vocals and impassioned lyrics make her performances instantly timeless.

Sage exemplifies talent, intelligence, creativity and sophistication, qualities that separated her showcase from some of the others. And she is simply charming. Combine a deft sense of song construction with illusory lyrics that link together in revelatory ways , a wonderful and somewhat whimsical aura and an alluring voice and it's easy to see why Rachael Sage constantly stays ahead of the game. Her 30-minute showcase was my favorite private performance at Folk Alliance International.

Red Molly
Performance Alley Showcase, Nashville Room, 8:00 PM

It was a roots music night in Memphis, with all the seeming incongruities such a phrase might suggest. Such a night carries with it rigid expectations from those in attendance to see the Performance Alley shows. With both fans and important industry types present, the pressure is much more intense for each performer. Red Molly didn't disappoint.

Their prime time showcase in the Nashville Room followed incredibly great performances by Spring Creek, Finnders & Youngberg and Dehlia Low. That was no matter to Abbie Gardner, Laurie MacAllister and Molly Venter. Performing songs from the latest release "James", as well as a new song written by Molly, the girls confidently stood center stage and delivered a spirited set of pure beatitude to the delight of those that packed the room for their showcase.

Red Molly was a great counterpoint to the three previous acts, all of which would be considered strictly bluegrass bands. The trio represents a combination of traditional roots music and a folk-flavored mix of country and bluegrass, with a hint of Southern gospel to create a slightly more contemporary sound that make them up-and-coming members of folk's progressive vanguard. Their ambitious mastering of the three-part harmony was again spectacular. Their performance met the lofty expectations Laurie had set for the band when we spoke the previous day. Their set was, in a word, superb.

As you can see, Red Molly was my favorite discovery at the Folk Alliance Conference. I had neither seen nor heard of the band previously. Their harmonies and confidence as musicians, as well as their overall charm, make the trio an addictive pleasure. Hearing the delicate and balanced nuances that these three women create vocally is nothing short of resplendent and make Red Molly infinitely memorable. If you have an opportunity to see Red Molly perform live you would be well served to catch the show.

Lonesome Traveler
Steam Powered Preservation Society Showcase, Room 1903, 1:30 AM

Most of the performers at the Folk Alliance International Conference work hard. Lonesome Traveler works "fun." That's not to say the band doesn't give maximum effort. Indeed, Lonesome Traveler played a total of twelve showcases over the course of the weekend and by all accounts they rocked every one of them. On any given night when the group performs, they generally draw a rather enthusiastic crowd. Their private showcase in the SPPS room, at 1:30 am no less, was no exception.

Diligence and extreme talent define Lonesome Traveler. Jodi Boyce on mandolin and lead vocals, Chad Fisher on fiddle, Evan Neal on bass, Dustin Scott on guitar and "Camp Daddy" Rick Scott on guitar comprise the quintent. I actually spent a considerable amount of time with the band in the lobby prior to the evenings private showcases. Whether performing or just hanging out, Lonesome Traveler is a treasure.

The staging of a five-piece band in a hotel room is quite an intimate setting and creates a sense of community unlike any other. Add to that the generous hospitality of the Steam Powered Preservation Society (free beer!) and what you have is the recipe for a dynamically entertaining experience. Gimmicks and giveaways aside, the traditional bluegrass sound created by Lonesome Traveler was truly exceptional. By the end of the showcase I knew all the words to their closing number, "Sandwich And Something To Do." When a band can leave such an indelible mark, they have created a winning formula.

Mai Bloomfield
Acme Presents The Timothy Hay Loft, Room 1922, 2:10 AM

The closing showcase of the night and the final showcase of the weekend, Mai Bloomfield provided the epilogue to the festival and my defining moment number four of Folk Alliance International. In front of peers and trusted associates, Mai introduced me to her audience, talked about Jivewired Radio, and very graciously thanked me and our listeners for our support of her EP "Eclipse" and her career before playing the title track to the CD.

I couldn't think of a better to way to end my weekend, and my first Folk Alliance experience. A hug, and a goodbye, and a promise to Mai that our paths would again cross was the evening's culmination. Hence, a truly wonderful weekend ended on the highest of highs.

Various Artists
Improvisational Showcase, Marriott Lobby, 5:00 AM

I cannot thank the wonderful people with the Folk Alliance Organization enough. Cindy Cogbill and her staff made sure I needed nor wanted for anything. The staff was helpful, extremely knowledgeable and kept things running smoothly all weekend. We at Jivewired look forward to a lifelong association with the Folk Alliance Organization and are excited to plan for next year's conference.

As I exited the hotel at 5am to head to the airport for my flight home, I left to the wonderful sounds of an impromptu bluegrass jam in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel by a group of 15-20 performers. Indeed, folk never rests, and the spirit of the weekend was limitless as well.

This is the second of a two-part series covering the Folk Alliance International Conference. You can read part one RIGHT HERE

23 February 2011

The Best Of Folk Alliance International 2011 - Highlights Day One

The International Folk Alliance Conference is an annual event that draws together music industry professionals from throughout the world to share ideas, network, and celebrate traditional music and dance. It is an event of celebration, education, and entertainment. Jivewired.com made it's first FAI appearance at the 23rd Annual Folk Alliance Festival on February 18th and 19th, and we are thankful to have participated and honored to have been invited. Executive Director Louis Jay Meyers and Managing Director Cindy Cogbill and their entire staff made me feel like family within five seconds of our initial meeting.

The four day conference is a truly wonderful experience that encapsulates the folk community, replete with artists inspired by the traditional influences of roots music, bluegrass, electric and contemporary folk, rockabilly, country and western, honky tonk, jazz, and Western swing. Folk Alliance accomplishes its mission of promoting its community in all facets, and features enlightening workshops and business panels, films, interpretive dance classes, wonderful guest and keynote speakers, mentor sessions and open mics as well as an astonishing amount of music through juried performances and private showcases.

If you are new to the genre, Folk Alliance is an unparalleled introduction. If you are a veteran, the festival provides interpersonal access to your favorite artists and influences either one-on-one or in cozy, dorm-like settings. I can't say enough about the alliance organization and before I go any further, it is important to mention the sound management staff. They handled well over 200 juried performances without a hitch. The sound beaming from each showcase was nothing short of magnificent overall.

I will run through my two-day itinerary in two parts and cover the highlights of each event I attended at the conference. Having seen 50+ acts over the 2 1/2 day period I was in attendance, I'll focus on the events that were unique and stood out.

For those who have never been to Folk Alliance, I cannot stress the importance of keeping and adhering to a set schedule. With so much going on and so many temptations it isn't difficult to divert from your agenda. For future attendees, keep pace, step lively and make sure you keep all of your appointments. Use breaks to catch up and you'll walk away with a truly unforgettable experience, just like I did.

By the way, clicking on any of the images below will link to a full-sized picture.

Eileen Carson
Two-Step Dance Class, St. Louis Room

The first event I attended on Friday morning was a Two-Step Dance Class taught by Eileen Carson who is the Founding Director at Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble in Annapolis, MD. The class was fast-paced and informative and Eileen made it quite fun for the participants. Her knowledge of the culture and history of folk and step added a great aspect to the class.

Describing herself as coming from parents who were “upwardly mobile hillbillies”, Eileen Carson has dedicated her life to preserving, celebrating and promoting the folk-art traditions of clogging and percussive dance, and her enthusiasm was evident throughout the hour. The band was great as well, the highlight being a cover of the traditional American folk song "Deep Elem Blues" in which the chorus was lightheartedly changed to "Folk Alliance Blues."

The class was a great history lesson in dance, music and folk tradition. Astonishingly, the participants were vigilantly attentive considering the early morning start after an obvious late night of fun and festival hi-jinx. Eileen truly provided a multi-faceted side to folk history that is often overlooked by today's generation.

Lunch At Westy's
346 M. Main St., Memphis, TN 38103

Located in the heart of The Pinch district in Memphis, Westy's is home to one of the most famous delicacies in town: The Hot Fudge Pie. For lunch I had the Westy's Home Burger - which is essentially a cheeseburger served on regular white bread with the crusts cut off, just like Mom used to make us when we were growing up. The burger comes garnished with mayonnaise, and I added ketchup, mustard and sliced pickles and it was 100% deliciousness. I also ordered fried corn "off" the cob as a side dish but it was essentially an ear of corn. Maybe that is why "off" is put in quotes, or maybe the server misunderstood me.

For dessert I had the heavenly hot fudge pie, which was pure ambrosia. The dessert consists of a perfect marriage of tantalizing ingredients: a warmed brownie topped with french vanilla ice cream, fudge sauce and real whipped cream. It tasted so good I literally did not want to swallow it. I would say for anyone who travels to Memphis, the trip is not complete without trying this dessert.

Semi-Private Rehearsal By Red Molly
Marriott Hotel 1st Floor Lobby

After the sleep-inducing hot fudge pie at Westy's I headed back to the Marriott to plan my day. I decided to skip the afternoon showcases so I could use that time to plan and pack my itinerary with the hope of maximizing my time at Folk Alliance. While mapping out my agenda I fortuitously stumbled upon an impromptu rehearsal by the band Red Molly.

Here's what caught my attention:

  • Three sirens walked past me and over to the corner of the lounge area.
  • They were carrying instruments and one amplifier that was no bigger than a lunchbox.
  • Two sat and one stood after connecting her acoustic bass to said mini-amplifier.
  • They began to play and sing in barely audible, but pitch-perfect fashion.

“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels . . . "

I started taking pictures. Honestly, I had no idea who they were. I didn't want to be the first to go over to them so I watched and listened as they elegantly practiced their dulcet harmonies.

Here's the thing. The lobby was littered with makeshift minstrel performances fashioned to draw a gathering in the hopes of promoting various showcases. But not Red Molly. In quiet confidence they practiced for about 35 minutes in the most remote corner of the lobby; Laurie MacAllister on bass, Abbie Gardner on dobro and Molly Venter on acoustic guitar and with voices that would make angels bitterly jealous. Red Molly succeeded in capturing my undivided attention amidst everything that was going on, which suddenly seemed to be half a world away.

In fact, the band was pretty much finished when Laurie decided to put out cards with the band's showcase schedule. That was my cue to walk over and introduce myself. Trying to stay low-key and under-the-radar, I told Laurie that I was in town to review showcases and I would make sure to see one of Red Molly's shows. She suggested the best shows to see, and I ended up seeing two performances. I will have more on those further into this article.

I had four festival-defining moments during my weekend at Folk Alliance International. Meeting Red Molly was the first, and a wonderful surprise. I'm glad I stuck around to watch, I'm glad I introduced myself to the band and I'm glad I kept my promise to see the band perform. Cindy Cogbill had mentioned that the band was heart-melting and that was an exaggerated understatement. Red Molly, even in rehearsal, was simply stunning.

St. Louis Room, Friday Evening

ASCAP hosted the Quiet On The Set Official Showcase, headlined by Rosie Flores & Friends. I stayed for the headline show, a performance by Mai Bloomfield at 7:00 PM and a performance by Matt The Electrician at 7:30 PM.

Rosie Flores & Friends 5:45 PM

Rosie Flores, the "Rockabilly Filly" of Bloodshed Records, and her band the Rivetors opened the Friday evening festivities accompanied by a juggernaut of talent that included Webb Wilder, Michael Fracasso, Kristi Rose & Fats Kaplan, Jack Tempchin and Stonehoney among others. From Austin, Texas, Rosie's music blends rockabilly, honky tonk, jazz, and Western swing along with traditional influences from her Tex-Mex heritage.

Rosie is so technically proficient on the guitar she makes things look effortless. Bear in mind she does this while putting 110% into each performance. Additionally, a veritable all-star ensemble accompanied her, and each song in the Rosie Flores canon took on a life of it's own with the interpretative infusion of each of her sidekicks. The highlights of this set included her duet with Webb Wilder and a great cover of "The Weight" with Stonehoney.

I've heard others describe Rosie's set as typically sharp, which to me is far too assimilating and generic, especially when describing a full-frenzied, unbridled performance by a legendary performer. Yes, as reviewers we throw around words like "incendiary" and "incomparable" far too loosely. But this was a superb, firebrand set that was well-deserving of such superlatives.

Mai Bloomfield 7:00 PM

What more can I say about Mai Bloomfield? To start, her single "Eclipse," from her debut EP was voted song of the year on Jivewired Radio in our year-end Listener's Poll. Also, Mai has been wonderful in keeping regular correspondence with me since we first met via e-mail in September 2010. A lot of times entertainers don't take the time to add that personal touch, but Mai has and it says something about her dedication to her fans and her accommodating personality. In fact, seeing Mai's official showcase was the one event I would not have missed if only because she has been so obliging.

Mai Bloomfield is also exceptionally talented. She conquers the contemporary folk format by creating a masterful soundtrack that is both fluid, intricate and beautiful in its simplicity. Her string work (cello, acoustic guitar) is nothing short of fabulous. Additionally, Bloomfield is a talented vocalist. Her live performances augment the work she has done in the studio and on this evening, Mai was outstanding.

Her showcase was considerably more subdued than the previous performance by Rosie Flores, but just as brilliant. Mai's showcase included the aforementioned "Eclipse" and, being that she is an award-winning cellist, it was nice to see her perform a number featuring the cello during her performance. Her 25-minute set was unfortunately cut short by one song because of a slight overrun on the previous showcase. Nonetheless, Mai created a lasting impression for all in attendance with a beautiful soliloquy that was truly spot on.

After the show I met Mai for the first time face-to-face and she thanked me for the support from Jivewired.com and our listeners. A truly wonderful moment. You can read our review of Mai's EP "Eclipse" right here.

Matt The Electrician 7:30 PM

Following Rosie Flores and Mai Bloomfield, Matt The Electrician played a sublime set that solidified the ASCAP Quiet On The Set Showcase as arguably one of the must-see performances of the entire festival.

Seeing musicians that you love in a dorm-room setting is unquestionably one of the highlights of a festival like Folk Alliance. To see a favorite performer at his passionate and talented best only enhances the experience. The cozy and unpretentious setting of each Folk Alliance Showcase creates a surreal ambiance, almost as if the audience is hearing each performer's songs for the very first time.

This is the type of setting that complements the humbly beautiful experience that Matt the Electrician crafts. Matt's showcase was one of the best live shows I have seen and unfortunately his 25-minute set was grievously limited due to the time constraint - I wanted so much more. I know the principle is to showcase as many artists as possible in a shortened setting, but forgive me if I was hoping that the entire roster of remaining acts failed to show. Matt is indeed an exceptional talent. Likewise, his showcase was similarly remarkable.

Jaime Michaels
Beale Room 9:00 PM

"Crooked" and "Black River" are two songs that captured the essence of Jaime Michaels' showcase at Folk Alliance 2011. As a singer/songwriter in the revivalist mold of Tim Hardin and Tom Rush, Jaime wears his heart and soul on his sleeve and it shows in his performances. As a writer, Jaime radiates in introspective allusions without being overly intricate, a combination of from-the-heart lyrics and soothing chord structures that speak profoundly rather than dispiritedly. His voice is warm and comforting and he has a unique way of seeing inside every line.

This was a particularly moving showcase that grades as outstanding based on Michaels' selected material, his vocal clarity, and his simplistic yet enthusiastic approach to his subject matter. Jaime Michaels is a consummate folk performer, and the quiet setting worked to his advantage. Pure revivalist, this set was rooted in the ambiance of folk's golden age, yet modern enough to play well to those not steeped in its historical reverence.

Something I'd like to point out about the charitable nature of Mr. Michaels: Proceeds from the purchase of the CD Single "Black River" will be donated to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, an organization dedicated to those recovering from the Deep Horizon BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information and to purchase a copy of "Black River" please click here.

Red Molly
Bluegrass Extravaganza, Jackson Room 11:00 PM

Simply intoxicating - Red Molly came highly recommended and didn't disappoint. Based on this specific bluegrass showcase, which Laurie MacAllsiter tried to downplay as "not our forte," I offer this: If Alison Krauss were musical triplets, they would be called Red Molly. What makes the band so amazing is their mastering of the three-part harmony. As I said earlier, their pitch-perfect vocals are remarkable, but when amplified the trio is simply astounding. As instrumentalists, the girls are exceptionally proficient as well.

Based on their sound check, the band is diligent in providing their audience with a sound as close to perfection as possible, and for good measure. Their 25-minute performance in the Jackson Room had a terrific warmth and richness. When you combine the delicate harmonies of Red Molly with the lively tempo of bluegrass the result is musical bliss. Coming across as both guardian angels and impassioned seductresses, Red Molly effectively paints a landscape of searing pain and oozing desire with their music. Theirs was a well-executed and completely enrapturing performance that left me highly impressed.

Red Molly consists of Abbie Gardner on dobro, Laurie MacAllister on acoustic bass and new member Molly Venter on guitar. Spurred onward by an ever-growing and devoted fanbase, and the desire to commit themselves to touring, Red Molly is at the start of a new and exciting musical chapter. I will have a review of their latest CD "James" some time next week.

Webb Wilder
Private Showcase sponsored by Handshake Management, Troubadour Room 1809 11:30 PM

Webb Wilder Wisdom: "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big and wear glasses if you need them." I call Webb Wilder "Royalty," a title he has definitely earned.

There are roots-rockers and then there's Webb Wilder. The self-proclaimed "Last Of The Full Grown Men" is large enough for the big screen, hip enough to star in cult classic B movies, and tough enough to maintain a devoted worldwide fan base through a relentless never-ending tour schedule.

This was my first private showcase and the event was absolutely hypnotic. Attendees are released to the top three floors of the hotel starting at 11:00 PM (yes there is a HUGE line at the elevator banks) for a chance to see their favorite performers in the most intimate of settings, a private hotel room. So there I was, in an easy chair, two feet from Webb Wilder, the Human Cannonball. I was absolutely breathless.

In concert, Wilder spikes the punch between songs with potent doses of rustic wit and character, transcendent Wilder-isms, incantations, and codes by which to live. If you've never heard Webb Wilder perform, try to imagine an amalgamation of Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello with a little Georgia Satellites added for good measure.

Was his showcase good? I was awestruck. Was it memorable? I don't know, I was too awestruck. I couldn't tell you one song he played because the whole thing was too surreal to be true. Sometimes we regress from reporter and critic to simply being a fan. This was one of those times, and it was all good.

Defining Festival Moment Number Two: I wanted to meet Webb Wilder and get his autograph and succeeded on both counts. I stopped short of asking for a photo opportunity because I wanted the focus of Folk Alliance to be on the artists and not about Jivewired.

You can read part II of the highlights of Folk Alliance International RIGHT HERE

About Folk Alliance

Since 1989, Folk Alliance® has served as the headquarters for Folk Music and Dance. With over 2000 members worldwide and an annual conference that is one of the five largest music conferences in North America, Folk Alliance continues to grow and mature while providing a unique range of member services to our community.

Over the years, their community has grown to include record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, music support services, manufacturers and artists that work in the folk world. Folk Alliance has six regional affiliates that provide the grass roots efforts in their respective markets.

Folk Alliance International exists to foster and promote traditional, contemporary, and multicultural folk music and dance and related performing arts. The Folk Alliance seeks to strengthen and advance organizational and individual initiatives in folk music and dance through education, networking, advocacy, and professional and field development.

22 February 2011

New Music Tuesday - This Week's New Spins On Jivewired Radio

Here we are ending February with an incendiary playlist of New Spins. The first two months have flown by and independent music has really set the bar high so far, right? Continuing our theme of the week, we present 60 new additions to our Jivewired Radio rotation, many by artists who played at Folk Alliance International 2011 this past weekend.

Every Tuesday we air "New Spins Tuesday", a show dedicated solely to the new music we add into rotation each week, usually between 40 and 60 tracks. The show airs from 4:30 PM CDT to 8:00 PM CDT followed immediately by The MIxtape Jones Radio Show. The songs are also placed into permanent rotation so you can catch them by listening to Jivewired Radio anytime.

Jivewired supports independent musicians by paying royalties for airplay on Jivewired Radio. Please help us support indie artists by listening to our station and by purchasing indie music. Thank you.

You can listen by activating the radio widget in the right sidebar or by clicking on the following link: Launch Jivewired Radio

Amos Lee

New Spins For 22 February 2011

01. Looking For A Diamond by Jared Lekites
02. Bring It On by The Gaslight Anthem
03. Troubled Mind by Red Molly
04. Cup Of Sorrow by Amos Lee
05. Run Away With Me by Elana James
06. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
07. Reuben's Train (Live) by the Boulder Acoustic Society
08. My Home Ain't The Hall Of Fame by Spring Creek
09. Laura by Mates Of State
10. Roll The Stone Away by Kim Richardson
11. In Sleep (Live) by Lissie
12. Fuel (Live) by Ani Difranco
13. The Poet by Ryan Bingham
14. Pimps & Preachers by Paul Thorn
15. If There Is Any Heaven by Watermelon Slim
16. Black River by Jaime Michaels
17. Horses by Brad Yoder
18. Emancipated Minor by Ani Difranco
19. X In TeXas by Jessie Torrisi
20. Harlem River Blues by Justin Townes Earle
21. Your Neighbor's Trampoline by Raina Rose
22. Asleep On The Lawn by The Hampdens
23. LA Please by Anna Bell
24. Blackwing Butterfly by Noelle Hampton
25. Darlin' Cory by The 23 String Band
26. Blackbird by Ben Ottewell
27. Certain Kind Of Something by Will Sexton
28. Echoes Of My Sins by Anders Osborne
29. Crooked by Jaime Michaels
30. Nick Drake by Jenee Halstead
31. Jezebel by Red Molly
32. The Devil Ain't Lazy by The Hot Club Of Cowtown
33. Feels Like Home by Stonehoney
34. Come Back To Me by Patterson Barrett
35. Good To Get Out by Devon Sproule
36. Almost Like Being In Love by Michael Johnson
37. Hold On To What You Believe by Mumford & Sons
38. Don't Let Nobody Tie You Down by Spring Creek
39. Rolling In The Deep by Adele
40. Clear Blue Eyes by Amos Lee (featuring Lucinda Williams)
41. Wildflower by Rachael Sage
42. Hard To Save by Shannon Wurst
43. Right Where I'm Supposed To Be by Lonesome Traveler
44. Running Out Of Time by Mai Bloomfield
45. Doubles by Amy Bezunartea
46. Rhyme To Reason by La Jeder
47. Candle In The Willow Tree by Round Mountain
48. Mississippi by The Benjy Davis Project
49. Sandwich & Something To Do by Lonesome Traveler
50. Harry & Bess by Ferraby Lionheart
51. I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart by Suzy Bogguss
52. Boy With A Coin by Iron & Wine
53. Got Your Back by Matt The Electrician
54. Glorify by Ivan & Alyosha
55. Jimmy Page (Acoustic & Live) by Anna F.
56. The Cave by Mumford & Sons
57. Love Stays On by Eleanor Fye
58. Letter To Stoney by Watermelon Slim
59. Already Allright by Peace
60. What It's Like by Laura Marie

ALSO OF NOTE: Well, I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Folk Alliance International 2011 and I met a lot of performing artists and listened to so many great songs, I decided we needed a show dedicated to these fine musicians.

Now we have one.

The Best Of Indie Folk will run every Monday night from 8 PM until 11 PM, CST, commercial free and without interruption. Last night's show featured songs by the artists whose live performances I was able to witness at this years Festival, and all of it was extraordinary. Almost all of the songs we featured last night have been placed into tonight's New Spins program.

Red Molly

16 February 2011

Friday Flashback 1982

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Every Friday we set the Wayback Machine to one year in rock history and give you the best (and worst) music from that year, all day long beginning at 5AM EST on Jivewired Radio powered by Live365. This week: 1982 Next Week: 1970. To listen: Launch Jivewired Radio

1982 gave us MTV, which gave us a ton of new music we would have never heard had MTV not existed. The ├╝ber-cool video channel, which went on the air for the first time on August 1, 1981, was originally conceived as a made-for-TV radio station that employed video disc jockeys, or VJs, to introduce the music. It's five original VJs - Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn and J.J. Jackson - quickly became celebrities in their own right.

What’s long been forgotten in the history of MTV’s meteoric rise in the music and television industry is that it wasn’t an immediate or even an overnight success by any means. In fact, MTV meandered its way to the top quite slowly using a completely grass-roots marketing strategy built upon word-of-mouth referrals and the deliberately paced turnover of commercial television networks to cable television networks nationwide. When MTV debuted, it was on a single cable system with only a few thousand subscribers in northern New Jersey. At the time, many of the nation’s largest cities were still without cable TV. MTV initially permeated the market in the smaller cities and suburbs, which in retrospect created a perfect marketplace and defined the demographics which exist to this very day for the cable system behemoth.

As MTV grew in popularity, it had a profound impact on the music industry as well as on popular culture in general. Their grass-roots, demanding "I want my MTV" slogan was so inspiring it soon became embedded in public thought. Likewise, the concept of the VJ was popularized, the idea of a dedicated video-based outlet for music was introduced, and both artists and fans found a central location for music events, news, and promotion. By 1985, when Viacom bought MTV, the station was a worldwide phenomenon.

In 1982, because MTV was initially frowned upon by the record labels and had yet to achieve the clout which allowed it to hand-pick the music it wanted to air, look and sound mattered much less than availability when it came to airing videos for the upstart network. Consequently, its viewers became exposed to a large number of videos created overseas. Revitalized by the general effervescence of MTV's initial popularity, London's thriving music scene was suddenly propelled into the limelight. It's new-romantic sound may have been London's most iconic event since the Mersey Beat era of 1958-1964.

New romanticism concocted a calculated mixture of disco, swinging London new wave, retro-futurism, sexual decadence and punk irreverence. Many of the new-romantic bands that emerged during this time featured a post-punk sound that was accentuated by synthesized instrumentation and percussion. While artists such as Duran Duran, Alison Moyet and Soft Cell consciously synthesized rock and electronic elements, others, such as The Police, English Beat, Culture Club and Squeeze drew influences from R&B, soul, funk and reggae, though still employing synthesized instrumentation, albeit to a lesser extent.

This renaissance of pop music had many faces, and soon even the most traditional genres were revived by the residual effect of the synth-pop sound. Whether that was good for music or a period of negative creativity has been subject for debate and cross-examine, though none can deny that the effect was influentially encompassing. While Duran Duran initially achieved the greatest crossover success as a new wave act, acts both in the U.S. and abroad were soon to follow suit, as the new-romanticist movement was further delineated as the new wave. Newer bands such as The Cars, Men At Work and Missing Persons embraced the movement, and historically successful rock acts such as Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Van Halen and Steve Miller began to add elements of synth-pop to their existing sound. None of these acts released anything considered classic or ground-breaking during the new wave era, arguably, and furthermore, said artists may not look back in fond recollection to 1982.

The emergence of MTV, and the proliferation of overseas music injected into the U.S. market by the fledgling network is evident in 1982's historical repository. After three years of lagging the market, sales of cassettes and albums increased dramatically in 1982, though record companies continued to suffer, in turn naming the blank cassette tape and home recording as the culprit. Still, a great majority of music sales before Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released at the end of 1982 were new or unheard of British-based acts, leading some to define the year as "British Invasion II."

EPILOGUE: I'm sure some may wonder about the lack of Michael Jackson in this retrospective of 1982. Indeed, "Thriller" was released worldwide on December 1, 1982 but was without doubt THE cultural phenomenon of 1983, with nine of it's ten songs charting that year. We will delve further into that album and examine how Michael Jackson broke the MTV color barrier in 1983 when we profile that year on March 11, 2011.

Click album cover to purchase at Amazon.com - Friday Flashback 1982 playlist follows.

Here are the songs you can expect to hear throughout the day, beginning at 5 AM CDT.

Playlist Adds For Friday Flashback 1982

001. Sirius/Eye In The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project
002. Industrial Disease by Dire Straits
003. Come On Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners
004. Jack & Diane by John Cougar
005. (Oh) Pretty Woman by Van Halen
006. One Story Town by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
007. Add It Up by The Violent Femmes
008. A Town Called Malice by The Jam
009. Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol
010. Face Dances Part II by Pete Townshend
011. Physical by Olivia Newton-John
012. Save A Prayer by Duran Duran
013. Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) by Haircut 100
014. We Got The Beat by The Go-Gos
015. Angst In My Pants by Sparks
016. Caught Up In You by .38 Special
017. Soul Survivor by Asia
018. Mental Hopscotch by Missing Persons
019. Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs
020. Africa by Toto
021. Shame On The Moon by Bob Seger
022. Slit Skirts by Pete Townshend
023. Centerfold by J. Geils Band
024. New World Man by Rush
025. You Got Lucky by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
026. Pass The Dutchie by Musical Youth
027. Senses Working Overtime by XTC
028. Rio by Duran Duran
029. Walking In L.A. by Missing Persons
030. Kiss Off by Violent Femmes
031. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go by Soft Cell
032. 867-5309/Jenny Jenny by Tommy Tutone
033. Someday Someway by Marshall Crenshaw
034. Crimson & Clover by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
035. You Don't Want Me Anymore by Steel Breeze
036. Waiting On A Friend by The Rolling Stones
037. Show Me by The Pretenders
038. Little Red Corvette by Prince
039. Turn Your Love Around by George Benson
040. Only Time Will Tell by Asia
041. Don't You Want Me by The Human League
042. Situation by Yaz
043. Do You Believe In Love? by Huey Lewis & The News
044. Ebony & Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
045. Eminence Front by The Who
046. Middle Of The Road by The Pretenders
047. Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime) by The Flirts
048. Harden My Heart by Quarterflash
049. Rock The Casbah by The Clash
050. Dancing In The Streets by Van Halen
051. Hold Me by Fleetwood Mac
052. Hungry for You (J'Aurais Toujours Faim de Toil) by The Police
053. Think I'm In Love by Eddie Money
054. Love In Store by Fleetwood Mac
055. Belly Of The Whale by The Burning Sensations
056. Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran
057. Waiting For A Girl Like You by Foreigner
058. I Melt With You by Modern English
059. Under Pressure by David Bowie with Queen
060. Gardening At Night by R.E.M.
061. Roll Me Away by Bob Seger
062. Don't Go by Yaz
063. Hurt So Good by John Cougar
064. Maneater by Hall & Oates
065. Athena by The Who
066. Take It Easy On Me by The Little River Band
067. Shadows Of The Night by Pat Benatar
068. He Could Be The One by Josie Cotton
069. Who Can It Be Now? by Men At Work
070. Hand To Hold On To by John Cougar
071. Golden Brown by The Stranglers
072. Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by The Clash
073. Hot In The City by Billy Idol
074. Somebody's Baby by Jackson Browne
075. Young Turks (Be Free Tonight) by Rod Stewart
076. Rosanna by Toto
077. 1999 by Prince
078. Working For The Weekend by Loverboy
079. Leather & Lace by Stevie Nicks & Don Henley
080. Abracadabra by The Steve Miller Band
081. Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnnie) by Elton John
082. More Than This by Roxy Music
083. Shake It Up by The Cars
084. Girls On Film by Duran Duran
085. Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes
086. Trouble by Lindsey Buckingham
087. Eyes Of A Stranger by Payolas
088. Worse Than Detroit by Robert Plant
089. Gone Daddy Gone by Violent Femmes
090. Invisible Sun by The Police
091. In The Name Of Love by The Thompson Twins
092. Open Arms by Journey
093. Don't Change by INXS
094. Down Under by Men At Work
095. Space Age Love Song by A Flock Of Seagulls
096. Only The Lonely by The Motels
097. The Look Of Love by ABC
098. Let's Groove Tonight by Earth, Wind & Fire
099. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police
100. Destination Unknown by Missing Persons
101. You Can Do Magic by America
102. Love Plus One by Haircut 100
103. Voo Doo/And Then He Kissed Me by Rachel Sweet
104. Black Coffee In Bed by Squeeze
105. Rock This Town by The Stray Cats
106. Burning Down One Side by Robert Plant
107. Vacation by The Go-Gos
108. Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson
109. Stray Cat Strut by The Stray Cats
110. Marina Men by Valley Girls
111. Hey Mickey by Toni Basil
112. I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock Of Seagulls
113. Dweller On The Threshold (Live) by Van Morrison
114. Back On The Chain Gang by The Pretenders
115. Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac
116. I.G.Y by Donald Fagen
117. Mexican Radio by Wall Of Voodoo
118. Twilight Zone by Golden Earring
119. Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
120. Fantasy by Aldo Nova
121. Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant
122. Cool Night by Paul Davis
123. Southern Cross by Crosby Stills & Nash
124. Shock The Monkey by Peter Gabriel
125. New Frontier by Donald Fagen
126. Goodbye To You by Scandal

Previous In This Series: Friday Flashback 1991