April 17, 2014
Folk Alliance and Steve Poltz
AJ and I have recently entered the world of music conferences. We attended the Americana Music Association conference in Nashville last fall, and this spring we went to the international Folk Alliance conference in Kansas City. Both were great, but they could not be more different. Where the AMAs were geared toward labels, lawyers and listening to famous people offsite from the conference - smile - the FAI Conference was jam-packed with real people making real music in just about every room of three floors of two hotels, and the famous people were a bit more accessible, just wandering about, doing their thing too. It was a focused, jam packed and intense experience. It was a great networking opportunity and we had some wonderful showcases as well. But the experience I am going to relate here is my chance encounter with Steve Poltz. Steve may be best known for co-writing with and dating, Jewel. He is, however, an inspirational speaker, weaves a great 12-minute story in the middle of a live set, and he led a conference called, "Letting Your Freak Flag Fly". Afterwards, since we are friends with another friend of Steve's and they were all grabbing dinner, we had the chance to eat with him, and the conversations was fun: Performing musicians everywhere are dealing with the same trials and tribulations at every level. Later that night, we went to Steve's showcase and as he performed "You Were Meant For Me" (yeah, that one he wrote with Jewel), and told he most hilarious story I have ever heard, I piped up at one point and started singing harmonies. A new friend, Rob Hanning, caught it on video. So now I can say I sang with Steve Poltz. That is the kind of conference Folk Alliance international is. I do believe we will be returning.