Posts Tagged ‘Serfa’

Past, Present , and Future not necessarily in that order

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

This week we head to SERFA. For the unindoctrinated that is the Southeast Reagional Folk Alliance Conference. It is a three-day gathering of musicians, DJs, concert presenters and other folks in the music business. The idea is that we get some business done – learn from each other, discover new music, maybe even book some shows. All of that happens. But it is not the reason that people attend these conferences. The true reason is that like each other’s company, particularly in a setting where we are not distracted by other people, places, or things that don’t relate to our musical lives. It is an amazingly fun weekend which always builds strong bonds between the people that participate. Oh, and the sleep deprivation makes it really funny. Here are a few quotes from previous conferences:
“I can’t operate the milk” (Christine)
“Can I touch your monkey?” (MaryBeth Zamer of the Twangtown Paramours to Aidan)
“Gordon, don’t let the chicken bite the pig” (Christine)
“Things don’t just happen by accident, not good things anyway” ( Mark Dann our fearless recording engineer)

We leave for Switzerland right after the conference. Updates and pictures from both adventures next month. And maybe some swiss chocolate if you are nearby.

We were in Texas last month. It was our first real trip to Texas and it was fantastic. We have been to Kerrville before, but the Kerrville Folk Festival is like its own nation, so it doesn’t count as Texas. We did some shows with Karyn Oliver and Rob Lytle. We call ourselves (and a rotating group of others) The Elevens a nod to our musical meeting at Kerrville in 2011. FYI Karyn has a new cd out. She played some of the songs in Texas and they are fantastic.

The people in Texas were incredibly nice. Brian Kallinec hosted us in Houston. Brian and his wife Pam opened lots of wine and served lots of cheese and we got to hang out with the nicest folks. Went to the art car museum, it was awesome. Click on the art car tab at In Austin Matt and Tonya Hiland were kind enough to put us up and put up with us. We had gluten free pancakes for breakfast. My first taste of gluten free stuff. Amazing! And in Arlington we were welcomed by Karen and Craig. They had a lot going on last month, but they still made us feel at home and very well cared for. Aidan will not stop talking about the homemade muffins. I am going to have to get recipes. WE had kolaches in West, TX and arrived home to hear about the accident there. Surreal. Not sure why all I mentioned is food, but sometimes that’s how we remember a trip.

Right now, our friend Leni Engels has a very new book called the Book of Mom. She is a nurse, mother, and music fan. She put all of that into this guide for new mothers. Including lyrics from a bunch of songs from great artists, and our First Two Wheeler. While we are away, go take a look at There will be a quiz next month (okay not really, but you should check out the book ).

Have a wonderful Memorial Day.
New CD will be available when we get back next month!!
We are heading to northern California for a few shows in June.

Wednesday is for teachers

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I’ve been really swamped lately, and tardy with posting. That’s because I’ve been working on SERFA, a music conference I am helping to organize.
One of the things we’ll be doing at this conference is bringing grade school aged kids in to listen to some acoustic music. Then they will get some hands on time with instruments. Great idea, right! Not my idea btw, Clint Alphin a wonderful Nashville based singer and songwriter came up with that.
But it got me thinking about how many schools have dropped their music programs. Which got me to thinking how nervous each and every public school teacher I meet is about losing their job. I know in election season all of the candidates talked about how important education is. Top of their lists. Hmmm. Every school district around the country is facing cuts.
I don’t have a million dollars to donate to my local school, do you? Let’s assume no. So what can we do.
Aidan and I will offer our services to schools and libraries as we travel. We can do a short performance, talk about writing and music. We’re not usually doing anything in the middle of the day in the middle of the week anyway. If you want us at your school, library, community center… just ask.
What can you do? If your kid has a great teacher, let them know how great they are. Just say thank you. If there’s a book fair at your school library, participate. Even if you don’t have kids in school. If you have left over supplies from the office, donate them. I know a teach who had to buy paper for the copier to give assignments to his class! If you are a musician, story teller, artist… offer your services on occasion.
These are small things. We are a big crowd. It will change things. I promise.

Novemeber News

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Welcome to the November issue of The Friction Farmers’ Almanac. (yes, finally got around to it)

This month its all about mountains!

 The Ozarks

We spent a few days in October with 100 other musicians at the Serfa Conference in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.  It was our first out there.  Beautiful country, winding roads, fall collors, friendly people.  And so much great music, sharing, commraderie.  I always find it funny that we can drive 12 hours to meet folks from around the corner.  We met new friends Julie and Todd from just up the road in North Carolina.  Saw old friends Hannah’s Whirl from Tampa, Doug Spears from Orlando.

 The Catskills

Since that was so much fun we are headed to the Catskills in November to participate in Nerfa.  Another, much larger gathering of folk musicians and enthusiasts.  Again we will see familiar Florida faces – Amy Carol Webb, Ellen Bukstel, Nick Annis.  We’ll hang out with Aidan’s sister Siobhand Quinn and her husband Michael Bowers.  We’ll reconnect with our NYC tribe.  And we will wonder at our amazing good fortune that this is our life!  Have we thanked you for that lately?  Well, thanks because without your support we’d never be able to have this incredible life.  Following Nerfa, we play three shows in NY, and one in Maryland on the way home.  And I get to celebrate my birthday and thanksgiving with family!

The Election

We’re heading stage left now.  You’ve been warned.  Okay if you know me well, you know my socio-political views are pretty far left.  But I’m rarely on a soapbox and I respect almost any informed view.  The TV ads, both sides of the aisle and the new groups out there (some really out there) are so far, left, right, left acting right, right acting left and just plain old mean!  They are also misleading and flat out incorrect.  So I thought I’d share a little info on one topic.  Economists from Princeton published a long, hard to understand, reallly boring study.  It concludes that without the passage of TARP, more than 16 million jobs would have been lost, raising unemployment to more than 16%.  It was supposed to cost $700 billion (to put that number in perspective, it is the Pentagon’s annual budget).  It ended up costing $68 billion.  The chief economist at Moody’s says the stimulus worked, The Recovery act created 2.7 million jobs and jump started a recovery.  And that guy was an advisor to John McCain.  Not telling you how to vote.  Just sharing a little information and hoping you will vote on Tuesday.

Happy Halloween.  Hope to see you on the road somewhere.  And next month’s almanac will include adventures in winter gardening and cooking!

Christine (and Aidan)