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Good Morning America, Try This Syrup

February 28, 2004

At Breakfast yesterday, by pure coincidence, I was sitting next to Arlo Guthrie and his family and they were taste testing syrup. When they saw that I was eating pancakes, they asked if I wanted to join in on the experiment. Who would say no? The syrups were a blend of maple and molasses and were very tasty. I chose number 3.

Then it was back to the Exhibit Hall where I collected even more CDs from artists and spread the word about Folk Alley. Thanks to Jenny and Marilyn for their help! Bob and Jim were off recording Slaid Cleaves in Bob's hotel room.

At night I went to more showcases, including the Karan Casey Band, James Keelaghan (with Oliver Schroer), and Tim Grimm at the official showcase and Tracy Grammer, FRUit, Vance Gilbert and Ellis Paul later. Ellis and Vance go way back and did several numbers together. I almost feel guilty, since these showcases are really intended to get artists gigs and I don't have the power, but I'll get over it.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:45 PM | Comments (1)

A Guest Blog From Jamie Ward

February 27, 2004

It's great having Folk Alley join the Folk Alliance conference this year and have them represent Kent, OH in the world's only "all-folk" exhibit hall. The Folk Alliance conference is a great place for the folk community to network and enjoy great music and dance once a year. Our 2004 conference has already proven to be an exciting one. Our "One Strong Voice" workshops and showcases feature the diversity of folk music through the Persian hammered dulcimer, Cambodian dance, Native American music, Hawaiian music and dance, the Mexican Narrative ballad, and Latin and Traditional voices. There is definitely never a dull moment at a Folk Alliance Conference, and this year has been no exception. - Jamie Ward, Membership Records Manager, North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 7:19 PM

Not So Sunny San Diego

After yesterday's deluge, I can state with certainty that it DOES rain in Southern California. As a matter of fact, it pours. After a day in the Exhibit Hall, we moved on to the evening showcases. Folk Alliance sponsors a main showcase from 7:30 to 10:30 (we saw incredible performances by The Arrogant Worms and Darol Anger and Mike Marshall) and then the real fun begins. Showcases everywhere until 3 a.m. In hotel rooms across the complex, folk music of all sorts spilling out into the night. What must the locals think! I stopped by to see David Francey and then on to The Weepies. Deb Talan, the female half of the group was the first artist added to Jim's playlist through Folk Alley. There are sure to be more additions after we screen all of the CDs we received. On to day 2!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 2:11 PM | Comments (2)

Slaid Cleaves Stops By

Rounder recording artist Slaid Cleaves stopped by my hotel room here at the Folk Alliance conference in San Diego this afternoon for an exclusive Folk Alley recording session. He brought his three piece band with him as well - guitarist Michael O'Connor, percussionist Rick Richards, and bassist Ivan Brown. It was an amazing treat, and we'll be sharing these recordings including the title track from Slaid's new album Wishbones, with you soon right here on Folk Alley. Slaid and his band sounded great; they were really in the groove, and even he admitted, "This was a great time. A better time than I expected." Check out a photo of the group with Jim Blum in the Folk Alley photo gallery.

Posted by Bob Burford at 10:15 AM

We're Here

February 26, 2004

We arrived yesterday, but the full impact of the Folk Alliance Conference only really hit us today. We've talked to lots of artists and industry folks, and people who volunteer at the conference because they really care about the music. Already I've seen John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Paxton, Harvey Reid, Clarence Bucaro, Michele Greene, The Mammals, and lots of other friends new and old. Thanks to Vivian and Paul for putting out some cards for us! The first "official" showcase starts in a few minutes, so I have to go. Check out the photo gallery.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 9:35 PM

Diamond Shoes are a Girl's Best Friend

February 25, 2004

Alison Krauss is going to the Oscars. She will be wearing one-of-a-kind shoes (made specifically for the Oscars) by designer Stuart Weitzman. The all-diamond Cinderella style shoes with four-inch heels are worth two million dollars. The right shoe even sports a five-carat diamond! Krauss was asked to wear the shoes because Weitzman's daughters are fans of hers. She will have to turn the shoes back in after the event, but will get replicas studded with crystals to keep her memories of the night alive.
Krauss will also be a part of the four-song performance from the "Cold Mountain soundtrack," with Annie Lennox, Sting and Elivs Costello.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 4:28 PM | Comments (2)

Pete Seeger Reigns Supreme

February 20, 2004

Pete Seeger is a true folk music legend. He took rediscovered populist songs that had been passed down through rural, oral traditions and reintroduced them to a generation hungry for music with meaning. This week, Folk Alley Host Jim Blum has been featuring excerpts from his interview with Seeger as part of's inaugural fundraising campaign. Sunday we return to regular programming, but in the meantime, this is your opportunity to make a statement about the importance of folk music in your life with a pledge to our fledgling service. All those who donate at the $50 or above level may receive a copy of Seeger's latest album Seeds. Hear more from Seeger in his NPR interview with Bob Edwards. And, thanks for your support, financially and emotionally, of Folk Alley.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 10:04 AM | Comments (2)

Norah Jones - Platinum Lady

February 19, 2004

Feels Like Home, Norah Jones' follow up to the multi-platinum Come Away With Me, has already passed the million sales mark in its first week of release. The new album was produced by Arif Mardin, who has twice been named best producer of year at the Grammys and added four trophies to his collection thanks to the Norah Jones juggernaut at last year's awards ceremony. Feels Like Home expands the jazzy sound that Jones is known for, adding influences from bluegrass and folk.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 9:04 AM

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea

February 17, 2004

From Feb. 26 through Feb. 29, Jim Blum, Marketing Director Bob Burford, and I will be attending the 16th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference in sunny San Diego (at least it better be). We will be setting up shop in the Exhibit Hall and will have plenty of fun things to give out to all of our new friends.

If you're not going to be lucky enough to join us in person, join us on-line. We're taking the digital camera and the lap-top (God protect me from airport security) and we're going to have guest writers here and pics from our many adventures. So, next week, listen to the stream, and stop by Folk Alley often for updates.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:28 PM | Comments (2)

Join the Folk Alley Team at Folk Alliance

February 16, 2004

We're going to San Diego next week for the International Folk Alliance Conference and we could use some help spreading the word about We will have a table with plenty of fun stuff (including temporary tattoos) in the Exhibit Hall, but we want the world to hear our message of broadcasting folk music to the world. With over 2200 showcase slots and nearly 2000 attendees, there's no way that Bob, Jim, and I can be everywhere or say howdy to everyone. If you're going to be at the conference, would you have an hour or two (or more) to be our Folk Alley "street team?" We need help passing out postcards, FAN kits, and just plain telling a lot of people about For your trouble, we'll be more than happy to give you a t-shirt and our undying love and gratitude. If you are interested in lending your invaluable assistance, send an e-mail to me at Read more tomorrow about our other plans for the trip to San Diego.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 3:52 PM | Comments (1)

Chicks Expecting New Chicklet

February 13, 2004

Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is pregnant with her second child with husband/actor/cute guy Adrian Pasdar (late of the series Mysterious Ways and Amy's new love interest on Judging Amy). The newest arrival will bring the total number of Chick-babies to 5 - Maines with two, Emily Robison with one and her sister Marti Maguire's twins, also due this spring. After being recognized for their extensive touring in support of the award-winning Home, the Dixie Chicks will stick closer to their homes this year.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:53 PM

Album About Food Wins Kid's Grammy

February 11, 2004

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer have won their first Grammy Award in the Best Musical Album for Children category. Bon Appetit! Musical Food Fun celebrates eating and responsible food usage with a variety of folk songs. Although the duo's work for family audiences has garnered them 8 Grammy nominations since they teamed up in 1984, Fink and Marxer are talented singer/songwriters who also write music geared towards adults, including Fink's song Names, an anthem for the AIDs memorial quilt. The Best Spoken Word Album for Children prize was awarded to a new recording of Serge Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Jean-Pascal Beintus update Wolf Tracks that includes the voices of Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:39 PM

Folk Album Grammys Awarded Posthumously

February 10, 2004

Awards for Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Traditional Folk Album were both "presented" to artists at this year's Grammys that had died in the previous year. Singer/songwriter Warren Zevon won his first two Grammys five months after his death from cancer - for his contemporary folk album The Wind and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet Disorder in the House with Bruce Springsteen from the same album. June Carter Cash was recognized for her final recording, Wildwood Flower, as traditional folk album and that album's take on the Carter Family classic Keep on the Sunny Side. Carter Cash died in May following heart surgery. Her husband Johnny Cash, also a Grammy winner this year, passed away in Sept.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:53 PM | Comments (2)

Alison Krauss Picks Up Four More Grammys

February 9, 2004

Beyonce may have been the big winner with five statues at last night's Grammy Awards, but Alison Krauss was right behind her with four awards. Krauss, who already has 14 wins under her belt, was honored for Best Country Instrumental Performance for Cluck Old Hen with Union Station off of Live, Best Bluegrass Album (also for Live), and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her duet with James Taylor from Livin', Lovin', Losin' - Songs of the Louvin Brothers. Livin', Lovin', Losin' won for Best Country Album, winning each of its performers an additional statue. Krauss performed during the Grammy telecast backing Sarah McLachlan. McLachlan left the evening empty handed.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:24 PM

Grammy Hits the Airwaves

February 6, 2004

The 46th Annual Grammy Awards hit the stage at LA's Staples Center this Sunday (2/8) at 8 p.m. EST. The awards presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences feature categories covering every type of recorded sound, including musical genres from rock to classical and spoken word entries. Highlights of the ceremony will be a celebration of the Beatles' first U.S. appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show 40 years ago and a tribute to the late Warren Zevon featuring Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris. Zevon is nominated posthumously in five categories: Song of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and Best Contemporary Folk Album for his final album, The Wind.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:13 PM

Lucy Kaplansky Finds Love

February 4, 2004

An ancient Chinese proverb tells us that an invisible red thread connects a child's spirit to all of those who will play a part in that child's life. This thread is extremely important to Lucy Kaplansky who recently traveled to China to adopt a baby. Lucy's album, The Red Thread, weaves several tales of family, of past indecision, and of hope. The first song may be the most powerful. I Had Something hints of a prior loss, perhaps of a child, and explains how that pain changed into love for an abandoned child. The CD's title song eloquently expresses her own mother's sadness in life, but delivers promise as The Red Thread spins from the aging mother to her daughter, and then again to that daughter's new child. There are also two new perspectives on 9/11. These songs are intensely personal but Lucy's self disclosure invites us to open our own lives to others. Knowing how another thinks is the only way to understand differences in a world full of ignorance.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:55 PM

Greg Brown Releases New Album of Traditional Songs

February 3, 2004

Singer/songwriter Greg Brown has released Honey in the Lion's Head on the Trailer Records label. The CD is a collection of traditional songs that includes Who Killed Cock Robin, Down in the Valley, I Never Will Marry, and other familiar favorites. Brown's wife, singer/songwriter Iris Dement, and his daughter's Pieta and Constie make special appearances on the album.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:33 PM | Comments (2)

A Note on Registration for New Visitors

February 2, 2004

If you are already registered at and have no problem listening through the live links on our homepage, please ignore this post. However, if you are a new visitor (hello!), continue on. As part of the registration process, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address. We will use this information only to communicate with you about the service. After you submit your e-mail address and password, a message will be sent to your e-mail inbox. You must respond to this message in order to be officially registered and to listen live to the music stream. In light of recent computer virus attacks, many service providers have toughened their firewalls, including automated e-mails. If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation that asks for a response, please check any e-mail holding accounts that your provider operates. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at Thanks for listening!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:41 PM | Comments (1)

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