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And, In the Midst of It All, We Cut Our Cake

September 26, 2006

In what has become a Folk Alley tradition, I baked a cake to celebrate the web site's "birthday": Sept. 8, 2003. This year, I did not burn myself or set myself ablaze. We all gathered to blow out the candles and mark another year in our goal of bringing folk music to the world. Thanks again to everyone who made a pledge during the recent drive. Everything we do, we do it for you.

Here are a couple of pics of our motley crew:
Party, 9-12-06 005.jpg

Party, 9-12-06 010.jpg

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 5:01 PM | Comments (15)

Thanks to All

September 22, 2006

When we launched Folk Alley in 2003 we had some very ambitious goals that were in no small part fueled by our friend Ben McConnell and excecuted by a staff that had some doubts as to my sanity, well that's still a concern, but with the help of contributors from around the world we are begining to get closer the the dream and plans we had formulated three years ago. There is so much more that we can do as long as we can continue to pay the bills and keep the lights on.

Linda & Chris and our Folk Alley staff are always looking ahead to new ideas that we would like to provide to our Folk Alley Community. We have seen some internet music stations bite the dust for the lack of funds and we're more determined now more than ever to plow ahead fueled by the inspiration provided by your support.

We know we're just beginning to get the wheels rolling, but please spread the word about this service, tell your friends and let's build Folk Alley together. As of this writing we're just a few thousand dollars shy of the meeting the Juliano challange of $20,000. I don't know about you, but that's a very meaningful gift to Folk Alley that can advance the cause of proving a great Folk music outlett on the internet. E-mail a friend, ask them to listen and support the music they love. We're close, but we're not there yet and with your help in spreading the word we can get there.

Al Bartholet

Posted by Al Bartholet at 11:13 AM

I bought the ukulele

September 17, 2006

So now, the question is: How do I tune this thing? Linda says that I need to learn at least 3 chords by the Kent State Folk Festival in Nov. (I plan on playing while I'm selling t-shirts and CDs). But, which chords? I don't play anything other than piano, so this is all a little overwhelming (which, I realize is me being a little silly - I'm not planning on taking the stage at the Ark or anything). All help and advice is appreciated.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 8:20 AM | Comments (41)

Theremin Friday

September 15, 2006

I have to be honest. We all get a little crazy around here during fund drives. So crazy in fact that I just brought my theremin into Linda's office--unknowing to me that the entire building could hear it. What is a theremin you ask?

It's the oldest electronic instrument—invented in 1919 by Russian physicist Lev Termen (his name was later changed to Leon Theremin). The coolest part about the theremin is that you touch nothing to play it. Your hands are in a magnetic field and the closer your hand gets to antenna number one, the higher the pitch. It creates that spooky, wishy washy sound often associated with B-Horror Movies from the 1950s. But in the hands of a proper theremenist, the instrument can sound like a beautiful singing lady. In the hands of Chris Boros, it sounds more like a dying baby--on a bad day.

So I wanted to relieve some stress for the Folk Alley staff with a Friday theremin concert. However, I think I just created more. Needless to say, the theremin program was cut short. Very short. Doors began to shut around the entire building, people turned up their radios (all playing Folk Alley of course) and in about two seconds, I was told the on-air studio could hear it. Ooops. So much for theremin Friday. Then again, there's always Monday.

To here some sounds, go here:

Posted by Chris Boros at 5:23 PM | Comments (60)

Okay so not everybody LOVES fund drives…but we love hearing from you!

September 14, 2006

We know that you’d rather be listening to the stream, uninterrupted; and we’d much rather be focused on the music than the business end of things too, but the one thing we truly enjoy about fund drives is that we get to hear from our listeners. In a normal week we might receive two or three letters from people who have just discovered Folk Alley…but during fund drive time, your comments come flowing in.

Here’s a short sampler of the comments we received recently. Thanks all of you for listening, and thanks for your support!

“I stumbled upon Folk Alley about six months ago, and have been a devoted listener ever since. I only wish I could listen to it when traveling in the car. I am delighted to hear that folk music is still alive and kicking. I enjoy the blend of moldy-old fogeys and the new artists. Great stuff. I want to do my bit to keep Folk Alley going.” ~ Joan Shinnick from Brunswick, Georgia

“I love Folk Alley - I am a Canadian working on rotational assignment in the oil industry in Libya and listen on a regular basis by internet connection. Keep up the great work.” ~ Bill Cook from Calgary, Alberta

“I listen to Folk Alley every day at work. It goes on in the morning and doesn't come off until I turn off my computer at the end of the day. It's so great, like listening to my own record (yea, I still have a lot of LPs), tape or CD collection. When I asked my husband if we should continue supporting you, he said, ‘Yeah we use the service enough to pay for it.’ $7 a month, seems like a lot better pay off than the $47 a month for satellite TV. Thanks for the wonderful music.” ~ Susan Gilbert from Madison Wisconsin

“I enjoy having Folk Alley played throughout my home via the Slim Devices Squeezebox. Folk Alley plays a wonderful mix of music closest to my absolute musical taste. I like running to the Squeezebox to see the artist and song when a good tune comes on. I can thank Folk Alley for turning me on to many new artists whose CD's I have purchased. One of these artists, Martin Sexton, I am seeing in concert next month. Keep up the great work.” ~ Randall Thomas from Brooklyn, New York

“I LOVE Live from Folk Alley and can't wait to download Richard Shindell, for one. …. I am moving to Guatemala…I will have a WiFi card and will continue listening. Keep up the great work.” ~ Carol Anderson from Solola, Guatemala

“Hey Folks, We found you over a year ago. I can't believe that not everyone who listens to you doesn't support you financially. Over the years I've found some great folk programs, but with Folk Alley we have what I truly think represents the soul of America and the World. Thank God for sanity and a view of what can be. Keep up the good work. We all listen here in our offices and at home and never tire of your great choice of music.” ~ Pat Barrett from Anacortes, Washington

“You are always there when I need you. No other music source feeds my soul like Folk Alley.” ~ Janis Sutherland from Voorheesville, NY

“Folk Alley makes my workday a good bit easier. From OCMS to Crooked Still to Cockburn to Gaelic Storm, Folk Alley plays music for the soul you don't hear on mainstream radio. I love the musical meditation in the middle of my day.” ~ Robert Hammock from Atlanta, Georgia

“Folk Alley reminds me of FM radio in the late 60's - early 70's - the musicians are all the real deal, the singers can be understood, and the DJ's (when they come on) provide us with solid information about what we're listening to.” ~ Rick Dawson from Luverne, Minnesota

“Folk Alley is my station of choice both at home and at work. The music speaks to my heart, lifts my spirits, or sympathizes when I'm down. The music selections are a great mix of new and classic folk, roots, and folk-country blends. Thanks for introducing me to so many great artists that I would never hear if it were not for you.” ~ Nancy Bryant from Scio, New York

“Your efforts to offer a full array of folk and your thoughtful study and tender narration are as inspiring and rewarding as the music itself. It seems seamless and woven so carefully. Just like the best in the music itself.” ~ Dan Lynch from Austin, Texas

“After an hour commute on the bus and rail, I so look forward to reaching my desk and launching Folk Alley. An oasis. Thank you for all that you do to make my day so enjoyable...” ~ Karen Showalter from Indian Head, Maryland

“I like to listen to FA while at work. I am a CPA who works for myself so I can turn it up as loud as I want - or sing along. Thanks.” ~ Carol Cowling from Waterville, Washington

“Folk Alley is the only place I know to hear music that deserves to be heard but won't be heard on commercial radio. It's a door to a living tradition of music that continues to breath and grow, a tradition united by its authenticity, by a genuine humanity that stirs, comforts, and challenges all of us travelers on this road.” ~ Robert Burrows from Walnut Creek, California

Posted by Linda Fahey at 6:06 PM | Comments (5)

Commercial Folk

September 12, 2006

I was watching TV tonight and I saw a commercial for Liberty Mutual Insurance and once again, I realized, they were using some cool folk song for their music bed. This time it was Hem (Jim was just telling me how much he likes Hem, too), but I had to look it up. So, I'm starting this blog as a public service. This is the place to list all folk songs used on current commercials (tv shows, too, for that matter) or ask other listeners to help with identification. Folk rules the airwaves! Long live folk!

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at 10:40 PM | Comments (24)

Folk Alley Open Mic Finals...the winner is...

September 5, 2006

Congratulations go out to Chad Elliott of Spencer, Iowa for winning the first Folk Alley Open Mic Finals contest with his song Bluebird Creek.

Judging for the Open Mic Finals was comprised of three elements all weighted equally; online listener votes; an invited outside "Blue Ribbon Panel" including Robin & Linda Williams, David Tamulevich of the Roots Agency & Mustard's Retreat, Mollie O'Brien, and Eric Peltoniemi of Red House Records; and the Folk Alley staff.

Chad Elliott (Bluebird Creek) and Lissa Schneckenberger (Irish Girl) were very close in the judging, but the ultimate decision was based on Chad edging out Lissa in the online voting component.

Jim Pipkin won the "Peoples' Choice Award" for his song, Tommyknockers, by receiving the most online votes, but alas did not rank as high among the Blue Ribbon Panel and FA staff.

As the winner, Chad receives an invitation to come to Kent, Ohio to participate in the upcoming 40th Kent State Folk Festival in November, and he will have his song featured in the Folk Alley stream. Also, listen for Lissa and Jim's songs which will be added to the stream very soon as well.

Posted by Linda Fahey at 10:15 PM | Comments (17)

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