I have been super so far in 2014, mostly due to the success of my November 2013 release, "We The People" produced by John Jennings. For those of you who may not know, John Jennings is Mary Chapin Carpenter's long time producer and band leader. He has been resting up after a couple of surgeries and last I heard he is working on a new compilation CD.
Please visit the website above if you are interested in learning more and or helping out :-)
After "We The People" reached #11 on the Folk DJ Airplay Chart in Nov. 2013 and # 17 in December 2013 (along with being the #20 most downloaded CD on Airplay Direct Dec. 2013 "folk and bluegrass category), I have been trying to get the songs and the CD in front of as many folks as possible.
The year started with an invitation to open up for Modern Man at Melody House Concerts in MD
Opening for a packed house concert was such a great way to begin the year (not to mention watching and listening to Modern Man up close and personal.
Then two of my songs were as finalists in the South Florida Folk Festival in January of 2014 which took place in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I played "Citizens United" and "Happy American Solstice" and though I did not win, I was thrilled to meet some new performers and folks and to escape the D.C. winter for almost a full week.
In February 2014 I attended my First Folk Alliance International (Kansas City, MO) and hosted a Private Showcase Room where I hosted some amazing performers, including but not limited to Melissa Greener, Robby Hecht, Honor Finnegan, Claudia Nygaard, Heather Styka, Louise Mosrie and Jon Brooks (the in the round in which I played with Louise and Jon in front of an almost packed room, including two grammy award winning songwriters, turned out to be a pretty magical set and one of the highlights of my year :-) All of the performers were amazing and the conference was overwhelming in all the best ways. Also, I rode in the elevator briefly with keynote speaker Grahm Nash. As my room key was in my wallet, I took my wallet out as the elevator approached our floor. "You don't have to give me your wallet," said Grahm Nash. "I was hoping you could put something in it for me," I said back. Then told him it was very nice getting to meet him.
Also in February, 'Gun Country' won the "In Search of a Song Contest" for the first week of February. Jason Wilbur hosted and Rich Reardin
In March I was invited to play 'Citizens United' at a Fund Raiser for Cheryl Kagan who WON her primary for State Senate in MD!! (We wish her the best of luck in November!) I was also able listen to Honor Finnegan, Freebo and Kevin Neidig do their thing in support of Cheryl's campaign.
In April I attended the NERFA one day mini conference in New Jersey and was interviewed by Joltin Joe Pszonek for his radio show. Later in the month I drove up to upstate New York and sat in the studio with Jon Stein and was a featured guest on his great show, "Hootenanny Cafe" which airs on Sunday nights.
I continued to try and stay busy and get my songs in front of as many folks as possible by attending my first SERFA conference in Montreat, North Carolina! I was lucky enough to play four showcases (and meet one of my songwriting Idols, Miss Danielle Howell!). The Keynote speaker was John McCutcheon and he spoke of how songwriting in this day and age was nothing short of a 'revolutionary act.' An inspiring keynote addressed highlighted by a presentation by the Highlander Center in Tennessee.
Then in June, I played a co-bill at Ebeneezer's Coffeehouse in D.C. with Buffalo NY's Davey O!! We had a great time playing and then watched the Stanley Cup Finals at Velocity Five (and later at my home).. The LA Kings beat my beloved Rangers :-(
To end the First Half - Year on the highest of notes and to bring us to the July 4th weekend, I spent a week at the Highlander Center (see link above) with 20 strangers for the first annual John McCutcheon Songwriting Camp. A special experience that I will not soon forget.
In August I participated in the Ashland Coffee and Tea "open mic Showdown" which is based on the Shootout at Eddie's Attic. I was fortunate enough to win and I will be participating in the Semi Finals in January of 2015!
Whew......... Yep, I am pretty spent and looking forward to getting back to the drawing board and writing some new songs so that I can get another CD out there in 2015..
Meanwhile, If you are in the area, the first SERFA / NERFA (SNERFA?) will take place on Sept. 6th in Charlottesville, VA. I hope to see you there, if not somewhere else out on the road in the coming months.
Peace and love to you all, and drop me a note and let me know what you have been up to, I would love to catch up with you!!!