More than 700 performers, presenters, promoters, agents and managers, folk music societies and clubs, and others actively engaged in traditional and contemporary folk music will converge on the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, New York, Nov. 11-14, 2010, for the16th annual Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. will have a major presence as it hosts afternoon and late-night song swaps, a CD release party and wine tasting, its popular Midnight Hoot and a new Midday Hoot.

As in years past, the NERFA conference will feature a diverse mix of folk and acoustic music presented by artists from throughout the U.S. and Canada, workshops and panel discussions, mentoring sessions, a large trade show-like exhibit hall, communal meals, and lots of opportunities for schmoozing and networking. If past conferences are an indication, sleep-deprived attendees should enjoy a wonderful spirit of community.

This marks the second year of record attendance for the conference that is produced by NERFA (, the northeast regional affiliate of Folk Alliance International, an association that aims to foster and promote multicultural, traditional and contemporary folk music, while strengthening and advancing organizational and individual initiatives in folk music and dance through education, networking, advocacy, and professional and field development.

Folk DJ Showcase and Midnight Hoot Set for Thursday Night

A Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase on Thursday night, Nov. 11, starting at 8:30 p.m., marks the unofficial kick-off of the conference. Artists selected to perform this year by DJs who consider them worthy of more attention include Ben Bedford, Jim Bizer & Jan Krist, Ellen Bukstel, Chasing Jane, Confluence, Jane Fallon, Josh Joffen, Brian Ashley Jones, Chris Kokesh, David LaFleur, Rebecca Loebe, Madison Violet, Spuyten Duyvil, Twangtown Paramours and The Winterlings.

An Midnight Hoot – a pre-arranged, round-robin song swap featuring several singing folk DJs and a host of performing artists — follows. Extending from 11:45 p.m. to 3 a.m., The Midnight Hoot is designed to be like a late-night campfire during a festival, only without a fire and in the cozier confines of a hotel room. It is intended to provide early-arriving folk DJs and presenters with an opportunity to get a small sampling of the music of a lot of artists in a short period of time. More than 700 performers, presenters, promoters, agents and managers, folk music societies and clubs, and others actively engaged in traditional and contemporary folk music will converge on the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, New York, Nov. 11-14, 2010, for the16th annual Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. will have a major presence as it hosts afternoon and late-night song swaps, a CD release party and wine tasting, its popular Midnight Hoot and a new Midday Hoot.

Wanda Fischer

In addition to some 40 artists performing one song each, the Midnight Hoot will feature several folk DJs who also have recorded albums – Barbara & Graham Dean of WVBR in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Wanda Fischer of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio in New York’s capital region, and Jon Stein of WTBQ in upstate New York. The Midnight Hoot also is an opportunity for artists to enjoy each other’s company and music before the conference formally gets under way on Friday. Artists slated to perform in the Midnight Hoot include Fred Arcoleo, Marc Douglas Berardo, Marc Black, Daniel Boling, Robert Bruey, Suzie Brown, Buskin & Batteau, Annie & Rod Capps, Friction Farm, Gathering Time, David Goldman, Sharon Goldman, Loretta Hagen, Caleb Hawley, Brendan Hogan, Joe Iadanza, Joe Jencks, Brian Ashley Jones & Tisha Simeral, Josh Joffen, Stuart Kabak, Susan Kane, Tim Kirkner, Layah Jane, Mara Levine & Caroline Cutroneo, Laurie McClain, Danielle Miraglia, Lois Morton, Zoe Mulford, Claudia Nygaard, Karyn Oliver, Elaine Romanelli, Putnam Smith, Sally Spring & Ted Lyons, Spuyten Duyvil, The Squid Jiggers, Hank Stone, Jeff Talmadge, Suzie Vinnick, Randall Williams, The YaYas and Brad Yoder.

The growing popularity of the midnight hoot and a desire to include more artists in it has prompted AcousticMusicScene to add a midday hoot on Friday that will be hosted by singer-songwriters Joe Iadanza and Karyn Oliver. A list of the artists performing in that appears in a showcase schedule at the end of this article.

Informative Workshops and Panel Discussions Abound

NERFA Conference programming begins with an array of workshops on Friday morning. A family music track also is slated for Friday, with performer showcases and special workshops geared for those engaged or interested in children’s and family music. Two of Kind (David & Jenny Heitler-Klevans) host a family music showcase that is co-sponsored by the Children’s Music Network. That will feature Kim & Reggie Harris, Mifflin Lowe, Jeremy Lyons, Miss Amy and Chris McKhool’s Fiddle Fire! performing before an audience of children and adults.

Twenty daytime workshops and panel discussions will be offered Friday through Sunday.’s Michael Kornfeld moderates a panel discussion on Social Networking and Building Your Online Presence, featuring music journalist Tara Murtha and singer-songwriters Joe Iadanza and Sharon Goldman (who also publishes the blog, Siobhan Quinn will again lead a master class/vocal clinic, while there will be two On the Griddle sessions in which a number of songs are critiqued by a panel based on listening to the first 60 seconds of each song.

Theodore Bikel

Folk music luminaries Theodore Bikel, Oscar Brand and David Amram will interact and share stories and perspectives about folk music and the folk community during a special two-hour panel discussion entitled Wisdom of the Elders on Saturday afternoon, to be hosted by folk DJs John Platt (WFUV) and Sonny Ochs (WRPI). “I especially hope that the younger folks at our conference who may have never heard of these men will attend the panel and learn about some of our legendary movers and shakers,” says Ochs. She notes that Bikel (86), Brand (90) and Amram (who turns 80 this week) have more than 150 years of musical experience between them.

(Editor’s Note: Bikel has previously been profiled on in honor of his 85th birthday. Brand will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame later this month.)

Other workshops will cover such topics as Arranging the Song, Booking & Touring 101, Care & Feeding of Guitars, Getting the Most out of Your Home Studio, Festivals Moving Forward, Inspiring Change: Activist Artists and the Legacy of Phil Ochs and Niche Marketing.

Formal and Tricentric Showcases Feature a Diverse Array of Artists

Formal showcases take place on Friday and Saturday evenings in the resort’s theater, and no other activities are scheduled at the same time. Following those, folks will shuffle between three conference rooms to catch short sets by various artists during what are known as tricentric showcases.

The Good Lovelies with's Michael Kornfeld (Photo by Karen Finkenberg)

Artists selected by a panel of judges to perform 15-minute formal showcases on Friday night include Angel Band, Joe Jencks, Coyote Run, Tret Fure, Sultans of Swing, The Good Lovelies and Magpie. Saturday night’s formal showcase artists are Washboard Slim and the Blue Lights, Nick Annis, Les Chauffeurs a Pieds, Amy Carol Webb, Sharon Katz & the Peace Train, Carsie Blanton and The Sally Spring & Ted Lyons Experience.

Following the formal showcases, folks can catch 15-minute sets by various artists from throughout the U.S. and Canada during the tricentric showcases. Artists slated to perform tricentrics on Friday night include Beaucoup Blue, Datri Bean, Ben Bedford, Burning Bridget Cleary, Tim Grimm, Layah Jane, Madison Violet, Lynn Miles, Danielle Miraglia, Jory Nash, Joel Rafael, A.J. Roach, Peter Siegel, Ryan Tennis and Tripping Lilly. Saturday night’s tricentric lineup features Clint Alphin, Barnaby Bright, Brittany Ann, Chuck E. Costa, Gathering Time, Jim Gaudet & RR Boys, Chris Kokesh, Tom Pacheco, Jean Rohe Trio, RUNA, Kevin So, Frank Sollivan & Dirty Kitchen, Suzie Vinnick, We’re About 9 and The Winterlings.

Late-Night and Afternoon Guerilla Showcases Add to the Musical Mix

After the tricentric showcases each evening, will join dozens of presenters, performers and others in hosting so-called “guerilla showcases” in their hotel rooms through the wee hours of the morning, while other musicians will stake out parts of the lobby for informal jam sessions that may last as late (or early, depending on your vantage point) as 6 a.m. Open mics, informal jam sessions, private showcases, thematic song circles and round-robin song swaps round out the mix.

A number of guerilla showcases also take place during the afternoons. In addition to The Midday Hoot on Friday, will host a song swap entitled Songs of Hope, Freedom & Spirit and featuring folk harmony trio Gathering Time and Kim & Reggie Harris. On Saturday afternoon, a CD Release Party & Wine Tasting for two-time Kerrville New Folk winner Josh Joffen and The YaYas (whose new CD, Paper Boats, has already broken into the top 10 on the Roots Music Report Folk Radio Chart) will take place in the room. Following that will be Brews & Roots (For All that Ales You), featuring alt. roots band Spuyten Duyvil, along with Pesky J. Nixon and Putnam Smith.

A complete showcase schedule for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 & 13, follows. A printable flyer appears below it.

Friday Afternoon: Midday Hoot
(Hosted by Joe Iadanza and Karyn Oliver)

2:15: Gillen and Turk & Tribes Hill Chorus
2:20: Carolann Solebello
2:25: Loretta Hagen
2:30: Phil Minissale
2:35: Brittany Ann
2:40: Jenee Halstead
2:45: Pesky J. Nixon
2:50: Lara Herscovitch
2:55 : Kayrn Oliver
3:00: Meg Braun
3:05: Robert Bruey
3:10: Bethel Steele
3:15: The Boxcar Lillies
3:20: Rob Lytle
3:25: Elaine Romanelli
3:30: Phil Henry
3:35: Joe Iadanza

3:40-4:20 p.m. Songs of Hope, Freedom and Spirit: Gathering Time, Kim & Reggie Harris

Friday Night :
(Hosted by Michael Kornfeld and Karen Finkenberg)

11:45-Midnight: Transatlantic Singer-Songwriter: Zoe Mulford

12:00-12:30: Harmonic Convergence: Gathering Time, Joe Jencks, Mara Levine & Caroline Cutroneo

12:30-1:00: An Americana Sampler: Loretta Hagen & Band, Brian Ashley Jones & Tisha Simeral, Greg Loftus

1:00-1:30: All Keyed Up: Anna Dagmar, Lucky 13, Allison Tartalia

1:30-2:00: Brooklyn in da House: Meg Braun, Jean Rohe, Carolann Solebello

2:00-3:00: Funny Folk: Mark Allen Berube, Lois Morton, Barry Rabin, Carla Ulbrich

Saturday Afternoon:

2:00-3:00: presents …

A CD Release Party and Wine Tasting for Josh Joffen and The YaYas
(with special guests Gathering Time)
3:30-4:30: Brews & Roots (For All that Ales You): Spuyten Duyvil, Pesky J. Nixon, Putnam Smith

Saturday Night:

11:45-12:30: Kerrville New Folk Winners: Nels Andrews, RJ Cowdery, Robby Hecht, Josh Joffen

12:30-1:00: Blue Roots: Brendan Hogan, Spuyten Duyvil, Ken Whiteley

1:00-1:30: A Trio of Duos: Buskin & Batteau, Annie & Rod Capps, Friction Farm

1:30-2:00: Folk You Should Know: Marc Douglas Berardo, The Laws, Randall Williams

2:00-2:30: J Note: Joe Crookston, Joe Iadanza, Jeff Talmadge

2:30-3:00: An Irish Set: Burning Bridget Cleary, RUNA

Click on the image to the left to view and print a full-size program schedule.