Some 800 performing artists, presenters, promoters, agents and managers, folk DJs, and others actively engaged in traditional and contemporary folk music will converge on the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, New York, Nov. 8-11, 2012, for the 18th annual Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. will again have a major presence as it hosts afternoon and late-night song swaps, and its popular Midnight Hoot at the close of the conference’s first day. A Midday Hoot the next day, introduced in 2010, will afford more artists opportunities to be heard.

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, informative panel discussions and workshops (including two on social media moderated by’s Michael Kornfeld), one-on-one mentoring and peer group 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.

Coming as it does less than two weeks after superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on many East Coast communities, the NERFA Conference is a particularly welcome release for many among the record number of registrants – including this writer, who coped without power and heat for a week on Long Island in the wake of the storm.

An extensive preview of the conference that is produced by NERFA (, the northeast regional affiliate of Folk Alliance International, was posted on last month. This article focuses on the artist showcases that this online publication for the folk, roots and singer-songwriter communities will be hosting.

Following the Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase on Thursday overnight, an overflow crowd will likely again descend on the room for its popular Midnight Hoot. Extending from midnight to 3 a.m., the Midnight Hoot is a pre-arranged, round-robin song swap featuring several singing folk DJs (Jim Colbert, Barbara & Graham Dean, Wanda Fischer, Mike Holliday and Jon Stein) and a host of artists — each of whom will perform one song. Now in its sixth year, the Midnight Hoot is intended to provide folk DJs, presenters and others with an opportunity to get a small sampling of the music of a lot of artists in a short period of time. It also enables artists to enjoy each other’s company and music before the conference really gets into full swing on Friday. Artists slated to perform include Marc Black, Robert Bobby, Robert Bruey, Ellen Bukstel, Caitlin Canty, Jane Fallon, Freebo, Friction Farm, Connor Garvey, Marci Geller, Loretta Hagen, Heather Mae, Laura Joy, Stuart Kabak, Brian Kalinec, Susan Kane, Jake Klar, Chris LaVancher, Mara Levine, Rebecca Loebe, Gilles Malkine, Stuart Markus, Robert Mattson, Michaela Anne, Lois Morton, Hugh O’Doherty, Pesky J. Nixon, Putnam Smith, Amy Speace, Sally Spring, Hank Stone, Martin Swinger, Tall Heights, Jesse Terry, Ernest Troost, Twangtown Paramours, and Chuck Williams.

Since the Midnight Hoot can only last so long, a Midday Hoot will pick up on Friday afternoon, from 2-3:30 p.m., to afford 18 more artists/acts an opportunity to perform a song. They are Suzie Brown, Brad Cole, Marybeth D’Amico, Jerry DeMeo, Dove Tail, James Durst, Carrie Ferguson, Hannah & Maggie, Larry Kolker, Bernice Lewis, Dennis Mc Do No Ugh, Heather Pierson, Elaine Romanelli, Michael Ronstadt & Aaron Nathans, Paul Sachs, Erin Sax, Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield, Scott Wolfson & Other Heroes.

Following the Midday Hoot, singer-songwriters Josh Joffen and Stuart Kabak will host a very special song circle entitled Remembering Jack Hardy, Richard Meyer and Fast Folk. also is grateful to Kabak – with whom its editor partnered in hosting late-night song swaps and open circles at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival last summer — for providing a wooden platform stage and stage lights for its showcase this year. Thanks also are due to singer-songwriters Putnam Smith and Hank Stone for graciously offering to guest host Saturday afternoon showcases, to Amy Blake and Sybil Moser for the loan of folding chairs, to Sherwood House Vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork for graciously providing a carton of wine and to singer-songwriter Robert Bruey for arranging that.

A complete schedule for the showcases, other than the hoots, appears below.

Friday Afternoon

3:30: Remembering Jack Hardy, Richard Meyer & Fast Folk

Jeremiah Birnbaum, Marci Geller, Josh Joffen, Stuart Kabak, Keith Kelly, Frank
Tedesso, Judith Zweiman

Friday Evening

11:45 All Keyed-Up: Jeffrey Paul Bobrick, Anna Dagmar, Marci Geller, Avi Wisnia

12:30 A Pair of Trios: The Boxcar Lilies, The YaYas

1:00 Folk You Should Know: Marc Douglas Berardo, Katie Pearlman,
Sloan Wainwright

1:30 Funny Folk: Zoe Lewis, Lois Morton

2:00 Texas Troubadours: Cary Cooper, Brian Kalinec

Saturday Afternoon

2:00 Long Island Sounds: Robert Bruey, Marci Geller, Miles to Dayton, Katie Pearlman

2:45 Long Island Sounds II: Jerry DeMeo, Josh Joffen, Stuart Markus, Lois Morton, Hank Stone

3:30 Maine Stage: Caroline Cotter, Connor Garvey, Martin Swinger

4:00 Maine Stage II: Sorcha Cribben Merrill and Johanna Sorrell, Putnam Smith, Darlin’ Corey

Saturday Evening

11:45 Kerrville New Folk Winners: Nels Andrews, RJ Cowdery, Josh Joffen, Claudia Nygaard

12:30 Americana -Roots Country: Loretta Hagen, Brian Kalinec, Louise Mosrie with Anna Uptain

1:00: A Trio of Duos: Friction Farm, Mara Levine & Terry Kitchen, The Levins

1:30 O’ Canada: Ariana Gillis, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, Cheryl Prashker, Suzie Vinnick, Ken Whiteley