Tag Archive: Southwest Regional Folk Alliance

When I knew I was going to be in LA to see Conner and record, I contacted the Tribal Cafe and Gary Stockdale and booked a gig. I was trying for Friday, but Gary was busy, so I arranged for a Sunday afternoon show. The Tribal Cafe, as you can see, is a funky little place in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. It has an extremely varied menu and the food is really good. They have an open mic five days a week.

The show was from 4:30 to 6:30. Gary played first because he had an obligation later. I really wanted to do a show with Gary and hear a full set of his songs. I met him at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance in Austin a few years ago and see him there each year. But I only got to hear a few songs at a time. Gary is the consumate folk entertainer. He has some really good songs which you can find through his website.

Gary Stockdale

Fortunately, he had a couple of friends show up to hear him play. There were few other people in the cafe. Gary played a good, full set which included a song from his show, Bumpersticker – the Musical. He also played my favorite song – so far – Who’s That Old Man. I think that’s the title.

After his set, Gary was able to listen to a few of my songs, but then he had to leave – a couple of songs after Conner and his girlfriend, Jimena, arrived.

A few songs into my set, people began to arrive. For the last half of my set, I had a full crowd. Granted, it was not a huge place, but a full group of people for my first show in LA felt really good. And they liked my songs. I almost always adjust my set list when the crowd isn’t the type or size I expected. I switched places with a few songs, but I actually played the set as planned and even did the two standby tunes.

The fact that Conner and Jimena were there was a bonus. It was the first time she heard me play. She’s quite the guitarist and songwriter herself. Jimena Fosado is one of the angels in Corey Feldman‘s band. I also have her to thank for the pictures of me playing.

I spent the rest of the evening grinning quite often. All in all, my first show in LA was a success.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.




Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Are you confused yet? Or did you figure out that we had the Dallas Songwriters Association 4th Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk a week early this month – and last month as well – due to Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was my first showcase as the new host. As showcase director for the DSA, I have been a guest host before. But with both Buck Morgan and Harry Hewlett having life changes coming about, I became the host.

I had the sound system set up by 7:15. Despite a problem I did not discover until I was breaking down the system, everyone sounded good to the audience, except me on part of my set.

The show began with Cat McGee – after a few technical adjustments. She delivered her show in her usual humble sincerity. Cat doesn’t take herself all that seriously, but her songwriting is a different matter. That alone lends a certain urgency to her lyrics juxtaposed with the casualness of her delivery. I have known Cat a while and consider her a good friend. I have read the press on her website before, but it evades me now. But simply thinking about it while replaying her set in my mind, her songwriting and performance remind me of Judy Collins and Joan Baez. The decidedly female perspective, with self-assurance and purpose. One of my favorite songs of hers – and there are a few – is Mydan-roark-3Tribe. Her tribe, of course, is songwriters.

Then the host, some guy named Dan Roark, came on and played his set. Which included several songs from his new cd of live songs. As well as the bonus song on the cd, What the Lord Intends. Which is also the song in his first music video which you can find on his YouTube channel.

Mark Evans, who followed me (the moment has past, if you catch my drift), has a band called Safety Meeting. Alone, on acoustic guitar – as he was at the showcase – Mark comes through as folk with a bit of an edge – albeit with a positive outlook. And a love song is simply a love song. The band’s description of Safety Meeting’s music is “alternative, americana, and pop.” Having heard them live and recorded, I can say that sums them up fairly well. I’m not exactly sure how alternative they are, as far as lyrics and music are concerned. But pertaining to their live show, I can hear alternative to a point. Listening to

Mark Evans

Mark Evans

their recorded songs on Reverbnation before writing this, I caught a John Cougar Mellencamp feel to their songs. Hence the americana and pop distinctions. Catch one of their shows when you can. Their music deserves a good crowd.

Baylis Laramore ended the evening’s line up. Baylis‘ music is folk and americana. He’s a laid-back type of guy, and his music reflects that. He was born in Galveston and grew up around east Texas as a child. He “spent [his] teenage years living in Australia and Indonesia.” He has traveled to other places as well. Some of Baylis’ songs come from those years, such as Blonde Spanish Girls, written while he was in Spain. Other songs, like Ghosts of Galveston, are from stories he has heard and read. He also has written some humorous songs as witnessed by the song Junk Food Highway, written from a song prompt at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance.

It was a good show. I’m sorry you missed it. Do yourself a favor and make it to the next DSA 4th

Baylis Laramore

Baylis Laramore

Saturday showcase at Angela’s at the Crosswalk on January 28. I’ll have the list of songwriters who will by playing in the next couple of weeks. But you can be sure it will be a good show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.





Mark Evans followed me

SWRFA Page Two

Dan At Saturday open mic at SWRFA To finish with my Southwest Regional Folk Alliance(SWRFA) summary review, Friday morning at SWRFA began with a session for first time attendees.. But there were just as many veterans as there were first timers, it seemed to me. The session was presented by Paul E. Barker, of Barker House Concerts, and Hilary Adamson, of the Flyin’ A’s. Paul talked from the venue stand point, and Hilary spoke from the performing artist point of view. They shared quite a bit of useful information, but a couple of things stood out.

SWRFA had in-room showcases on Friday from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., then again from 10:30 p.m. – 3 a.m. or later. Saturday just had the in-room showcases from 10:30 p.m. on. I was wondering about the in-room showcases when I considered attending. I’m not one for staying up real late anymore, particularly if I am going to be getting up fairly early in order to visit and network. Yet I didn’t want to miss anything important by not going to the later showcases. Which was one of the good points Paul brought up.

“At events during the day, the ratio of performing artists to venues is 10 to 1. At the later showcases, you won’t find any venues represented.”

So I felt better about not trying to pull an all-nighter. Hilary has a lot more energy than anyone has a right to, particularly at 9 a.m. But her best suggestions had to do with sending out personal messages to anyone she wanted to meet with at SWRFA. Then, following the event, being sure to follow up with everyone you interacted with that you want to work with or keep in touch with.

There were other sessions on Friday, as well as the First Timers Showcase and one-on-ones with industry people, and the first official showcase. I had a showcase in the Handshake Management room at 5:10 p.m. I also had a showcase at 12:40 a.m. in the Webb House Concerts room.

Saturday there were more sessions. I played at the open mic by the pool in the late afternoon. After dinner was the second official showcase. And then, of course, the in-room showcases.

This was just a summary of events. I mainly wanted to point out when I played and let anyone who is a singer/songwriter – or group thereof – know that SWRFA is a good investment as well as a really good time. Even though you saw the ratio of performing artists to venues above, you still get heard by a lot of people and that is never a bad thing. You learn new things, meet new people, and make connections that will serve you well.

Follow the links and check it out. I have one more post about Sunday before I lay it to rest. As a writer, you get hung up in so many projects, some have to come later. But I wanted to at least talk about it for my fellow singer/songwriters who may not know about it or wonder if it’s worth it. (It is.)

Peace be with you.

Dan at SWRFA ShowcaseWeekend before last I attended the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) in Austin. As a singer/songwriter, it was a fantastic experience. A weekend with like-minded souls enjoying what they do. Three and a half days of nothing to do but play music, listen to music, and “talk shop.”

An open mic Wednesday night at Threadgill’s began SWRFA. I didn’t get to that event, opting not to spend an extra night in the hotel. Except for the fact that I would have liked to have gone to Threadgill’s, it turned out to be a good decision.

For one thing, I was told that it was completely packed. Come to find out that if I had played in that open mic, I wouldn’t have been able to play at either of the other two open mics. Because there were so many attendees, each act only played one song at the open mics. So I figured I made the right decision. We’ll see about next year.

On Thursday, registration was to begin at 2 p.m. I arrived about 1:30. While we waited on our rooms to be ready, a guitar was passed around the lobby. It wasn’t too long before my room was ready. I made two trips to the room, parked the car and went to register for the conference – which is, and isn’t, the right term for it.

The pool party/open mic began at 5 p.m., with Berkalin Records providing a dinner buffet and drinks. I have some pictures from the open mic that I will post on Facebook when I get a chance. Following the open mic was the official showcase alternates concert. Which would be those acts who didn’t get chosen for the two official showcase concerts on Friday and Saturday. After which, song circles popped up around the hotel. And events were just getting started. More to come.

Peace be with you.




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