The 24th International Folk Alliance Conference kicked off its last year in Memphis yesterday. Held at the downtown Marriott, the conference and music showcase has outgrown the city and will be going to Kansas city in 2014, after a stop in Canada next year.
This is a huge downer for us as FAI is one of our favorite conferences every year. It’s not only about hearing new music and networking with your peers, it feels like a true music community and we’ve made what we hope to be lifelong friends since it first arrived in Memphis back in 2007.
Last night was Public Night which allowed non-conference attendees to sneak in and get a glimpse of some of the talent scheduled to play over the next three days. For just $10 music lovers had the opportunity to check out over 30 musicians, including a tribute to the legendary Memphis musician and producer Jim Dickinson. The Recording Academy & Folk Alliance’s Salute to Jim Dickinson featured Joel Savoy and Emma Beaton (Eunice, LA), Shannon McNally (Holly Springs, MS), Jimmy Davis, Eric Lewis and Tommy Burroughs (Memphis), and of course, Jim’s son Luther Dickinson of The North Mississippi Allstars.
Here’s a clip from Luther’s performance featuring the song “The Meeting” (written shortly after Jim’s death) from last years Grammy nominated album, Keys to the Kingdom. Jimmy Crosswait and Susan Marshall join him.