For our feature Nice Playlist, Brah, we ask some of our favorite musicians to make a themed Spotify playlist for us. You know, Songs to Make-out To, The Worst Bands I Have Ever Heard, Songs Your Mom Would Like, we just ask them to be creative, and then we post them to The Ardent Music Blog and share them with you. When you’re looking for a good Spotify playlist, now you know where to look. This week we invited music aficionado Rachelandthecity to put one together for us for Folk Alliance International. We invite you to take listen to the playlist while you read why the musician included each song. Enjoy!
I look forward to the International Folk Alliance Conference every year. I always meet a lot of great people and discover tons of good music. It is easily my favorite music convention. Held in downtown Memphis for the last 6 years at The Marriott, it’s a small event hosting just 2000 people. The day is filled with panels and classes, with a few private showcases, but the main music event starts at 6PM Wednesday through Saturday and features about 30 official showcases each night. Then at around 10:30 the music moves upstairs to the top three floors of the hotel with about 6 hours of showcases every night featuring hundreds of musicians. The beds have been removed from the rooms and so about 30 rooms on each floor, around 90 in all, are turned into small showcase rooms with bands playing 20 minute sets. You’ll never see so much fantastic music in such a short amount of time anywhere else in the world.Not to mention, one of the most fun parts of the conference is the sense of community. Don’t be surprised to catch Steve Poltz sitting next to you while you’re catching a set from Matt the Electrician, or find yourself sharing a cigarette on the stairwell with members of The Tuttles and The Milk Carton Kids, and did you hear Anthony Da Costa was turning 21? Well, you’re invited to the party to watch as he is serenaded by Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt, Raina Rose, Rebecca Loebe, and many more.
This is a playlist of some of my favorite artists that played FAI this year. It is in no way complete (there seem to be a lot of artists either without music on Spotify or without their latest work) but this should give you a glimpse of some of the fantastic musicians that passed through Memphis last week. Now, that FAI is leaving Memphis and headed to Kansas City, we hope these folks will find another reason to visit us soon!
I liked these guys so much when I first heard them last month that I invited them to Ardent to record an episode of The Warm Up. You can hear it here.
This Nashville based group is friends with Carolina Story (who I really love too) so I caught them in a packed room where everyone seemed to be singing along.
This guy is so mind blowing that I saw him play three times at the Folk Alliance – and I invited him to play The Warm Up. He played a brand new song that he named right before we recorded it. Listen to that performance here.
I’ve seen this guy play every year since 2006. Last year he came to Ardent to record an episode of Ardent Presents: Anthony Da Costa. This year he seems to have really come into his own and owned every stage I saw him perform on.
Steve is easily the funniest guy at FAI every year. He even told a story about breaking his hand and having to talk his way through a 90 minute set since he could not play. He was booked at an Australian house show from that performance, when he got there the guy that booked him got upset when he pulled out his guitar to play music. I’m sure the guy got over it once he heard Steve’s songs.
This is another Nashville band that I caught on a whim. They were really fantastic and I can’t wait to see them again.
Rebecca is an old friend that I have had come down to Ardent many times to play. Even before she was a contestant on The Voice. You can catch her most recent performance on The Warm Up here.
Robby is another old friend that has been to Ardent several times, most recently last week when he was a guest on The Warm Up with Carried Elkin. Check out that show here.
These guys were chosen to be part of Ardent’s 16 over 48 Sessions last weekend where we recorded 16 bands in 48 hours. I ran into them in the hallways of Ardent before their session and decided to check out their official showcase later that night. It was a packed room and they blew the crowd away.
10. Raina Rose
Raina had a baby last year and she had him in tow at FAI this year. Now that’s some dedication. Her official showcase was filled with friends and admirers and was one of the most touching performances of the weekend. Raina dropped by Ardent to record Ardent Presents: Raina Rose a couple of years ago and it’s still one of my favorite shows.
11. The Dunwells
These guys came all the way from Leeds and were one of the most buzzed about bands at FAI. I got to chat with them for a bit in a back hallway and they seemed to know more about Ardent that I do! They were very interested in the soundboard that Led Zeppelin III was mixed on.
12. Star & Micey
These guys really held their own against a lot of great performances. I heard lots of folks talking about them in the hallways. Look for a new EP from them soon!
13. The Nadas
I didn’t make it to see these guys until the very last night of FAI, but as soon as I heard them play I remembered why I like them so much. Be sure to check out their episode of Ardent Presents: The Nadas.
This is listed on Spotify as Holly Cole. I struggled as to whether or not to include this song, even though they do play it as the group, but since they don’t have music on Spotify but were still one of my favorite performances at FAI – I had to get them in here somehow! Be sure to check out their episode of The Warm Up which sounds fantastic!
Check out all of our Spotify playlists on The Ardent Music Blog! Thanks to Rachelandthecity for this Folk Alliance International playlist!