2015 Folk Alliance Conference, Music Fair, and Camp

Here’s my teaching schedule and appearance schedule for Betse & Clarke at FAI 2015!

Betse & Clarke – 2015 Folk Alliance International Official Showcase Artists
Full Conference and Music Fair Schedule

Wed 2-18
8:00 PM: Benton’s (20th floor)
9:15 PM: BE Solo (Pershing N)
9:15 PM: CW w/ GAWD (Penn Valley)

Thurs 2-19
7:00 PM: Camp Faculty (Sheraton, Chicago)
10:30 PM: Murder Ballads (551)

Fri 2-20
2:00 PM: BE @ Camp – Ozark Heroes (Van Horn B)
7:00 PM: Rural Grit (Sheraton Art Gallery)
10:30 PM: Mayor’s Suite (537)

Sat 2-21
2:00 PM: BE @ Camp – Theory: Fiddlers & Friends (Van Horn B)
8:00 PM: MUSIC FAIR (Sheraton Chouteau)
11:30 PM: KC Music Collective (744)
2:30 AM: Finale Throw Down (Mayor’s Suite 537)

Sun 2-22
11:00 AM: BE @ Camp – Fiddle Spirituals (Van Horn B)

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Introducing Betse & Clarke

The year is coming to its close, and new things are opening… I’m excited to announce my newest project, one very dear to me. Here’s a duo, a fiddle-banjo duo, the likes of which you’ve not heard before. Introducing…

Betse & Clarke
Betse & Clarke explore their love of old time music with an inventive spirit, taking listeners on a field trip across mountain folkways and new landscapes. Their music is familiar… and totally different; a fiddle and banjo duo with a sense of adventure. Betse Ellis plays fiddle and sings like nobody’s business. Her years with The Wilders proved her passion for Ozark tunes and an unstoppable stage presence. Her early violin studies continue to shape her musicianship through technique and composition. Clarke Wyatt has an original and innovative approach to three-finger banjo. His background as a pianist and composer inform his banjo method as much as his love for old time music. Together, Betse & Clarke give every listener something to appreciate. They perform traditional tunes learned from cherished sources, creative arrangements of familiar and forgotten songs, and original compositions. You can expect to hear something new that reminds you what makes the old music so good.

Betse & Clarke

Drop by and see us!

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Happy Birthday, Violet Hensley!

Yesterday was Violet’s 98th birthday! My musical “grandma” continues to inspire me. We recently played a concert together and KCPT created a story for their Arts Upload show (our segment starts at 11:30). Watch it here

Violet, with daughter Sandy and grandson Sterling, at the Rock House, 2013
Violet, with daughter Sandy and grandson Sterling, at the Rock House, 2013
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House Concerts for Home Routes

I’m honored and excited to be embarking on a tour of Alberta, Canada, this month, presenting my music to audiences in homes thanks to Home Routes.

This organization, a long-time friend of Folk Alliance International, makes it possible for folk artists to share their music in places not always available to a touring musician. I have loved playing house concerts for years, whether with The Wilders, with other music friends, or my own solo shows. It’s a perfect environment for me to share not only the music, but the stories behind the music. It makes me really happy to tell folks about my friendship with Violet Hensley, or my thoughts on how certain traditional tunes and songs relate to each other. Communicating with an audience in a living room is so appropriate for much of my repertoire.

Hope to write a bit about the experience as it takes place. Stay tuned!

Last spring’s tour with Charlie Parr ended at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle… my voice was a bit used up, but it didn’t matter to the rockin crowd!

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Westward… with Friends

Dear friends,

There’s a whole lot to catch up on and I intend to post some more insightful thoughts soon. But in the meantime, I’m working and traveling and fiddling… with friends!

I’m heading to Wyoming this weekend with Kasey Rausch, and we’re stopping in Rapid City, SD on the way. We finish our amazing mini-tour in Colorado Springs on Sunday. Check the calendar page to get the scoop!

Then I head to the Western Slope to team up with Honey Don’t for a weekend of shows and festivals.

Grateful to be out there doing what I love to do… may you all have moments of love and gratitude yourselves.

ain't nothing finer than having a giggle with a friend! Photo by Emily Evans Sloan
ain’t nothing finer than having a giggle with a friend! Photo by Emily Evans Sloan
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Heading West with Charlie Parr!

Howdy, folks, it’s almost spring and my feet wanna move west.

Newsletter coming soon with all the details… I’m starting my tour with Charlie Parr on March 29 in Denver!

Had a great time in Texas with my good friends Kasey Rausch and Mikal Shapiro. We played the Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, a house concert in Livingston, TX, the MidCoast Takeover in Austin (run by KCMO non-profit musicians’ assistance organization Midwest Music Foundation), the Folk Alliance Party, where a few dear Austin friends joined me too (Jenn Miori, Silas Lowe, and Sean Tracey), and I joined (WOWSER OF A) country singer Silas Lowe and his band for a swingin’ session at The White Horse, and then hopped over to the Difibulators’ party at Licha’s Cantina to throw down with The Austin Steamers, before joining KC’s Drop a Grand for their finale, none other than Baba O’Reilly… What a day/night! We finished our tour at a perfect house concert in Springfield, MO, surrounded by friends, just as it should be.

Stay tuned for the newsletter!

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Folk Alliance 2014… the gratitude edition

(no links, just plain text. Re-post from a social network. And, this has no mention of plenty of inspiring and exhilarating moments… those got posted earlier and well maybe I’ll put them up here too later…)

I guess I’m not done thinking about last week’s experiences (well they ran into this week), and a few more thoughts are worth writing out for my peace of mind. I can’t let another day go by without publicly thanking some folks. My note Monday was one of a different nature. Rather than tagging, I will do it old-school style and whoever sees it, sees it. It’s putting it out there in a sincere way that means something, for me right now. Hmm, it feels weird though, because it looks like an acceptance speech. I guess I will call it an acceptance of a successful FAI conference… because no one can do it alone.

I am so honored and fortunate to be a part of the Folk Alliance team, as Traditional Studies Coordinator. Grateful to Louis Meyers for putting trust in me, and Andy Cohen too, for his constant support. And I’m impressed with the whole team; staff, crew, volunteers… I’m too aware of all the participatory roles it takes to make something of this magnitude come together. It came home in a very sweet way on Sunday evening when Cindy Cogbill said to another about me, “She’s one of us”…

My management company, 12×12, along with Hearth Music (who publicized High Moon Order) and Quicksilver Productions (who booked me for a year and a half as I began life after Wilders)– John Smith, Cassie Michel, Devon Leger, Martha Dantzic, Rob Miller, Sam Gooding… y’all put on a great private showcase room and I’m honored to have been on the bill for two nights, and also including the very special Saturday night closer. Great community feel with all the musicians and guests to the room!

My music buddies… partners… with whom I performed; golly there are a lot of you, just from the conference. I’m so blessed. Kasey Rausch, all of Rural Grit, Andy Cohen, Brett Hodges at our welcome jam (we welcomed!), Chad Brothers and Chris DeVictor (my Goodle Sprit bandmates!), Howard Iceberg, Linda McRae & Steve Dawson, all my Hillbender brothers!!, well and now I can include David Amram and Catie Curtis, who both embraced me musically as we sang and played together at the Pete Seeger memorial concert. Special thanks to Chad for his considerate help at the memorial and my official showcase. Yeah, buddy.

Special friends too who just really helped me so much, either directly and/or in uplifting ways… so much gratitude to you Kim, Beau, Kelly, Ryan, Barry, Christina, Mikal, Elaine, Erin… actually this list isn’t fair, and I do not want to leave anyone out at all… so many kind friends and I hope I can return the kindness… My mind is still in a bit of haze and I am truly grateful to absolutely everyone I connected with at conference. We are all part of such a community!!

I suppose a balance is created with a few regrets. Some Folk friends I never even got to see, and that’s just wrong. Shawna Cooper, I’m thinking of you first thing. <3 Several others who maybe I said hi to and that’s about it… let alone amazing performances I missed. I believe I did everything I could for the most part, maybe a little carried away on a couple of the late nights with random socializing!, but I could only do so much with my full day jobs and night performances. Sigh. Next year… agh, have to wait a year?

I am kinda contemplating where to take the next step. I feel like there are a lot of paths to choose and while I want to explore them all, it’s time to focus on something very honest and helpful and expressive and growth-worthy. I have a garden to cultivate, and I guess I’m choosing which seeds to select… Thanks for listening and for living.

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I believe in Community Radio

KKFI, Kansas City’s Community Radio, is near and dear to me. I’ve been listening and participating for years. I get to play live music on air, promote my shows, help to encourage donations during fund drives, choose songs for airplay every once in a while, and I get to listen to a tremendous variety of amazing music, so much of which is local and regional music.

This year, KKFI is partnering with Folk Alliance International, another organization that means a great deal to me. FAI wants KKFI to broadcast live from the conference. That means purchasing special equipment necessary to the task.

Yes, I mentioned it’s community radio? Volunteer radio?

Those Kickstarter campaigns can be a big help in times like these. The power of many can make such a huge difference without hurting any one’s pockets too much.

If you believe in the power of community radio, and are able to help out with this meaningful project, I will personally be grateful and besides, you can benefit from this no matter where you live, because KKFI broadcasts online all the time! That means even if you live a world away, you can sit in and listen to music at the conference!

Thanks for considering.

 KKFI Kickstarter

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