View Full Version : Folk Alliance International 2016, Kansas City, MO

Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 5:47pm
Wanted to share a few photos of Folk Alliance International in Kansas City this past weekend even though no one will see this for awhile. Remarkable amount of banjo activity here. World class 5-string, tenor and clawhammer action. Think Alison Brown, We Banjo 3 guys (Enda Schaill and Martin Howley shredding with unbelievable taste and precision) doing small showcases for 25 people in a tiny room, Old Man Luedecke, the remarkable tenor playing of East Pointers member Koady Chaisson, dozens of singer/songwriters playing clawhammer banjo (is banjo the new guitar???). So many more we're leaving out but a few pictures that clearly represents only a tiny faction of what is going on at this crazy event.

If you're ever considering coming to a Folk Alliance conference and were worried about the amount of banjo, don't. Plenty of great bluegrass bands like the Blackberry Bushes and Unseen Strangers and many more. Great clawhammer players aplenty and more pretty girls playing clawhammer banjo than you'd ever dream of. Tenor banjo players as well and some of the finest on the planet. A real mecca of banjo activity. Who knew?

Alison Brown's Sunday afternoon "Songs of the Banjo" was one of the real highlights of the conference. Note to sound guy: the banjo is the star here, not the electric bass, not the drums... sigh...


Old Man Luedecke (Chris Luedecke of Chester, Nova Scotia) was a true favorite, a brilliant clawhammer player, great songwriter, fantastic entertainer, the entire package.



Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 5:50pm
Wouldn't be Kansas City, home of the World Champion Kansas City Royals without a photo of their world series banjo from the hands of the Bradford & Franzke Fret Shop in KC.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 5:51pm
Paul J. Schiminger, Executive Director of IBMA with a booth visitor. The man is a fine 5-string player and you only have to be around him a few minutes to get that he was the right man to hire for the job.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 5:56pm
Rising clawhammer banjo star and singer/songwriter Kaia Kater (http://www.kaiakater.com/) who is the subject of a feature interview next month to coincide with the release of her new album. We've heard the preview cuts and it's terrific. She's a great young lady and a remarkable engaging performer for such a young age. Worried about the future of old-time banjo? Impossible after spending some time around her. Sorry for the dreadful pictures but the lighting in the small showcase rooms at night was dreadful.

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Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 6:01pm
The promotion clutter at FAI is mind boggling. The print industry is clearly a winner here. Just a small sample.

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iPhone panorama shot. Click to see the entire mess.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 6:05pm
Tom Nechville's marvelous banjos on display.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 6:08pm
And a downright terrible picture, but a chance to stand a few feet away and watch the brilliant playing of Enda Schahill and Martin Howley was a real treat. We Banjo 3 was clearly one of the favorites of not just the conference but of Kansas City as well. They're returning in May for a big concert.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-21-2016, 8:33pm
Little better photo of We Banjo 3. If this showcase looks like the inside of a small hotel room, well, it is. For a band that plays in front of thousands we can attest they can get it done right with the same enthusiasm in front of a packed audience of, maybe 20. By the way, the guy on the right with the gray hair watching the band is past Executive Director of Folk Alliance International Louis Meyers, himself a fine bluegrass banjo player. Click image to see full size.


Banjo Cafe
Feb-22-2016, 3:09pm
Contemporary/traditional (can we say that?) music from Prince Edwards
Island, shifted into overdrive with the help of monster banjoist Koady