I’m back from the annual Folk Alliance conference, held this year in freezing cold Montréal, Québec. It was four solid days of euphoria for me as I got to sit around intimate hotel rooms and hear some of my favorite musicians play, as well as discover new people.
If I had to pick the performance that left the strongest impression, it was the showcase by Chris Chandler, a spoken-word artist I first saw at Kerrville last year, and his m usical accompanist Jo Smith. I keep notes on the performers I see, usually assigning a rating of 1 (decent), 2 (quite good), 3 (I need to get some of their CDs), or 0 (they suck). After Chris and Jo’s performance, what came out of my pen was “Oh My God!” as no number seemed capable of expressing my awe of them.
There was such a great dynamic between Chris and Jo. So I was devastated to read just a few days later that Jo Smith had decided the life of a traveling musician is not for her and she and Chris will not be touring the country. If anyone has a tape of one of their performances, I’d love to get a copy.