Despite my semi-retirement from the Memphis music scene, I couldn't resist partaking in at least a fringe element of this year's Folk Alliance conference. I missed all the official conference showcases, but I think I may have ended up at one of the best shows of the week regardless. I skipped out of cocktail hour early and walked into Otherlands last Friday night feeling strangely light, as if an 18-pound weight had been lifted from my arms (thanks, Sassy-Urfs!). After using the last of my agent credit to slide Steph and me in for free, I immediately bumped, quite literally, into Jimmy, a very patient semi-former client, and spent the rest of the evening running into my favorite folkies at every turn. The show itself was a collection of local and out-of-town FA conference attendees, hand-picked by Cory who did a highly impressive job of pulling talented and engaging musicians from the halls of the Marriott. The most talented and engaging, of course, being my former high school and college classmate, TAFKA John Mayer, currently performing as John Elliott/The Hereafter. He only played three songs, just like all the other guests, but his part in the show felt so much bigger because of his grotesquely overgrown awesomeness. I want to bust in two when I see him play, I'm so proud of him.
The evening came to a relatively early close for me (causing me to miss Blair and any of the secret guests still to come), but still, as one of my few babyless ventures out in the last eight months, it was a simply wonderful night.