Thursday, October 20, 2016

FARM 2016 Coming Up Soon!

In one week I'll be headed to Iowa City for the Folk Alliance Regional Midwest (FARM) 2016 conference. I attended Folk Alliance International in Kansas City last year, and I have to say it was a blast. Even though I had serious doubts as to whether or not the music I perform constitutes "folk music", and to be frank I still have those doubts, it seemed to me that I fit into that genre in some sense, if only for the fact that I almost always perform solo without a band. People see you alone with an acoustic guitar and jump to the "folk" conclusion. Last year I saw plenty of solo singer-songwriters in Kansas City whose music, to me anyway, was not in the traditional folk vein. So maybe I do fit in there somehow. Though I would suspect a folk purist would disagree.

Here's a solo acoustic version of a song of mine called "Son Or Daughter". You can download it for free if you'd like, or if you're more inclined to support independent music you can pay what you want

I hope you enjoy it. To me, it's a pop/rock song performed solo. What do you think? Is it folky enough? Leave a comment please!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gotta Write A Bio

So I have to write a 50 word bio for my Folk Alliance International Official Showcase Application. This might be the toughest thing any musician ever has to do. It's harder than writing good songs, it's harder than playing gigs, it's harder than driving to gigs.

I think this might be the most hated job any musician ever has to do. I know I hate it.

Just what does one write about one's self?

Of course a more established musician would hire someone else to write it. Or his manager would hire someone. Well, I am not yet at that level. Still. And being a chronic procrastinator does not help.

So here's what I've come up with so far, after staring at the screen for a couple hours, trying a few things, erasing a few things:

With songs ranging from the personal to the political and everywhere in between, singer/songwriter Jim Pellinger has performed for audiences throughout the upper Midwest. An energetic solo performer, singer, and talented guitarist, Jim’s shows lie somewhere between a rocker with an acoustic guitar and a folkie with a Stratocaster.

I think that's fairly accurate; I wanted to avoid hyperbole.

And it only took all evening.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Folk Alliance: The Report

A month ago I went to Folk Alliance International, and at the time I thought I would blog about it while I was there. What a silly idea that was! The fact of the matter is there simply isn't time as there is so much going on.  Stopping to blog just wasn't going to happen. 

But now that I'm settled back home I will take a shot at it, with the aim that maybe it will help someone who is pondering making the trip. I know I was combing the web looking for anything that would give me an idea of what FAI is all about. 

So here is a typical day at FAI. Music camp sessions start at 10 am, and features workshops on a variety of playing styles on various instruments, songwriting, performing techniques, etc.  From 1 pm to 5 pm there are panel discussions dedicated to various music business topics such as publishing, promotion, touring, etc. From 6:15 to about 10:30pm there are official showcases, a different act every half hour in 10 ballrooms of the Westin Hotel. And at 10:30 pm everyone moves up to floors  5, 6, and 7 for "private showcases", roughly a different act every half hour in every room on three floors. This goes until 3am. Do the math, that's a lot of music. 

And the next day it starts all over again. From Wednesday thru Saturday. 

Along the way there are lots of opportunities to mingle, meet other artists, industry people, radio DJs, and venue representatives. In fact the mingling is a major reason for the conference, so everyone is super approachable. I met a lot of really great people there, and I wasn't even trying. 

And the music--I can't tell you how great the music was. Just fantastic. 

To sum it up--if you're a musician or band that plays music that could be loosely described as "folk", you should seriously consider going. I perform solo, vocals and guitar, and while I don't consider my music "folk" I can see why people may lump me into that category.  People like labels, and that's the label they put on you when they see you alone with a guitar. But I don't think a folk purist would consider my music folk. So I was wondering if I would fit.  I soon came to the conclusion that this is exactly where I do fit.  

I left Kansas City invigorated, inspired, a bit tired, and already planning for next year.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Folk Alliance Here I Come

As the headline states, I'm off to Folk Alliance's annual shindig in Kansas City come Wednesday. I'm not sure what to expect, other than it sounds like one big sleep deprivation clinic--lots of informative panels everyday and live music all night. Fun. I'm not performing--I didn't get an official showcase and I didn't really decide to go till the last possible minute, so I didn't get any unofficial showcases either. But I'm bringing my guitar in case an opportunity arises. 

Hopefully I'll have time amidst all the activity to post here about it all. That is the plan anyway. Stay tuned...