Highlights from Folk Alliance International 2015

Images © Kim Reed 2015. See more of his shots from FAI 2015 on his website.

It’s been a few days since I got back from Kansas City and I’ve finally had some time to reflect on what an amazing experience Folk Alliance International was. I have to say that four days absolutely flew by! The atmosphere was electric with so much incredible energy and music. I often stayed up till 4am playing music, jamming with new friends, and listening to the incredible performers – then got up at 8am for seminars! It left me exhausted but I don’t regret a single minute of sleep lost.

The best part of Folk Alliance International was the people I met. I made some incredible new friends including Keiffer Mclean, Danny Olliver, Paul Doffman, Skye Wallace, Scott Richmond, Colleen Brown, Nick Faye, James Byrnes, Jenie Nolan, Tim Buckley, Joel Schwartz, Andrew Sherrod, Josiah Albertson, Alex Vissia, Scott Duncan, Tyler Gilbert, and so many more. I also heard some truly amazing music over the four days! So much talent to see there: some of my favorites being my great friend Danny Michel, Trad Attack, and Jenn Grant. 

One of the biggest highlights for me was the opportunity to meet and have dinner with now retired astronaut Chris Hadfield - who the first Canadian to walk in space! I was so humbled to chat with such an amazing Canadian and fellow musician. To my amazement he also came to watch me perform the next day! Such an honor to perform for him, I’ll never forget it. Thanks again to my wonderful friend Danny Michel for inviting me to join him, Chris, and all of their friends for such a special evening. 

Another fabulous highlight of the trip was having the opportunity to do a pop-up recording session with Sweetwater Recording Studios (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and special guest Joel Schwartz (Toronto). Such an incredibly neat experience! 

I want to give a huge shout out to my incredible musicians Josh Crowhurst and Oliver Miguel, you guys totally rocked out and I was so happy you were there to join me. And I have to also give a huge thanks to Calgary Arts Development, who gave me a grant to help with the cost of showcasing this year. Wouldn’t have been possible without your generous support! I can’t thank you enough. 

In the end it was such an amazing experience. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go and I’m already planning for next year!