Folk Alliance International is a non-profit organization that sponsors an industry conference for the folk music industry every year, attended by artists, record companies, manufacturers, music publishers, music support services, presenters, managers and agents. This year marks the second year that the conference takes place in Kansas City, Missouri. With a membership of over 2,000 people Folk Alliance is among the top five largest conferences in North America.
One of the best showcases of the night was that of the Midwest Music Foundation, an educational arts organization that unites performer and audience and fills a health caregap for Kansas City musicians. Kansas City musicians, Nate Allen and David George, took turns alternating playing songs one at a time rather than each doing separate complete sets, which was an atypical showcasing technique but was successful given the variation in the musicians’ performance styles.
Nate Allen, a Eugene, Oregon native who has been in Kansas City long enough to “almost call [him]self a local” is one half of the folk-punk duo Destroy Nate Allen. His other half, his wife, Tessa, was not with him on that evening. Allen’s voice has a Ben-Gibbard quality popular with indie kids and teen girls worldwide, combined with quirky lyrics such as, “Green Day changed my life in ‘94” from his 2010 song “Small Town” and his DIY attitude—most of his music has been self-released—and eccentric vibe made for a charming performance overall.
David George had been playing with John Fogerty since 2012 but left recently to pursue a solo career. He said that while playing for John Fogerty he played him a song, and Fogerty said, “You wrote that song? That’s a great song” and those were the words of encouragement he needed. That song, “Good Man Gone” is about two-month period of time in which he lived with four women, in their closet, until they kicked him out. Now under the name of David George and A Crooked Mile, George plans to release three singles and a full album by the end of the year.