Willie Jaeger and Carol Van Alstine form this tuo of tight-harmonied performers from Colorado. With dulcimer, guitar, and clear, strong voices, they bring an energy to their music that is pure and original. I was astounded by Willie’s dulcimer playing–it was way beyond what I ever expected could be done with a lap dulcimer. We had a blast staying up until very late in the evening, having some great fun and exploring the great shopping emporium, Archie McPhee’s.
Cindy is another Folk Alliance discovery. Her performance is so incredibly dynamic, you wonder where the energy comes from. All of her songs were about relationships, in one way or another, but each one was fresh, and took an entirely different light. Okay, she did rap on us guys a little, but that’s okay. There were some beautiful songs in there. Cindy is a great entertainer. I’d see her again and again.
We “discovered” Paul at Folk Alliance. He was playing in the foyer when the elevator door opened. Bare feet, sitting on his guitar case, playing some amazing licks and holding a crowd. It was amusing, really, to think that these people had been waiting 20 minutes for an available elevator, and then when one came, the chose instead to keep listening to the music.
Paul plays hard with his guitars. He thumps them, taps and plunks them, draws out percussive rhythms while weaving melodic runs that are rather astounding. On stage, he’s all about the music. And when offstage, his intense openness is disarming. We stayed up late that night, and had a blast hanging out with Paul. It’s hard to part with good company, I was sorry to see him head down the road.
We tried to bring Greg Jacobs to the cabin last summer, at the recommendation of our friend Randy Pease. Greg shares a record label with Randy, and they had played together many times in Oklahoma. Greg is a storyteller with a particular knack for history, and especially the history of Oklahoma. Greg entertained us all with his stories, and we had the good fortune to hear a little bit of Randy Pease as well, who st in during the show and joineed Greg on a few tunes.
L.J. has become one of our favorite guitarits and songwriters. Every song on his lastest CD is compelling and thoughtful. It’s hard to get enough of his music. We had a full house for this show, and as we expected, it was really terrific. The stories behind where the songs come from are especially magical, like the touching revelation about “Rising Star”, bringing you into the song in a much more personal way. And for me, getting to hear “Boogy Man” was as true delight. I sure look forward to another L.J. Booth show!