Folk Alliance

The 30th annual Folk Alliance International conference recently wrapped in Kansas City. It’s a confab like no other, with countless showcase performances large and small, with a deep ethos of human connection and artistic freedom. And it’s the subject of this week’s multi-artist edition of The String. Of the interviews I did on site, these emerged as the best cross section of this unique and intense event. Listen to the full show here.

 

In the new feature film American Folk, the character Joni (played by Amber Rubarth), on an unplanned cross-country road trip in the days after 9/11, makes a pact with her traveling companion and fellow musician Elliott (Joe Purdy), to “bring back the folk.” She shouts it out the window to a passing America - a cry for communication, unity and empathy invigorated through music.