2023 Conference Schedule

The conference home hotel is the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown. 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, TX

Note that some conference events occur concurrently.

If you are an artist seeking In-Room Showcases, please join us on the Community Forums and introduce yourself.

WEDNESDAY September 27 

6:30-10PM: Come to NeWorlDeli for our conference kickoff meetup and Open Mic! Drop your name in the jar to play- or just listen. Either way, you can enjoy a delicious sandwich. 4101 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 

THURSDAY September 28 

2-6PM: Registration Open - Lobby 

When you check in, be sure to put your name in to be drawn for a spot at the poolside Open Mic and take a Song Assignment! Artists may write songs from these prompts over the course of the weekend to be presented at the Sunday Brunch. 

And don't forget to get tickets for all of the great RAFFLE ITEMS! $1 each! 

2-10PM: General Exhibit Area open. This is free space for all registrants to display schedules, CD’s, stickers/promo and visit with other attendees. 

2:30-4:30PM: Concurrent Afternoon Seminars and Educational Panels. Further information on panels below.

5PM: Dinner by the pool - A buffet of great food sponsored by Berkalin Records. 

Eat, drink and be merry because Brian and Pam Kalinec love us! 

6-10PM: Open Mic by the Pool - Hosted by John Whipple and Parke Hedges. Be sure to put your name 

in the jar at the Registration Table to be included in the Open Mic. 

10:30PM-12AM: Alternate Official Showcase - Elm Room

Sound: John Whipple and Parke Hedges. Emcee: Tom Tranchilla

FRIDAY September 29 

9AM-11PM: Registration - Lobby

9AM-7PM: General Exhibit Area (Free space for all registrants to display schedules, CD’s, stickers/promo and visit with other attendees) 

9AM: First-Timers Orientation - Elm Room 

Presented by Paul Barker and Hilary Adamson 

10-11:30AM: Concurrent Morning Seminars and Educational Panels. Further information on panels below.

11:45-12:45PM: Lunch - Hill Country Ballroom A-B 

12:45 - 1:15 PM: Free Time - Nap, work on your song assignments, visit the information tables by Registration… or Schedule an early One-On-One with industry professionals via the list at the Registration Table or by personal appointment. 

1:30-3PM: Concurrent Afternoon Seminars and Educational Panels. Further information on panels below.

1:30-3PM: First-Timers Showcases - 9th Floor 

3:15-5PM: Sponsored Showcases - Hosted by Attendees on Floors 7-8-9 

4-6PM: Folk DJ Reception - Elm Room 

5-6PM: Welcoming Party - Red Pepper Bar & Elm Room (redeem SWRFA free Drink ticket here) 

6-7:15PM: Dinner - Hill Country Ballroom A-B 

7:30-10PM: Official Showcase Concert - Hill Country Ballroom C-D

10:30PM: In-Room Showcases - Hosted by Attendees on Floors 7-8-9

SATURDAY September 30 

9AM-11PM: Registration - Lobby 

9AM-7PM: General Exhibit Area (Free space for all registrants to display schedules, CD’s, stickers/promo and visit with other attendees) 

10-11:30AM: Concurrent Morning Seminars. Further information on panels below.

11:45-12:45PM: Lunch - Hill Country Ballroom A-B 

12:45-1:15: PM SWRFA Annual General Meeting of the Membership– Hill Country Ballroom A-B 

Join us after lunch for our Annual General Meeting (AGM). We will report on the state of the Region, discuss potential Regional happenings in the coming year, and officially seat our new Board Members. We welcome your participation and input regarding how SWRFA can continue to improve and serve as a valuable resource to you, our Members. 

1:30-3PM: Concurrent Afternoon Seminars. Further information on panels below.

3:30 – 5:30PM: Pool Party & Open Mic - Hosted by John Whipple and Parke Hedges. (names will be drawn from registered performing artists that signed up at the main registration table.) 

6-7:15PM: Dinner - Hill Country Ballroom A-B 

The drawings for raffle prizes will happen at this meal. 

7:30-10PM: Official Showcase Concert - Hill Country Ballroom C-D 

10:30PM: In-Room Showcases - Hosted by Attendees on Floors 7-8-9 

SUNDAY October 1 

11AM: Brunch - Hill Country Ballroom A-B

11:30AM: Song Assignment Performances 

All registered artists will be given a song topic to write during the weekend. Those who have taken part in this assignment may present their songs at Sunday Brunch. A conference highlight!


Panels Schedule

Thursday September 28 

2:30 – 4:30PM Songwriting Panel - Pecan Room 

This 2 hour workshop will be split into two parts: Hour 1 will be a panel discussion on writing habits, tips for 
rewriting, and a conversation on writing with your audience in mind. “Is writing for an audience of thousands 
different from writing for an audience of one?” That’s the main question we’ll explore. Hour 2 will be one-onone 
meetings with the panelists, and an opportunity for direct feedback on your songs in progress. We call this 
“compassionate critique.” - Panelists: Flamy Grant, Jaimee Harris, and Jackson Emmer. 

2:30 – 4:30PM  Experimenting with Altered Tunings and Multiple Capos - Sycamore Room 

Presented by Bill Nash. This workshop is about expanding musical possibilities on the guitar – have you ever felt limited by having to play in standard tuning all the time (ie: hard chord fingerings, etc)? You hear other people using altered tunings and multiple capos and it sounds so good... well this workshop will introduce you to the magical world of multiple 3 string capos with altered tunings! The focus of the workshop is to begin to open up your musical thought processes to experimentation... Bill will show you his process for using altered tunings and capo schemes to produce very colorful guitar sounds that used to be only possible with three and four finger chords, now with just one and two fingers! There will be a packet of charts available of preferred places to put the 3 string capo in all altered tunings for students who attend.

2:30 – 4:30PM The New Product Table - Oak Room 

Consider the power of print! Many artists may be experiencing fewer CD sales and might not be inclined to join the current vinyl revolution but what about an alternative idea for what you could put on the product table that will increase “sales” again.

Nathan Brown - An author, songwriter, and award-winning poet living in Wimberley, Texas. He holds a PhD in 
English and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma where he’s taught for over 20 years and now travels fulltime 
performing readings, concerts, workshops and speaking on creativity, poetry, and songwriting. 
He has published 25 books. Most recent is his new collection of poems, In the Days of Our Endurance. His most recent 
album of all original music is The Streets of San Miguel, recorded at Blue Rock Studios in Wimberley Texas ( featuring 
Joel Guzman and Warren Hood). His online live video series The Fire Pit Sessions—inspired by the Pandemic Poems 
Project—has had over 80,000 views. At almost 250 episodes now, Nathan reads a few poems from the project and 
performs a song at the end. www.brownlines.com 

Eileen S. (“Chick”) Morgan, is a writer, singer songwriter, cabaret performer, podcast and radio host, and arts 
entrepreneur. After a full career working globally with large companies and non-profits in strategy development and 
execution, Chick now uses that experience as an Arts Entrepreneur, producing such experiences as Wimberley Alive! 
Arts and Music Festival; creating the inaugural Wimberley Storytelling Fest; and as Visionary and Founder of Descanso 
Creatives International Writers’ Retreats in Italy and Ireland. Chick is also the Co-Founder of Wimberley Area Writers 
Group and was instrumental in getting Wimberley’s Texas Music Friendly designation from the Texas Governor’s Music 
Office. Chick has just completed her third book, Everything’s a Two-Step but a Waltz: The Reluctant Texan Comes 
Home. morganphdiva@me.com www.chickmorgan.com 

Friday September 29 

10 - 11:30AM *Focus on Venues (Open Forum style) - Pecan Room 

A time for Venues including House Concerts, Coffeehouses, Theaters and Festivals to visit, discuss, ask questions and 
share ideas. Please bring yours to propose.

Possible AGENDA items: 
What is happening with venues as we are still coming out of Covid restrictions; Sound (what is used and what is 
needed); invitations (what are the best methods – Mail Chimp, other?); how to increase audience; encouraging 
group bookings (this has been tried and works to a limited extent), so many other choices... 

10 - 11:30AM MENTORING: One on One or in a group - Elm Room 

This year is a do it yourself model. It can begin now and continue throughout the weekend. Rather than signing up 
for a specific time/person you are encouraged to ask other attendees to have a conversation for 15 or 20 minutes to 
ask questions and gather information or just to compare notes. It might turn into a co-writing session, it might turn 
out that they say exactly what you needed to hear or know. It can be about anything you think you wanted to know or 
even something better!!!! Make it yours... 

10 - 11:30AM Advancing: What Does it Mean, Why Does it Matter, and How Do I Do It? - Sycamore Room 

A proper advance can seriously reduce frustration on all sides, reduce the risk of road horror stories, and set the tone 
for a fabulous show. In this panel, we’ll discuss best practices for advancing – what to ask, when to ask it, what to 
avoid, and what to do when you get a sense that things are going awry. 
Matt Munoz (Long Center, Programming Coordinator) will share his knowledge earned from decades of experience 
on the venue buyer/marketing side. 
Creekbed Carter Hogan (singer/songwriter, author) will share their experience of communicating with a variety of 
buyers/venues from the artist side. 
Jaimee Harris (singer/songwriter) will moderate and share her experience as an international touring singersongwriter 
who learned the importance of advancing the hard way. 
Digital resources (advancing email template scripts, helpful tips, and more) will be distributed to panel attendees 
following our discussion. 

1:30 – 3PM Insights into Fulfilling Your Careers in Folk Music - Sycamore Room 

Touring musicians view their careers as unique. Yet they face common challenges and rewards with all whose paths 
they cross in the folk community. Venue operators, festival programmers/promoters, concert promoters and radio 
DJs share much in common. The same skills and attitudes that contribute to success in one area apply to any other 
area of the community. As someone who has professionally made a living in folk music for over 50 years, I’d like to 
share tips and techniques for advancing careers. “Professional” may be a loaded word, but it stands for a great deal. 
Even if you choose not to earn your full-time living in making, presenting or disseminating music, there’s much 
simple wisdom to increase your satisfaction and the enjoyment of those around you. 
Rich Warren 52 years, as a DJ, festival organizer-producer, (City of Chicago Folk Festival, among others), coffee house 
manager, concert producer and host and recording over 1,000 live performances 

1:30 – 3PM Hireability for Private/Corporate Events - Oak Room 

This session lends insight into the minds of event planners and decision-makers for private events with a budget for 
paid talent. What do private buyers look for and where do I find them? How does an artist stand out as desirable for 
hire? What is reasonable to charge for non-ticketed shows? This and more will be covered in this session led by The 
Good Wolf Experience.

Brandon DeMaris - Good Wolf ’s President & COO, Brandon DeMaris has over 20-years of experience in the music 
business as an event producer, talent buyer and is a musician himself with two studio albums under his belt. As such, 
artist development is a core tenant for DeMaris personally and by extension, Good Wolf has been a formidable partner 
in launching music non-profits Sonic Guild and the MusiCares Sober Jam, which have since both scaled nationally. 

1:30 – 3PM Narrative Songwriting - Pecan Room 

This session will be focused on exploring the potential of narrative songwriting. We will cover some great examples 
of narrative writing in songs, literature and cinema and explore the techniques that are being employed to turn a 
sequence of events into an engaging emotional experience, focusing on perspective, negative space and form as 
well as other considerations. We’ll also explore pathways for developing narratives that seem un-singable and for 
generating stories from scratch. 

Aaron Smith - Award winning songwriter with Influences like Flannery O’Connor, John Prine and John Hartford 
his songs explore the mystery of human experience, searching for the meaning of love, family, heritage, kindness, 
doubt, and grace. In vignettes infused with an infectious sense of hope and humor, the unlikely heroes of his songs -- 
grandmothers and grandfathers, street preachers and neighbors, the forgotten and lonely -- find courage, salvation, and 
more than a few laughs. 

Saturday September 30 

10 – 11:30AM DIY Booking Panel - Oak Room 

This workshop is geared towards musicians/artists who are booking themselves. What kind of gigs are out there, 
how much should you be getting paid, and what are the pros and cons of each kind of gig? We’ll also talk about 
transitioning from “gigs” to “shows” and how to build your own network of house concert hosts. We’ll also talk about 
when and why you should get a booking agent- or not! 
Panelists: Laura Thomas (Combo Plate Booking), Ordinary Elephant (Booked by Lara Supan/Midwood 
Entertainment), and Jackson Emmer (Independent Artist). 

10 – 11:30AM What in the world is DEI? - Sycamore Room 

How diversity, equity and inclusion are changing the music industry, for the better! 
Over the past 4 years, the global music industry has seen the need for diversity, equity and inclusion. DEI has 
provided equitable opportunities of advancement to minorities and has helped to create an environment where 
musical creatives feel welcome in the spaces they perform in. Now, DEI is under attack in universities, corporations 
and political spaces. We will dive into the need and impact of DEI and what role we all play in moving the industry 
forward to a more equitable environment for all creatives. 
Esther Calloway is a music and entertainment professional that brings her passion for artist relations, talent curation, 
DEI, scouting, brand partnerships and artist operations to the companies and brands she supports. As the Artist 
Development Manager for Sofar Sounds oversees the talent booking and artist quality control for more than 80+ 
concerts a month across Central North America. Esther is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and actively 
works within the music industry to provide opportunities and support to marginalized communities by helping lead 
Sofar’s Women & Black ERG and Sofar’s Equity council. 
SONiA Rutstein is a world class composer and artist known as SONiA disappear fear. She has received 6 GLAMAs 
including Female Artist of the Year, GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian American Anti Defamation) Award for Best 
Album (previous recipient Elton John), Coin Of Honor from a joint coalition of the United States Military for her 
humanitarian efforts and the Spirit of Folk Music Award from Folk Alliance International. SONiA’s talent of writing 
in a variety of genres and languages has garnered her a vast following worldwide. In 2019 she released the CD By 
My Silence. The CD which was inspired by the rise in violent attacks and hate around the world has brought people 
together from Germany to Israel, Turkey and the US and Australia to end the fear. 
Terry Irons started producing events when she was just 9 years old and has gone on to produce events from Pride 
Festivals to Presidential Inaugural Balls. Her work as an advocate for the disabled led her to include access to all 
her events. Terry believes that all Festivals should include basic access and interpreters and make a commitment to 
environmental issues such as land protection and recycling. She also believes that festivals should strive to be as diverse 
as the communities attending. It was this commitment to making her Pride events truly human rights events that led 
her to working with artist like SONiA disappear fear. 

1:30 – 3 PM Making the Record of Your Dreams - Sycamore Room  

Don’t just record your songs, tap into what you really love about music with your next studio project! This panel  
emphasizes building a positive atmosphere for creativity and the role of fun in making an album that is uniquely  
yours. The team that made Kate Klim’s “Something Green” takes you through the creative process behind each step in  
making the album and how the above concepts can apply to your next project; from initial ideas and pre-production,  
to hiring of studio musicians, through the recording process, crowd-funding, and release.  

Kate Klim – Artist, Songwriter, and Thrower of Shoes  
Michael Briggs – Engineer and Proprietor at Civil Audio in Denton, TX. Good coffee. Cute cat.  
Andrew Delaney – Producer, Counselor, and Choreographer.

1:30 – 3PM Wisdom of the Elders (with a focus on the wisdom rather than the elder) - Elm Room 

With so many new voices on the scene, countless changes in technology and communication, and the passing of 
friends and folk legends each year, it’s worth pausing every now and then to celebrate our elders. Many of these 
community leaders and folk music pioneers have been interviewed individually over the years, but in 2010 Sonny 
Ochs entertained the idea of presenting legends and luminaries of the folk community in small group settings where 
they could interact and share stories and perspectives about their experiences over a lifetime in folk music. The first 
Wisdom of the Elders panel was held at NERFA (the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance) in 2010 and featured Oscar 
Brand, Theodore Bikel and David Amram 

Meredith Carson (Moderator) - Meredith’s introduction to music performance was with the Post (Texas) High School 
Choir, which was an award-winning choir that toured every year and went to state competitions, where she proudly 
represented Post as a soprano in the choir and in a sextet, whose costumes were elaborate evening gowns designed 
and sewed by the mother of one of the members of the sextet. At Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Massachusetts, 
Meredith was a member of the folk group, Passports. They played at a few small folk clubs in the Boston area and once 
opened for Bill Staines at the King’s Rook in Ipswich. The highlight of our musical career was talking Tom Rush into 
doing a concert at our college, which he remembers to this day. This was during his period as The Handsomest Man in 
The Folk World, and let’s just say he got a very warm reception. It was Meredith’s first gig as a concert producer, and she 
sort of never got that out of her system. 
In the 80s, she worked for Nona Gandelman’s Maven Productions in Boulder, bringing old blues guys and zydeco 
music to the dancehalls, and presenting songwriters in the women’s music movement to the Boulder Theater and The 
Paramount in Denver - Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Teresa Trull and other Olivia Records standouts. In the 90s, 
she was concert director at Swallow Hill Music, Denver’s folk music place. For ten years she produced 200+ shows a 
year, working with T Bone Burnett, Geoff Muldaur, Tom Paxton, The Flatlanders, Ian Tyson, Townes Van Zandt, the 
Blind Boys of Alabama, Tom Russell, Eric Andersen, Rick Danko and lots more fabulous people. Her first Folk Alliance 
conference was in Tucson in 1992, and she attended annually for 20 years. She served in the FAI board for six years, and 
was part of the executive committee that hired Louis Jay Meyers when Phyllis Barney decided to step down as executive 
director or FAI. She made a friend of Rod Kennedy, which led to a long-time close friendship with our illustrious 
producer, Dalis Allen, and many trips to Kerrville. 
In 2005, Meredith moved over to a production job at Denver’s downtown theater complex and got to do events with 
the Ballet and Opera companies, the Symphony, Broadway plays, speakers series, and concerts. Lots of fun experiences 
- watching The Lion King’s first touring company being created and built at the Buell Theatre and seeing the very first 
performance, getting a kiss on the cheek from Tony Bennett as he walked onstage, watching the construction of a new 
world-class opera house from the ruins of a 100-year-old theatre, sitting in on a rehearsal of the Preservation Hall Jazz 
Band with the Colorado Symphony, working with Robert Redford and Queen Noor and Lenny Kravitz and Jane Fonda, 
Bill and Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright and many more. Oh yeah, and the 2008 Democratic Convention, where 
Barack Obama was nominated as the candidate. 
Retired from the Arts Complex in 2013. 
Meredith started at KGNU Community Radio in 1986. Heard Cajun music for the first time at the New Orleans Jazz 
and Heritage Festival that year and went back to Colorado wanting to get that music on the radio. First program, The 
Crawfish Club, played for a year on Mondays noon to 1:00 PM. Then she was offered a regular slot on Friday mornings, 
9:30 to noon, and has been doing that ever since. Helped develop and became a monthly host for KGNU’s Sunday 
morning Americana show, Roots and Branches. She has served on KGNU’s board, and for the last 20 years, as a member 
of the events committee. This is Meredith’s fifth or sixth SWRFA. She’s glad to be back! 

Rich Warren - DJ and retired host of WFMT’s “The Midnight Special,” and host/producer of “Folkstage” an in-studio 
concert series. He was the recipient of Folk Alliance International’s Folk DJ of the year award in 2008 and also served on 
the FAI board 1999-2002. 
He spent 52 years, as a DJ, festival organizer-producer, (City of Chicago Folk Festival, among others), coffee house 
manager, concert producer and host and recorded over 1,000 live performances. He also reviewed CDs and wrote for 
“Sing Out!” magazine and was a nationally syndicated audio/video columnist for major newspapers. AND our very own 
SWRFA Emcee extraordinaire!!! 

Dalis Allen began her involvement in the music industry in her days at the University of Houston where she booked and 
ran the Coffeehouse in the converted ROTC building and eventually became President of the overall Program Council. 
Artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Denver, Judy Collins, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Eric Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Townes Van 
Zandt, Guy Clark became the source from which the journey continued. 
Hosting National Entertainment Conferences (NEC) at U of H led to meeting Ray Wylie Hubbard and Three Faces West, 
Allen Damron, Steve Fromholz, Travis Holland and a ‘cast of thousands’ which led to the Kerrville Folk Festival in its 
inaugural year, 1972. And the rest is history...she became the Producer of the Kerrville Music Festivals in Texas from 2002 
until October 2019. She followed in the footsteps of the Founder Rod Kennedy having worked with him for most of the 32 
years he produced the Festivals. 
She has attended the International Folk Alliance Conference since 1995 or 96, and in 2000 Dalis became the Founder, 
President and Conference Coordinator of the Southwest Region of the Folk Alliance. Currently is the Executive Director. 
Also had her own booking agency for artists more than once. Will not be doing that again... 

Jay Boy Adams spent a number of years honing his craft playing in bands in Houston and then in Midland, Texas with 
noted bluesman Johnny Heartsman. In 1972 Adams landed an opening slot in Lubbock for ZZ Top, whose manager Bill 
Ham was impressed enough to recruit Adams as the group’s regular opening act. But intent on being a good father and 
husband he put his guitar down, left the road and quit music. “When I walked away, I walked away,” says Adams. 
Country star Lee Roy Parnell invited Adams to join him onstage at a show in 1997, and his songwriting muse and love 
for playing guitar and performing returned with a vengeance. He has since toured on George Strait’s 1999 Country Music 
Festival, headlined the Kerrville Folk Festival and also toured Europe as a special guest star with The Texas Tornados. 
A well-known name on the Texas scene Jay Boy Adams, toured with ZZ Top, The Band, Jackson Browne, The Marshall 
Tucker Band, Joe Cocker and his CD The Shoe Box brought him an extensive tour as special guest for the legendary 
Stephen Stills, not only opening the show, but also playing some guitar and singing back-up vocals as part of Stills’ band. 
Currently touring as Jay Boy Adams & Zenobia he has also restored a beautiful historic church to a state of the art venue 
called Church at Waring. Regular concerts there are a beautiful experience