Jaeger & Reid

 
 

Judi & Bob's Blog

NERFA News and our Northeast Tour

Autumn LeavesWhat a great trip! In November, we flew east to attend the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference in Stamford, Connecticut. We were hoping to sing for folks back there so they might consider us when they look for musicians for their festival, or house concert series, or coffeehouse or radio show.

One of the first things Judi noticed was how close things are, compared to the West Coast. We passed through 3 states just driving the one hour from the airport in New Jersey to the conference hotel.

This was the first time either of us had been to NERFA, though we had an idea of what to expect from our FarWest experience. NERFA is much bigger! There were 800 people, rather than 300. There are many more venues represented, as well as folk music DJs, but the majority of attendees are musicians of various styles of "folk" music. 

It was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel and the setup was basically the same with most of the "official" activities being located on the lobby level, while the Private Guerrilla Showcases (PGS) were all held on the 2nd floor. We had 5 showcases scheduled, which was much more manageable than the 13 we had at FarWest in October.

We got some advice from friends about how we might approach our first experience at NERFA, including a few places and people to get in touch with. Afterward, we realized how essential that advice was for us.

We got to see some consummate performances by Tom Paxton and Noel (Paul) Stookey and Tom Chapin, as well as some younger performers. Hearing Tom and Noel speak about their experiences in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, back when they were roommates and Peter, Paul and Mary was being created, was an exciting window into those early days of the folk music boom.

 

I saw a few old friends from my days on Clearwater Pumpkin Sails and the Hudson River Revival as well as the People's Music Network, which sponsored a room on the PGS Floor, where we sought refuge, at times. That room and Alan Rowoth's Big Orange Tarp, seemed like places we could anchor late at night. The PGS phenomenon went from 11:30pm to 3:30am, so there was a lot of "late night". 

Rick and Donna Nestler were amazingly supportive and helpful to us. Donna kept introducing us to people, or telling people about us.

The Nellies (Karen Ann and Peggy) were a great find, they came to hear Dan Pelletier at one of our in-the-rounds, and we became fans of one another. Same with Dan, an amazing talent we got to hear a couple of times and who we look forward to hearing again.

We left the warm blur of the conference behind us and went home to New Paltz and friends Lori, Fiona, Fraser, Finnegan and Casey (the dogs), Annie (the cat) and Fern (the guinea pig). What a gift it is to be able to land somewhere we feel so wanted and appreciated.

 

Lori put together a concert for us in New Paltz, at the Unison Arts Center. It was a music friendly room and we set up Edwina and hooked her up to Robert Bard's sound system. They liked one another and made beautiful music with us. Fiona sang "Oh What A Morning" with us.

Bob Fiona Judi at Unison Center

People were appreciative of what we do and we got offers of living rooms which would love to host our songs next time we are in town. Ripples!

We went over to Beacon to see Tinya and catch up on the goings on. We watched a beautiful sunset over the Hudson River and the Catskills. It was great to reconnect.

Our next stop was Ridgefield, Connecticut, where my old friend, Linda Straley and her husband, Chris, had set up a house concert at their neighbor's house, which had a more suitable space for everyone they had invited.

Ridgefield Church Steeple

They live in a photo postcard of a town. 

Walking in Ridgefield,CT

Cannonball in wall

Linda showing us a Revolutionary War cannonball embedded in the wall of what is now a museum. I met Linda when we were volunteers at the Hudson River Revival in the 80's and we would see each other when I was east, or sometimes when she came west. We reconnected a while ago on Facebook.

The concert was great! We met new people, made a few cry and got offers of more living rooms for next time. 

We took the dog out for a walk on a gorgeous Fall day. It turned out to be the last, apparently! Then we had an expedition into the historic town of Ridgefield. The photos tell more than I ever could about this place.

Then it was time to hustle down to our house concert on Manhattan Island. Dave Shotland, who had attended our house concert in Kingston, NY in the Spring had wanted to host us, but his and Liza's place is too small, so, he enlisted his friends, Peter Frishauf and KC Rice to host us in their brownstone on the Upper West Side. What a great place! We were blessed by the presence of his honor, Ganzo, the cat. It was great fun to spread our music to people who hadn't heard it and hadn't realized they were hungry for this house concert experience. Dave Shotland's parents want to host us when we come back to New York. David and Liza, Peter and KC and Carol, were enthusiastic hosts and there was talk of making our concert an annual event!

 Frishauf's and Rice Living Room

Frishauf-Rice House Concert Hosts 

 

We left Manhattan and drove through the rain to Mount. Kisco, where Daniel Salzman and Joanie Sepler were waiting for us to arrive for the house concert we were playing in their living room the next day. The temperature dropped 20 degrees and by the time we woke up in the morning, there was a thin layer of snow covering the yard and our rental car.

Snow In Mt. Kisco

 

We went out during the day for a hike, like a few days before in Ridgefield, CT, only this one was in winter. We took the dog and met up with others and their dogs, including, Jean Francois Delaperouse, who invited us to come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he works. 

We tried to invite Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill, who lived nearby in Chappaqua, but it didn't happen, this time! We'll try again next visit!

Bob, Judi, Joanie and Daniel

We helped rearrange the Salzman/Sepler living room to accommodate the 30 people who had said they were coming and just had enough seating for everyone! it was another intimate concert with it's own particular flavor. One of the couples is related to Ramblin' Jack Elliot, another is a DJ, who wants to play some of our songs on her environmental radio program. Joanie had a friend come from Brooklyn who is interested in hosting us there. More ripples.

Jaeger & Reid in Mt. Kisco

 

 

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