FARM Announces Showcase Performers

Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) is excited to announce the 14 performers for the 2013 FARM Conference Official Showcase

  • Craig Bickhardt
  • C. Daniel Boling
  • Brad Cole
  • Drive South
  • Tret Fure
  • Goldmine Pickers
  • Hounds of Finn
  • Bill & Kate Isles
  • Jan Krist & Jim Bizer
  • Lowder & Manning
  • James Lee Stanley & John Batdorf – All Wood and Stones
  • Billy Strings & Don Julin
  • The True Falsettos
  • Dan Weber

In addition Hey Mavis was selected for the showcase but is unable to attend.

The alternate showcase performers are:

  • Caroline Aiken
  • Aengus Finnan
  • Natalie Gelman
  • Lyal Strickland

For 2013, FARM partnered with the Listening Room Network to develop and administer a new online system for showcase submissions and judging.  Applicants were asked to submit links to 3 songs, one required to be a video (most submitted all three as videos).  We requested that the submissions be of live performances and that the band configuration be the same as that expected to perform at the conference.  Our goal was to select performers on performance ability as well as musical skill.

We received a record 118 submissions and a big thanks to everyone who submitted.

Thanks in part to the new showcase submission system, but mostly because of the dedication of our judges, judging was completed in a very short time.  Our thanks go out to our judges who invested a serious amount of time viewing the submissions.  Our judges were:

  • Ed Becker – folk radio DJ at 88.1 KDHX in St. Louis, host of “Songwriters Showcase.”
  • Ruth & Max Bloomquist – 35-year performing artists, 2-time FARM Official Showcase finalists, 2012 FAI Official Showcase Artists.
  • Lee Herman – House concert host, Windy City House Concerts, Chicago.
  • Blair Hull – founding/current presenter of the Stained Glass Coffeehouse in Deerfield IL, and performing artist.
  • Bill Keith – Board President and Concert Coordinator at Trinity House Theater in Livonia MI, and Station Manager of 88.1 The Park in Plymouth MI.
  • Kelly Wells – Executive Director of the Folk School in St. Louis (a service of 88.1 KDHX), and KDHX Education Director.

And lastly, a special thanks to our showcase coordinator, Jeff Robertson.  Jeff was responsible for making it happen and he did.

Congratulations to those selected for this year’s FARM Official Showcase and thanks to all who participated in the process.

Bob Hofbauer, President, FARM Board of Directors

Only 4 Months Until FARM

The 2013 FARM Conference on October 24 – 27, 2013 in St. Louis, MO is only 4 months away. Plans are underway for what promises to be the best FARM conference ever.

We are excited to have Melanie Safka (yes, that is THE Melanie) as our keynote speaker. In addition, Melanie has agreed to lead a master class on Thursday afternoon.

Also on Thursday afternoon, Andrew Calhoun will host a traditional Call & Response. This group participation event will be fun; come and participate; come and learn about this traditional form of music.

Thursday is not just the first day of the conference so don’t expect a light schedule. We’ve planned for a full day. Plan your early arrival for Melanie’s workshop and Andrew’s Call & Response. Then be ready for the FARM awards, the DJ Showcase, open Mic, Private Showcases and jamming til dawn. Hmmm. You’d better arrive rested. You won’t want to waste time sleeping!

Would you like to perform at FARM? FARM attendees include fellow musicians, venues, agents and managers so a great opportunity exists for feedback and networking. Our Performance Lane is a 10 minute performance opportunity. Selection is done by order of registration……so register early to get a spot. We’ll have an open mic on Thursday following the DJ Showcase. This year’s theme is “Social Activism with a tip of the hat to Bob Dylan”. Our Private Showcases offer hundreds of performance opportunities. Room hosts and schedules will be announced closer to the conference. And at the end of the day, or perhaps we should say the beginning of the new day, join in the jams, song circles and community singing.

And a word about the Private Showcases. Would you like to host a room? Opportunities are available. Check our website for information.

We’re also planning workshops, the ever popular mentor sessions and venue discussions. But more on those later.

Exhibit hall? We’ve got that too – at no charge.

FARM 2013 is your opportunity to create relationships in the Midwest. Or you could just come for the fun, friends and music.

For more information and to register:

Official FARM Playlist

We are currently featuring our 2017 Official Showcase artists! Give a listen - you can expect more of this at this year's FARM conference!


Friends of FARM


Laura Lind
Andy Cohen
Mark Dvorak
Two Way Street Coffee House
Curt Joa
Sue Kessell
Tim Grimm
Sandy Andina
Deb Kirmer – Last Minute Folk Concerts
Annie Capps
Sue Kessell (WNUR)
West Bethesda Folk Music Conferences
Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen
JLMartin Music

Visit our Sponsorship page for more info.

Future FARM Dates


Dates for future FARM Conferences:

Grand Rapids, MI

Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids Airport Hotel
5700 28th Street
Grand Rapids, MI
* October 25 – 28, 2018
* October 24 – 27, 2019
* October 22 – 25, 2020


Dates of the 2017 FARM Conference:

In Iowa City, IA
* October 19 – 22, 2017

FARM States & Provinces

North Dakota
South Dakota