We’re feeling so rejuvenated and refreshed coming back from this year’s Folk Alliance International conference, held in Kansas City, MO. Both of us got to sit on panels discussions ranging from ‘Touring in the U.S.’ to ‘Women in Music,’ and we attended many more workshops in addition to our nightly Red Tail Ring performances. We also saw a ton of great music – more than we could ever recount here – from friends like Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys and Ben Bedford, to people we’ve never gotten to hear up close, like Robbie Fulks and Betse & Clarke, to brand new finds such as Handmade Moments and Curly Strings (from Estonia). The conference also featured keynote speeches by Ani DiFranco and Billy Bragg, both of them inspirational and rousing, and focusing on social justice. Usually, after these things, which are non-stop, seemingly 24-hour-a-day, Wednesday through Sunday affairs, we’re exhausted, but this year the experience was equal parts exhilarating and energy-inducing, in addition to markedly helpful from a music biz perspective. We’re sure to go back in future years.