Monthly Archives: March 2013

Highlights from The Third Coast Songwriter Showcase room at Folk Alliance in Toronto

Highlights from The Third Coast Songwriter Showcase room in Toronto

Every year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Hemet Valley Recovery Center in California and the patronage of our dear friend Freddie Wilson, we host a Hotel Showcase Room at the International Folk Alliance where we feature some of the best (if lesser known) songwriters in the world. We host 55 min. rounds and we encourage interplay and we encourage outside players, so we have some magic happen. There’s a community that has developed around our room that feels like family and the songs get better and better.

This year’s FA was in Toronto, where it was 17 while back home in Austin it was 77.

Favorite Round(s) with Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus as participants:

Tie: Because the rounds were so totally different there was no way to compare them.

Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Michael Fracasso, The Coal Porters

If ┬áSid Griffin of the Coal Porters has a dozen albums, then we probably own a dozen Sid Griffin albums, from the Long Ryders to his present ‘alt-bluegrass’ band, the Coal Porters. So we’re fans, and to have him and his incredible band on stage with us, much less playing behind us on our songs, was stunning and the room totally rocked.

Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Michael Fracasso, Bettysoo & Doug Cox

With Bettysoo and Doug, this was a set of quieter beauty, but just as powerful. The players on the stage feel like family to each other and it resonates through the room. Doug Cox elevates all of our songs with his expressive, intuitive dobro playing.

Notice a common theme to both rounds? Think we’re Michael Fracasso fans? His songwriting and performing is as good as it gets. See this page to see what we think about Michael.

Clockwise from l: Michael Fracasso, Bettysoo, Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus, Doug Cox photo by Tom Weber

Favorite Round We Weren’t In:

R.J. Cowdery, Karyn Oliver, and Melissa Greener w/David Glaser sitting in

Favorite Cover:

“Like a Hurricane” – the Coal Porters

Favorite new (to us) songs:

Bettysoo’s “Dream”

Grant Peeples’ “It’s Too Late To Live In Austin”

Dan Navarro’s new one (played with David Glaser), slow, sad, and powerful, played late at night when apparently the part of my brain that remembers titles had gone to sleep for the night.


Any song can be enhanced by a Doug Cox (dobro) or Carly Frey (fiddle, the Coal Porters) solo.

Best First Timer to FA:

Anthony Toner from Belfast, Ireland