I would have loved to have been around for this theme – even in retrospect, I can read between the [state] lines of the mad scramble in being first to post, as all 50 finally were covered, albeit with some boundary-stretching. I have perused the entirety of submissions, as well as related comments, and feel fairly confident my picks below were not mentioned!
The Nudes: Arizona
The Nudes (a.k.a. Walter Parks and Stephanie Winters) were a musical- and romantic–duo, he on guitar and she on cello – their sound was jazzy, moody, sultry (BH cover alert: Norwegian Wood)… and quite captivating until they went their separate ways in 1999. The first time I saw Dar Williams in a tiny bar in Ft. Myers, Florida (January 1998) she was accompanied by Stephanie (and Ellis Paul was her opener!) – post-breakup, Walter became a touring sideman for Richie Havens… and now Stephanie has joined the two of them on the road, she and Walter reuniting as Winters & Parks.
Richard Julian: Florida
I first saw Richard Julian at the Cleveland Folk Alliance (2000), introduced by Buddy Mondlock, who I was already a fan of – we exchanged cards, I invited him down for a house concert and put together a mini-tour as enticement. He was only just beginning to open for Norah Jones, and has since formed The Little Willies (also with Norah), as well as continuing a solo career – love this dark side of the Parrothead pendulum swing (which was written and recorded *before* the visit with us!).
Kris Delmhorst: North Dakota
Ah, Kris – she would have been my first house concert (January 2000), had not her flight been delayed from Boston, due to snow – I had to call/e-mail all 35 invitees and tell them the show could not go on (as they re-routed her through Texas, arriving in Ft. Lauderdale the following morning for our South Florida Folk Festival). Appetite is in my Top Ten, her songwriting so wise for someone so young – love the spare instrumentation on this tune, her heart beating for the state in which he’s never stepped foot…
Brian Joseph: Utah
Brian Joseph too was a Folk Alliance discovery (San Diego 2003) and a house concert artist later that year – BH, I should send you his version (with Melanie Hersch) of Walk Like An Egyptian. Brian is tall, funny and quirky - Utah, the hidden track on We’re Gonna Laugh, cleverly describes a state of long-distance mind over matter…
P.S. This theme would of course not be complete without Fruvous’ The Lowest Highest Point!