Triple A Radio Conference: David Gray, Ingrid Michaelson and Will Hoge

David Gray played special Triple A set at etown

David Gray played special Triple A set at etown

Friday August 8

It’s been a whirlwind of three days and nights of non-stop music at Boulder’s Triple A radio conference.

This year’s event run by FMQB was more relaxed than previous conferences and it went off without a hitch.

Did I see any of the music superstars of the next year?

Maybe.

Friday evening started out with a special Triple A radio conference show at etown. The event headlined David Gray, who’s making a bit of a comeback.

Gray had massive hit records a few years back, but he’s taken some time to redirect his future and his new music is great. 

One of the best parts of an etown show is the interview session with host Nick Forster. Gray was witty and honest and had a great rapport with the audience. His new music was emotively perfect and he’s definitely matured as a songwriter.

Gray’s set was short, but sweet. The perfomer will be back this fall to play a full show in Denver.

The highlight of Friday’s night at the Fox was singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. She has a gorgeous voice, she pens some very observant tunes — and she’s damn funny.

Michaelson had the Fox crowd going wild with her audience participation parts of the show, and her new songs look like they’ll propel her career even further.

Then, the conference headed into country and bluegrass turf.

Will Hoge played  a powerhouse set of countrified rock tunes at the Hill outdoor stage to a very appreciative crowd.

Finally, Yonder Mountain String Band played a full set for their fans at the Fox – by that time a lot of the radio people had all gone home.

Yonder does put that rocking emphasis on their bluegrass tunes and they do have a great stage presence. Will this music translate to Triple A radio play? The radio folks I talked to are giving that a wait and see attitude.

So who were the winners and losers at Triple A this year?

My picks for top showcases were Howie Day, Gomez, Five For Fighting, the Swell Season, Cory Chisel and the Wondering Sons and Ingrid Michaelson.

Honorable performance mentions go to Andrew Bird  Will Hoge, Yonder Mountain and Bob Schneider.

The only act that people really talked about as being lackluster this year was Paulo Nutini. And no one saw that one coming.

That’s it — 20 acts in three days. Whew!

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