Welcome to GAFilk 2015!
Guest of Honor
“Without our songs and stories, we are nothing.” S. J. Tucker has been the glad captain of her own independent music career since 2004, when she left the workaday world behind to travel the continent, singing songs for her friends full time. Named a vanguard of the Mythpunk movement and even “the face of neo-tribal Paganism” by Witches & Pagans Magazine, Tucker is the voice of lore at the campfire and the sharp laughter of modern myth. With one hand anchored in her art and the other held out to you, she is songs and stories, community and wit.
With over ten albums released to date and several more currently in the works, Tucker has received songwriting awards and has traveled the world with her music. S. J. (called “Sooj” by fans and friends) believes that there’s more than one way to be a rockstar. If you’re chasing your dreams and living your life in a way that keeps you happy and healthy, Sooj believes you’ve got it made. You may often find her on tour with similarly hard-working artists and groups who believe in giving their fans all that they’ve got, such as Toronto’s Heather Dale Band, Seattle cellist Betsy Tinney (often with their shared project, Tricky Pixie), or Pride rockers Big Bad Gina.
A dynamic live performer known for her willingness to follow an evocative ballad with a tune about ninjas or pirates, Tucker is never in danger of taking herself too seriously. She is silly on stage, letting it be plain that she loves her job, but she also shows grace and calm, courting and cajoling the audience from song to song. Reviewers compare her voice to that of Joni Mitchell or Tori Amos, her guitar work to that of Emily Saliers. Apart from writing lyrics and music, S. J. loves fire dancing with poi and hula hoop and has given fire performances & workshops across the country. She also loves to read, and she professionally narrated her first audiobook for Brilliance Audio in 2012: Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Milestones for 2013 include S. J.’s first adventure as a film score composer and producer, for the micro budget fantasy film Ember Days.
More about Sooj's music here.
The Blibbering Humdingers
The Blibbering Humdingers are a "wizard rock" band from Cary, NC who mostly peform songs about Harry Potter and the wizarding world created by J. K. Rowling. They're also into all kinds of other nerd stuff like Dungeons and Dragons, Doctor Who, medieval history, steampunk, Star Wars, Lego, Ren Faires, SCA, etc.
They play in a wide range of musical styles from old-timey, to 50s do-wop, to 80s new-wave, to straight rock. Most of their songs have a comedic bent, poking fun at characters or situations in he HP books and movies, or turning seemingly innocent situations into lewd ones.
Scott and Kirsten got their start doing wizard rock in 2007. Whilst searching the web for Potter-filks, they discovered Draco and the Malfoys online and shortly thereafter attended a Harry and the Potters show at a local library. After the Deathly Hallows book release that summer, they decided to try their hand at writing some of their own songs. With the online release of "Voldemort Made Me Crap My Pants" the Humdingers were born.
Since then they've played dozens of shows around central NC with the Moaning Myrtles, the Butterbeer Experience, The Whomping Willows, Gred and Forge, Hawthorn and Holly, Tonks and the Aurors, Bella and LeStrangers, and many other touring wizard rock acts. They've performed at various HP and SciFi/Fantasy conventions including Portus, ConCarolinas, LeakyCon, Infinitus, RavenCon, Dragon*Con 2013, Wrockstock, the 2011 Quidditch World Cup, Wrock Wreggies, the NYC Wizard Rock Festival and others. Their songs have been featured on a variety of charity compliations including Sirisuly Smiling, Jingle Spells 3, and Wizards and Muggles Unite for Social Justice vol 3.
Their friends Jackie and Jessie have been known to join the line-up ocaissionally adding drum, banjo, and electirc violin to live sets. And they've been known to borrow musicians from other wrock bands and collaborate with many other performers.
They regularly host wizard rock shows in central North Carolina, often in their home in Cary and are heavily involved in the local fandom scene.
More about the Blibbering Humdingers' music here.
Clint "C.D." Woodbury
While filk fandom can contain gadget geeks, sci-fi nerds, tech heads, fantasy fanatics, etc. CD Woodbury primarily calls himself a music geek. He enjoys computers, games, sci-fi, Terry Pratchett novels, gaming, webcomics and comics strips, a little drawing and writing... but puts most of his interest and passion into music.
CD currently plays guitar and sings for his own electric blues/American music band. He has won or been nominated for several awards by NW blues societies. He has studied and jammed with jazz and rock legends and performed for two US Presidents and has a music degree from Portland State University. Unfortunately, that doesn't pay bills, so he does whatever day work he can find, most frequently in software testing for game companies.
Hearing rumors of "They play folk music and parodies at sci-fi cons," CD asked his friend Jeff Cornish "what's this 'Filk' thing I heard you talk about," and not long after attended the first Conflikt with a few friends. He keeps coming back...so there!
Be prepared to be wowed by the blues guitar prowress of Clint "C.D." Davis; we at GAFilk are honored to have him as our Interfilk Guest!
More about C.D.'s music here.
Marc Gunn is a rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture, science fiction, fantasy, and cats. He breathes new life into the autoharp, which continues to surprise musical veterans and fans a like for it’s unique sound and spirited energy. It’s like a satirical jam session between The Clancy Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic. It’s Celtic music, the traditional and the twisted. In 2014, his recording of “Rising of the Moon” won Best Roots Traditional in Celtic Radio Music Awards.
Gunn was there at the beginning of the 90s indie music revolution. While other bands fought to sign to a record label, Gunn started Mage Records to promote his music in the DIY fashion. Mage Records focues on fun indie Celtic and folk music. He has released over fifty albums on his Mage Records label since its inception in 1997. He continues to release between two to four new albums each year.
Using the mantra “changing your world with Celtic music”, Marc Gunn is a champion of indie Celtic music. His quest to guide the hearts and minds of Celtic music lovers earned him the nickname “The Celtfather.” His musical success led him to become a full-time musician in 2005. It’s then that he started podcasting with the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. It was voted the #1 Best Podsafe Music Podcast in the People’s Choice Podcast Awards in 2009 and 2010 and is regularly featured on iTunes. His Celtic Music Magazine is published twice monthly and goes out to over 21,000 subscribers. He has given away over 10,000,000 MP3s since 1999. He allows fans to download and share his most-popular songs straight from his website for FREE!
Gunn began his Celtic journey in 1999 with Austin’s three-time award-winning duo, the Brobdingnagian Bards. He performed at some of the largest Celtic festivals, highland games, Renaissance faires, science fiction conventions in the country, including: South By Southwest, Stone Mountain Highland Games, DragonCon, Texas Renaissance Festival, and even a “Lord of the Rings” Oscar Party.
Marc Gunn combines his love of travel with his love a music. Every year, he hosts Celtic Invasion Vacations which are different from standard vacation tours. Gunn believes that it is the people around you who ultimately make a vacation great. He finds one location abroad and gathers like-minded vacationers to experience his travel motto, “Good food, good drink, good company”.
Super Secret Guest
You've probably heard of Robin Bailey, famed science fiction and fantasy author, the founder of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, the president of SFWA from '05 - '07. He's written novels well known to geeks like us (the Frost trilogy, Enchanter, Lakes of Fire, Nightwatch, Lost City of Zork, the Brothers of the Dragon trilogy, Shadowdance, Swords Against the Shadowland, Night's Angel, the Dragonkin trilogy, Turn Left to Tomorrow, The Fantastikon: Tales of Wonder), published nearly 40 short stories, seven Thieves World stories, poetry, a graphic novel, and edited two anthologies. But the Old Fharts know something the younger folks might not...the famed Robin W. Bailey is also a famous filker. His album, "Never Too Old to Dream" came out in 1989 from Eric Gerds' DAG Productions, and included songs like the title track and Sometimes in our Lives, Long Dream, Dorsai Masters of War, Frost's Song, Starlight, Master Drum, Children of Tomorrow, So Long It's Good to Know You, the Forever War, E=MC Squared, Cold Dreams, and The Day After. Robin has a fine singing voice, and he really knows how to own a stage. It's been a while since he's been to a filk con, but GAFilk is very glad he's coming to Atlanta.