Guest of Honor: S. J. Tucker
A petite and beautiful siren, S.J. Tucker thrills her fans with a unique alternative-rock style, flavored with a dose of blues, a dash of celtic, a taste of punk, and even a hint of folk for good measure. Her music is interwoven with mythic lore, avant-garde poetry, and modern storytelling. Continuously touring the USA, either solo or with one of her regional bands, Skinny White Chick and Tricky Pixie, she astounds listeners with deft guitar work, original writing style, and crystal-clear vocals. Named "Queen of the Bards" by industry professionals, member of several prestigious musical circles, and a favorite amongst both Christian and Pagan fans, Tucker knows how to commit to her audience, independent of beliefs or sexual preference.
This rising star now has six full-length studio albums, including a pair of compelling companion CDs for Catherynne M. Valente's mythpunk series: The Orphan's Tales. S.J. Tucker, "the little woman with the big voice" (Memphis Records), will make you think, laugh, dance, and be still by giving you songs to sink your teeth into. With this Skinny White Chick, what you see is only a petite cross-section of what you'll get, and what you hear is undeniably powerful.
Toastmaster: Alexander James Adams
Alexander James Adams has been making music since childhood (he learned to read sheet music before he learned to read!) An accomplished singer, songwriter, and musician, Alexander frequently accompanies his vocals with guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and a variety of percussion.
Alec may be singing with his guitar and fiddle at a pub one night, playing rock with Tricky Pixie another, and fiddling at a wedding on a third. He frequently performs at pubs, Renaissance Faires, conventions, and private parties.
Alec is also the appointed heir to Heather Alexander. Heather, who was actually a changeling, was called back to faerieland in November 2006; at the same time, Alexander, the child in whose place she had originally been left and who had been raised in faerieland, was released after beating the faerie queen in a fiddling contest. Thus, Alec now carries on Heather's musical legacy.
Alec lives with his wife and their dogs, cats, chickens, horses, goats, and other animals on their farm in the Pacific Northwest.
Special Guest: Betsy Tinney
Betsy Tinney is a Northwest cellist, known for her versatility and her ability to bring new depth to every song she plays on. She has several Pegasus nominations to her credit, and was the recipient of the 2012 Pegasus Award for Best Performer.
Betsy is a founding member of the folk trio Tricky Pixie, and also performs and records with a bewildering array of other groups, from solo performers to rock bands. Her contributions to each are unique and, as she explains, "whatever the song wants." Betsy also performs solo, using a combination of acoustic cello and electronic looper that creates a richly layered tapestry of sound. Her solo cello work has been called "captivating," "mesmerizing," and "a rich texture for the ear, reminiscent of dark chocolate and fine red wine." Betsy's approach to the looper is much more straightforward: "With the looper, I'm not alone up here. It takes up a lot less room than an equivalent number of cellists, it doesn't eat as much, and it doesn't usually complain about the set list." Betsy is currently working on a solo album, slated for release sometime in 2014.
Betsy has had a lifelong love affair with the cello. At the age of five, she attended a performance by Jacqueline DuPre and was completely captivated. (However, when finally allowed to begin music lessons, she somehow found herself with a violin. Her very conservative teacher felt that the cello was "unladylike" and was, therefore, inappropriate for little girls. Baffled and frustrated, Betsy simply played the hated violin as if it were a cello, until he finally gave in; it took nearly a year.) She graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in music, and then, taking a sudden left turn, became a tech writer and user-interface designer. Sixteen long years and too many sixteen-hour days later, she left Microsoft and began to reinvent herself as a non-classical cellist. "My first rock concert was a trial by fire: I found myself trapped onstage, completely hemmed in by drum kits and keyboards and amps. I felt stupid just sitting there while the band played songs I didn't know, so I made stuff up. Not the easiest way to learn improvisation, but it worked -- and now improv is my most useful performance tool."
As a relative newcomer to filk -- she attended her first con in 2007 -- Betsy is honored and grateful to have been so warmly welcomed into the filk community, both as a performer and as an individual. As a member of Tricky Pixie, Betsy was privileged to be a Special Guest at WorldCon 2011 in Reno; she has also been a musical guest-of-honor at many other cons.
When not behind her cello, Betsy is a web designer/developer, visual artist and calligrapher, and part-time pixie. Her website is www.betsytinney.com.
Honored Listener: Roberta Slocumb
Roberta Slocumb was introduced to fandom in general and filk in particular by friends that she met randomly through work. Her first filk con was an OVFF in the late 1990's, where she attended as a volunteer, not being able to afford to pay for her membership. She had the opportunity then and at later cons to hear concerts by Michael Longcor, Lloyd Landa and Karen Lindsey, Tom Smith and other wonderful performers. She realized as she spent more time in fandom that she had finally found "her tribe." She has continued to attend OVFF every year since, always volunteering, spending most of her time at the Registration Table, always managing to hear at least some of the wonderful music from concerts and open filking. She says, "The best part about working Reg is that I get to see *everybody* that attends, and I've even learned some names over the years!"
She goes on to say, "It's been thanks to OVFF that I've met many of the wonderful people I have in my life now, including all of my sweeties and my closest friends. I am overjoyed to be the Listener Guest for OVFF 29, and I want to thank the Concom for this great honor."
Interfilk Guest: Joe "Fax Paladin" Abbott
Joseph Abbott had been posting a song parodies to the rec.music.filk and alt.callahans newsgroups for a year or so when he came to the 2001 OVFF more or less on a whim. The music and the welcoming voices there changed his life.
He has been writing and performing ever since, as well as helping to organize filk at Texas cons (most notably ApolloCon in Houston and FenCon in Dallas). In his day job, which has actually mostly been an evening job, he copy edits at a Waco newspaper and works on its website.