Matt Witler on mandolin, Patrick M’Gonigle on fiddle, Charles Clements on bass, George Clements on guitar and Gabe Hirshfeld on banjo performed with their band, Lonely Heartstring Band from Boston. . Christopher Smith | Special to Ink

After Hours: Hotel rooms become makeshift music venues for folk showcases

Jess Klein of Boston performed against the backdrop of twinkling lights and balloons. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
With the Kansas City skyline over her shoulder, Kirsty McGee of Manchester, England, performed in a hotel room. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Tucked in a quiet corner of the sixth floor, Kaia Kater of Toronto and Kalyn Fay of Tulsa, Okla., warmed up before playing. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Matt Witler on mandolin, Patrick M’Gonigle on fiddle, Charles Clements on bass and George Clements on guitar performed with their band the Lonely Heartstring Band from Boston. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Patrick M’Gonigle on fiddle, Charles Clements on bass and George Clements on guitar performed with their band, the Lonely Heartstring Band from Boston.. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Mike Wheeler of Owensboro, Ky., performed. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Fullbright performed during the Folk Alliance International Conference at the Westin Crown Center hotel. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Fullbright performed during the Folk Alliance International Conference. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
With their manager Henrik Lillsjo (left) listening, Ramy Essam of Egypt and Johan Carlberg of Sweden warmed up in a hallway of the Westin Crown Center hotel. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Jess Klein of Boston performed against the backdrop of twinkling lights and balloons. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink
Dennis McDoNoUgh performed as Juice Brucesteen. Christopher Smith | Special to Ink

The Folk Alliance International Conference at the Westin Crown Center hotel brought new meaning to the phrase “intimate music venue.”

Fans sat on beds or the floor, crowded into corners and stuffed themselves behind dressers, often mere inches from performers.

As the jangle of guitars and cry of fiddles spilled from every room, hundreds of folk artists sang and strummed through Friday night into Saturday morning.

After Hours is Christopher Smith’s photo column exploring Kansas City at night. Send story ideas to info@inkkc.com.