Kerrville Ramblings - Day 1


This is the first in an inconsistent series of reviews of this year's Kerrville festival. If dave want's to reproduce this in the newsletter again, like he did a couple of years ago, he has my permission, provided he takes out all the curse words this time... <gg> (and cleans up my spelling.) This is as much stream of conciousness stuff as actual review...


I made it... back to sanity... back to earth..

It hasn't been easy getting here this year.. We're busier than ever at work, and i've got a large project (see:bigbuck$) that i have to complete by the time the festival is over.. This is possible, because, as in previous years, i don't camp, i stay in a hotel and work out of that hotel during the day, and then go to the festival just in time to get there for the start of the days activities.

Yesterday was a typical first day/thursday rush for me.. Up at 5, cab shows up at 5:30.. off to the airport with all 3 big bags of luggage.. (where do you think i keep the 12 loaves of bread i brought with me, huh??) did a little sleeping on the plane, and caught up with my email (which i picked up in dallas).

Off the place... where's the luggage... where's the luggage... where's the luggage.. Ok, i'm going to the kerrville folk festival.. chill.. relax... you're "going home"... it's only been two minutes... Ok, there's the luggage... Ah, there's a guy with a long white beard.. Guess he's going to the festival also... what a coincidence... another computer consultant going to the festival...

got all the luggage... 3 bags, 2 of them gigantic... luckily, all on wheels.. hook the first to the second, hook the second to the third, go

back up to the front( engine), and start to pull the luggage train through the terminal... lots of strange looks, and the automatic doors were a little bit tricky, but it worked...

avis is very busy today, and it seems like i just can't get this ball's after 12 now, (i landed at 11:15), and i'm still not on the road... I really want to get there for the opening ballad tree.. It starts at 3.. I'm always a few minutes late on the first day.. Kevin so is hosting it for today, so i know he'll start off with a couple of songs before pulling names out of the hat..

Finally on the road.. miles are going by faster than normal.. i've got my radar detector on the winshield... I'm familiar enough with the kerrville areas by now that i no longer have to stop at supermarkets and places in san antonio "just in case i can't get that in errville"... arrive at the hotel (days inn) just after 1:15.. good timing, still running tight..

check in..

Ah yes... check-in... I have a reservation under the name tibke peggy... no, do i look like a peggy ?? See, there's my name right under there.. No, she's not coming.. but i'm taking here reservation because it is cheaper than my reservation, which i'm canceling as soon as you let me take her's... got it??? good... actually, the res person was very nice, and got everything right... thanks for saving me money peggy.. (someone print this out and give it to peggy please.. (or at least read it to her)

get all my luggage in the room.. start to pack my "day bags " for the festival.. extra shirts, extra socks.. computer, (can't leave my life in the hotel room ya know) loaf of bread for the "camp sweetness and light" people, another one for Joe fuentes, my local compadre who always makes me feel welcome.. thermos.. oh shit.. where's my thermos... forgot to bring it.. OK buy a new one at walgreens... same as 2 years ago.. checkbook... ok where's my checkbook... forgot to bring it.. ok tell renee to overnight it.. (i need the checkbook because the earthlady massage person doesn't take credit cards)..

call office... no emergencies (whew).. reviewed a couple of things and bye for the day... It's so wonderful being at a festival where cell phones don't reach (they don't even allow local cellphones onto the festival campgrounds this year) and pagers don't reach either.. there's only 1 or 2 pay phones, so it takes a long time to get to a phone, so i'm out of touch, and it's great!!

go to HEB (supermarket) get styrofoam cooler $3.99 for a piece of styrofoam junk... nope... $9 for an igloo cooler... That's one reason why joe likes me to visit each year... i always leave him with a new igloo cooler <g> some oatmeal cookies.. crystal lite iced tea.. a couple of gallons of water.. it's after 2... i NOW i'm not gonna make it by 3 again this year... oh shit... they have lousy thermos's here.. i'll have to go back to walgreens... go to deli counter.. get a mesquite barbeequeeedd chicken.. It puts publix/kenny rogers/boston to shame... ask them to cut it up into quarters... grab a bunch of napkins and some plastic ware.. get some ice..

arrange stuff.. on the road... no time to stop at joes... gotta get straight to the festival...

pull in to the parking lot... wow, they actually did some grading and put in some roads this year.. (last year, mud and rain left a few dozen cars stuck for days on end).. up to ticket booth to exchange my 18 daily tickets for the coverted "18 day wristband".. time to hike to chapel hill and the ballad tree.. it's already 3:05, so i know i missed Kevin's opening remarks, and probably his opening numbers.. everybody's smiling and giving out sincere hello's as i go by.. i get up the hill just as kevin is finishing his numbers, pull out my chair, and settle in.. Kevin explains how the ballad tree works.. (his presentation of the procedures explains why his future lies in performance, not administration <gg>).. and says ok, can i have a non-performer to pull some names out of the box.. He see's me for the first time and, knowing i don't perform, just says "brian, grab 3 names and call them out please".. poof and the festival starts..

Steve taylor gives me my first welcome home, and i settle in.. Steve send his regards to all, and says "hi peggy, sorry you couldn't make it.. we all miss you.."

that's the story of my getting to kerrville... Now for the music.. No way to track what happens at the ballad tree, but the evenings performances are as follows:

Keith greeninger (aptos, CA.)was a winner at last year's new folk, and opened the festival's main stage at 6. followed by ana egge from austin. While they were both good, my energy level, which was low (remember, i started at 4am local time), was unaffected..

Then, the two highlights of the first night performed in succession.. The kennedy's Pete and maura(?) were great... highly recommended listening.. great stage presence, funny.. they were followed by cliff eberhardt performing in a trio. cliff was, well, cliff was just cliff, and was the highlight performer of the night for me.. i did get the two other cd's of his that i didn't have..

Cliff was followed by cosy sheridan, and then shake russel with south by southwest.. both ok, but i was starting to fade by the time shake came on, and called it an early night..

Couple of other things...

It's middle of the summer weather already down here... day was in the 90's, dry... so dry, no campfires are allowed.. hot hot hot... whew... exhausted by the end of the day... gotta build up that stamina in this out of shape shell... forced fluids, but it'll still take a day or so to get used to..

psyche... the mental gymnastics my mind puts me through over the next few days, as i shed as much of the outer world as i can, and get into my "kerrville world" head will be interesting..

To try and give you an idea of what it's like here,

take the south florida folk festival (a great little festival with wonderful people)

take the number of people and multiply by 10 - 20 on any given night.

have 95% of them camp during the week, and 70% of them camping on the weekend.

make it hotter, much hotter, and less shady during the day.

multiply the length of the festival by 9

have the people in attendance come from all over the country. and have 80% - 90% of the people walking around, carrying their own guitars..

Then, imagine the ones who AREN'T playing on the kerrville stage as being qualified to play on our main stage..

elminate the conflicting schedules i.e. 3 stages going on at once.. at kerrville, except for 3 - 5 on the weekend afternoons, there are no performance conflicts. only 1 thing at a time..

have everyone either know each other, or treat you like family even if they don't..

when someone got up at the ballad tree yesterday afternoon and started out by saying that this was their first time at kerrvile, the audience spontaneously gave a greeting of "welcome home" and we meant it..

OH, SURPRISE!!! jackson browne will perform sunday night... don't know the details yet... that's it... gotta get the for the 3pm ballad tree... gonna make it in time today...

Brian (Breadman) Wolfsohn

CUS Business Systems Ft.Lauderdale,FL

Software for Auctioneers (954) 565-5600