Kerrville Ramblings

Nancy Terzian/The Westerleys


Ok...well no one else seems to be talking about Kerrville, so I just have to put in my two cents....!

It was a blast! We were there from Friday, May 22nd through Sunday, May 31st. Rod flew us (THE WESTERLEYS) down to play the Threadgill stage. That was a real honor and a pleasure. But first---well, where do I start??? Main stage on Friday night MUMBO GUMBO (from Sacramento, CA) thrilled the house and got everybody on their feet dancing. Every musician in that band kicks butt and they all had a chance to do their magic. All the guys in the audience were drooling over the washboard player (Chris Webster). Tons o fun.

Of course, the "campfire" scene was going strong, especially around Camp Cuisine. The skies were smoky and it hadn't rained in something like 60-70 days, so no real campfires were allowed. But on the third or fourth day we got a torrential rainstorm and huddled under the desert storm canopy at Cuisine screeching like scared kids to the wicked thunder. (I told LESLIE EVERS, a singer/songwriter from Palo Alto, CA, that I love the thunder til it hits me! She said "that's a song!") The rain seemed to clear the air and the rest of the week was stellar---literally! SO many stars in that big ol Texas sky!

The New Folk competition was a great crop this year. Franklin, TN's CINDY GREENE sang sweet country love songs likely to rip your heart out. GREG BEATTIE & VICKI CREBBIN (aka CALAVERAS from Alameda, CA) took everyone's breath away with their lovely "Ready to Fly" (Rumor has it that PETER YARROW wants to record it). SMALL POTATOES did a brilliantly written "Steven Soundheim-esque" song called "The Waltz of the Wallflowers" that brought down the house. Also enjoyable was JOE SCUTELLA from Nashville, TN and DAVE CARTER.

Spent several days at the river cooling off with my Cuisine women friends, and with STILL ON THE HILL, our "Soul Mates" from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Every night would find us singing and playing and carrying on til 3 or 4AM. One night found a big gang of us in the women's showers jamming at 3AM...The video crew arrived (really!) and we carried on like Banshees til the wee hours. If you've never heard STILL ON THE HILL, well, you better! They are HOT! Someone called them the "Fleetwood Mac of Bluegrass". One night MIKE WILLIAMS organized a "band night" at Cuisine and we did an in-the-round with STILL ON THE HILL, FOLK MONTY (they're cool!) and THE WESTERLEYS (us). That kept everyone up til well past 4AM...

Our very own DOUG ADAMS was awarded the honor of "camp heart-throb" at Camp Cuisine, and I became a true member when I cooked my famous Risotto for about 25 people there! Even JOHN IMMS took a second helping! His main stage performance was great (as usual), and included a riotous version of the "acid trip" song. (I love the line about the poster of the 6 dogs playing poker....) ADAM & KRIS were also a lot of fun (love Kris' blond 'do) as was the groovacious CAROLINE AIKEN. Got to hear the intense DAYNA KURTZ from Patterson, NJ and chatted with her over a coupla shots of whiskey.

My heart was completely taken by the lovely RACHEL POLISHER from Philly, PA. What a sweet voice and depth of feeling. She said she has recently "discovered" PATTY GRIFFIN and covered a couple of great tunes, "Forgiveness" and "Sweet Lorraine". I also loved the cool moods of ERIK MOLL as he jammed around Cuisine..."Can you handle it..." sang me to sleep one night in my little human burrito tenty.

LAURIE LEWIS shone like the star that she is on the Threadgill stage on Tuesday. Her band was tight and hot. Love that girl! it comes...we got to play on Wed night following ANNIE WENZ. We rocked the house with material from our new CD, "A Blessing and a Curse". CHRIS WILLIAMS sat in on conga, and KELLY MULLHOLLAND (from Still on the Hill) played guitar on about 5 songs. That turned our band (THE WESTERLEYS) into a 6-piece rockin' acoustic machine! All our buddies from Camp Nashville and Cuisine were there to dance and cheer and for that 45 minutes we "sucked the marrow out of life", as MEGAN McLAUGHLIN would say....! Our song "Magic Trick" (co-written by MICHAEL CAMP and myself) got a few people cryin in their beers which really made me feel good (aren't I mean!?) I never wanted our set to end! But after it did we re-convened at Camp Cuisine where RICK BERESFORD made his famous wood-fired pizzas (my favorite was pesto, smoked chicken and feta--WOW--YUMBO!!)

The rest of the week is kind of a blur. The watch came off, then got lost completely...! The days got hotter and the clothing got skimpier. People stopped wearing any undergarments whatsoever and hung around camp sleeping on the cots. PHIL FLETCHER kept us all coffeed up just to keep us going. BOB CHEEVERS did a great set at the Threadgill on Thursday night and I hung out a lot over at the "Cowboy Camp" watching domino games under the shade of the teepees. Friday night took me dancing to the hot, rockin JIMMY LaFAVE who I'd never heard before and loved! Saturday night I was memorized by the stellar DEE CARSTENSEN and her unique harp music. I bought a ring I've been wanting forever from REX FOSTER that still brings me back to Kerrville everytime I look at it...sigh....

Leaving was tough. The van came to Cuisine to pick us up and take us to the airport. Our friends gathered 'round and sang "Happy Trails". We cried. DOUG BLUMER and I got to the airport late and they "stuck" us in Row #1 in first class! We felt like stars even though we were grubby as could be. Too tired to even take the free cocktail, I dosed off into a sweet land of dreams...

Can't wait for next year.
Signing off--Happy Trails to you all,
Nancy Terzian/The Westerleys