Spending the entire weekend on the ranch, away from telephones, and the "unreal world"
The last day of the second weekend often sees an exodus beginning at dawn, and continuing throughout the day and night, as the people who come for the first 11 days and the second weekend people begin the transition to the unreal world.. (We shall not dwell on THAT).. I'm writing this on a monday afternoon, listening to a wonderful album from Lori B. She gave it to me yesterday.. In the words of David Buskin (Ozzie, remember david buskin?? He'$ the one $inging A Folk $inger's life on the wintertide album.. Do you need wire transfer information for all the money you owe ?? <ggg>) : "That's folk music goddammit".. At once haunting and sweet (with an emphasis on not easily forgettable haunting), with a voice that, accent-wise, occasionally reminds you of Lucy Kaplansky, i was hoping i'd like the album.. I dread those times i get an album from a performer, open it to listen to and end up with a 1 word summary: "eh"... This is not the case here... So far, (I'm on cut4 now) her work & mood translates well from campfire (which is the only place i've had the opportunity to hear her), to CD.
Jon Wilcox opened up mainstage, followed by Annette Bjergfeld from Denmark. I can't comment on either performance, as i was still in transit back from the river.. After all these years in Kerrville, i made my first pilgrimage to the river at the invitation & lead of a friend.... What a wonderful, place.. I had never even driven past the festival site, into the hills that state road 16 winds through south of the ranch.. Up, around and over, tightly twisting 2 lanes... Now i finally understand the sign that says "Trucks take alternate route" between the ranch and town.. We spent a couple of hours swimming, laying, floating in the cool (VERY cool) waters of the river, looking up at the trees overhanging the waters, listening to the water flow over the small (very small) waterfalls and rapids we were laying inside..
Back to mainstage, Bill Morrisey put on a great show, followed by Hugh and Katy Moffat. Both performances were enthusiastically received. What followed next, was not quite of this world.. Kinky friedman arrived... whether he got here by car, or just floated in on the strength of his convictions is open to conjecture.. As soon as he started his set, an interesting thing happened in the entire mainstage area... All (well, most, anyway) of the people that were congregating at the back of the mainstage area, started rapidly moving forward to their seats.. Usually, you see people moving in both directions at the end and beginning of performances, and even during.. In this case, there were just waves of people moving in 1 direction.. Towards the raucous voice coming from the mainstage..
Suffice to say, Kinky takes no prisoners.. In his own words, he is an "equal opportunity offender".. I've got to say that i had some personal difficulties with some of his lyrics, but in this case, i don't think you throw out the baby with the bathwater.. To give you a little idea of the his approach, one of the lines in the 2nd or 3rd song he did has the line: "Sorry, we've reached our quota on folksinging jews from texas" (or something very similar).. Another song was entitled: "Get your bisquits in the oven, and your buns in the bed".. If you have a chance, run, do not walk to catch this very funny, very non-pc, thought provoking talent..
But, i haven't even gotten to the most outrageous part of kinky's performance.. About 5 minutes in, he turns to backstage right and says: "Rod, just exactly how many people have you banned from the festival?? Tonight's performances included 2 people who Rod has banned.. Kinky (for obscenity), and ray wylie Hubbard (i don't know the reason).. Kinky kept going back to this theme, and, with the occasional shouts of "chandler" coming from the audience, as well as whoops and whistles, was a big hit.. Offstage, Rod and Kinky's body language did not seem to indicate any problems with the material, giving rise to some hope (in a number of people's minds) that the chandler saga will see a resolution in the near future..
Ray Wylie was excellent as usual, and hopefully, y'all get to see him at SFFF this year if some behind the scenes work is successful..
The evening ended with a set from Mem Shannon and the membership from new orleans.. Unfortunately, i didn't notice any cajun influence, and the style and quality, although ok, was out-of-joint and dissapointing for this festival..
I'm now listening to Kevin So's new CD Along the Way.. Another Must have for you Kevin So fans... Kevin is the only performer we've ever had grace our annual xmas party, and for those of you who heard him there, or in any of his other performances in south florida, you know how good he can be live... Well, this is a live album and it cooks BIG TIME combining high energy with political content. Somewhere down the line, you're gonna say "i knew him when" about this guy.. Kevin is joined by Stephanie Corby, (This year's festival new female voice of the guerilla campfires..) and Eric Gerber, who plays his mandolin like he belongs in the "who" circa late 60's.... He really needs to losen up a bit and display a little more emotion <gg>
Campfires are starting to blur, but sinkerrnicity, Coho, Stupid, Duct-tape, Calm, Cuisine (hot), and quite a few others were cooking... Another beautiful night with the crickets, the breeze, and music floating in over the ether..
To finish up the day's report, let go back to the start of the day.. At 1, The New folk award winners concert was on mainstage. People were crammed into the 5 or 6 shady spots, and all other seats were completely empty.. All 6 of the winners were obviously high on adrenaline, and gave excellent performances... This year is a great crop of new folk... Ray Bonneville overcame sound problems.. (Boy, has THAT been a recurring, and disappointing theme at this years festival..
Oh i forgot to mention a week ago, that before peter yarrow came onstage, he was preceded by Alan Damron, who gave a stirring rendition of Happy birthday to a standing ovation, acknowledging both his spirit, and his brave battle with cancer over the past year.. Peter came back on the the ranch yesterday, bringing his wonderful spirit and energy. His "little son" chris (approx 6Ft) has been since, i think thurs. night..
Tonight is an england and Ireland campfire at threadgill..
Last night, steve fisher was walking around the vendors area at mainstage, handing out fortune cookies.. On the back of the fortune was an advertisment for steve's and Jamie Byrd's threadgill performance tuesday.. Nice touch steve, but where else were we going to go ???
Finishing up rocking to kevin eric and stephanie rocking my portable computer's DVD drive..
Coming to you direct from the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas