| I pick up Susan from the airport,
and we make our way back to the ranch, stopping to show here our "deluxe"
accommodations in town. It's hard for me to get many words in, as she keeps
interrupting (talkus interruptus) with things like: "Oooohh",
"Wow", "Look Look", and the occasional "are we
there yet??".. She's just overwhelmed with seeing all the things she's
been hearing about for the past year, and all the anticipation that has
built up keeps bubbling out and overflowing... Hell, i've been coming for
a bunch of years, and have similar reaction, (only a little more subdued)..
Friday - The community continues to build for 1999, and the first weekend, as trucks, campers, cars and motorbikes continue to flow through mixmaster and onto the ranch, bringing with them more and more energy which goes into this wonderful mixing bowl (More on this tomorrow). Space and parking become more and more difficult to find.. We make a decision that one of our vehicles, (the one near the campsite), will stay there for the duration of the weekend, and we'll use the other car parked in the distant lot to get in & out from town..
Daryl Purpose emcee's a wonderful ballad tree, as newcomers and old-timers share music in one of the more serene locations on the ranch.. For more details on the background of chapel hill & the ballad tree, check out Day 2's report from the 1998 festival..
The mainstage activity opened
with Susan Clarke from Albuquerque, a new folk winner from last year.
She was followed by Eric taylor from columbus, tx. Both performances were
warmly received by the crowd which was sweltering through the day's remaining
sunlight.. Although it's cooler this year than last, with days in the
mid-high 80's versus last year's 100+'s, it's still very hot.. The main
difference for me seems to be a
Small Potatoes gave an excellent
performance, Half the audience was into their music from the beginning,
and the rest were sucked in along the way.. It's still a delight watching
an audience listen to waltz of the
David Garza gave a very high energy performance which has the dance section over on the audience left jammed with wonderful energy..
Carol & Buddy Mondlock
were just as great as ever. There Kerrville experience is short this year,
as they leave for a german tour in the morning. Carol's new album has
just open on the german charts as #44. She
Eric Anderson, in his first kerrville appearance in about 10-15 years (or more), was wonderful. He wasn't spectacular, since he didn't do just his old songs.. (wadda ya want, his old stuff is great, and we haven't heard it live in 25 years).. But he did work in thirty boots and one other oldie (CRS, Ozzie'll fill you in) into his set, and was a joy to listen to all the same...
Butch Hancock finished up the night with a performance so good, we didn't leave until the end... There's more to that than just "so what".. The mainstage runs from 6pm to 1-2 am. THEN, the campfires get started. many people head out to the campfires (or just head out) sometime during the last two acts. Butch's music is definitely of the "Texas" persuasion, and if you haven't heard it before, he's on the 25th anniversary CD, and has a bunch of albums out... Try it, you'll like it..
The campfires were in full
bloom for the first time this festival, with lots of activity at Coho,
SingKerrnicity, Cuisine, Nashville, NashBill, Camp Stupid had a good crowd,
and that's only at the bottom of the
One of the special moments
earlier in the night was when we were headed back to the tents to drop
off our mainstage gear and get in to campfire mode.. Michael McNevin passed
by, and Ozzie made a point of saying how she wanted to hear one of his
songs.. Michael started playing there, right in front of the outhouses
down by the meadow, and within 2 minutes, there were 10 - 15 people gathered
round in a circle.. halfway through the song, we had to split up due to
a car wanting to pass, but when the circle
I played the part of the kerrville tour guide for the rest of the night, leading Susan & Susan to many of the more established camps in the lower meadows.
Susan, & Susan (i introduce them just like Darryl & my other brother Darryl).. wussed out early, Susan P. about 2:30, and Ozzie about 4..
(FYI For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, Ozzie and Susan Moss are one and the same person.. Susan's a wizard of OZ freak)..
I'll be writing saturday's review at the ranch this evening.. (hopefully, Sunday's review also..) My watch say's it's 5:09, and mainstage will be starting before i get there..
On a sadder note, I've included,
verbatim, a letter from Chris Chandler. Chris's absence this year, aside
from being noticed by most, leaves a significant hole in the wonderous
energy field that encompasses