It was a brief but exhilarating swing through Louisville, Kentucky for Kentucky Music Weekend; so many sights and sounds, so many wonderful moments and visits. I spent two days standing up on concrete while shooting video for the event, so I didn't get as much time to hang with people as I would've liked.
Friday was interesting: hopped on a US Airways flight in the early a.m. and arrived in Charlotte, NC for a switch - which was canceled due to mechanical issues. The airline was going to put me on a flight to Cincinnati three hours later and *then* put me in a van headed to Louisville. Thankfully, Tom and Missy Strothers live in Cincinnati, so they planned to pick me up from the airport. I spent the time playing music and chatting with a very nice gentleman about the war in Iraq, the state of alternative news and his venture into home made chicken and dumplings, offering to ship me a box. I traded him a CD for the gift, and he bought me a drink for the entertainment. I love traveling with the dulcimer - talk about a conversation piece!
Kentucky Music Weekend was incredible - and what moment stands out in my mind? Jean Ritchie walking backstage, seeing me and saying, "hi Bing, how are you?" She's just amazing - so is her husband, George Pickow. I wish I had met them sooner in life, but I'm sure glad to know them now.
Another moment that stands out is hearing Small Potatoes play a song called "Knott!" I'd never heard them before and enjoyed their sets immensely, but this has got to be one of the most incredibly clever and funny songs I've ever heard. I bought the CD just for that tune and listened to the whole thing on the way back from Louisville. You ought to check them out.
Third big moment was seeing my adopted nephew Josh Noe (middle, holding the dulcimer he won) take first place in the Kentucky State Mountain Dulcimer championship on Saturday. I met Josh last year at Kentucky Music Week and we hit it off immediately, sharing a room at Kentucky Music Weekend later in the summer. He was my roommate again this year and the night before the competition, we talked through what he was going to do on-stage. He was coached by a lot of people, but I think he ended up making his own decisions up there and he beat Louisiana State Mountain Dulcimer Champion Aaron Thornton, who took second place!
I could go on about the weekend, but now I'm home, sick, and have a pile of work to finish amidst the clutter of a house undergoing cosmetic surgery. Sick sucks, but it's better than dead. Amen.