Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rest for the weary

Wow, I'm getting old. Feeling a little pooped already after one weekend festival and about 1200 miles of driving.

Okay, so maybe that would make anyone feel a little creaky in the bones.

We jammed until about 12:30 a.m. central time early Sunday morning and ended with "Amazing Grace" there in the dining room of the Owensboro Sleep Inn; a nice way to round out a beautiful weekend. There will be video from the festival coming after I wrap up the Dulci-More 14 experience, but as a teaser, I'll just say that it was a total blast jamming with Kara Barnard towards the end of her set. Man, what a picker! I had one track by her, "Salt Creek" (which you can hear on her website) on my iPod; don't know where it came from since I didn't have any of her albums. But when I found out that she was going to be at Yellowbanks, this guy was stoked. She's a great entertainer, incredible player and alternately funny and poignant - the best kind of show. So when she asked me to join her on-stage for Saturday night, it was with glee and beads of shiny sweat that I did so. We winged it through "Amazing Grace", a tune that I'll presume is called "Come On Home", and a wild swing through "Arkansas Traveler." Kara's a hoot - I really enjoyed talking with her afterwards too; real down-to-earth.

If that weren't enough, got to jam with Jeff Hames as well. It's been very cool getting to know Jeff and his mom and dad since meeting them at Unicoi last fall - and this is the first time that we've done a duet, been talking about doing "Every Breath You Take" by The Police and worked up a version that we performed during my set on Saturday night. We also hung out by the Hames family's Bounder and had a marathon McSpadden try-out session (got me lusting after a couple of those instruments) that included some laid-back jamming on tunes like "Hey Jude." Jeff really knows how to tear it up on a mountain dulcimer; I hope some of that leaked out and got all over me during the weekend. There's nothing like sharing the jam with accomplished players to keep you honest and working on your game.

A couple of times on Saturday, all the featured performers shared the stage for some improvised jamming, Kara, Jeff and myself along with Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly, Gary and Toni Sager and Peggy Carter. Playing in a situation where you're not sure what's going to happen next is extremely invigorating and exciting as well as a little nerve-wracking, but such a rush! Peggy is delightful, it was great meeting her officially (she's a MySpace buddy and I saw her perform in Mt. Dora earlier this year) and I've shared many happy jams with Gary and Toni. Every once in a while, I get to experience an act that just makes me smile inside and out; that would be Atwater-Donnelly. Not only an incredible musical duo, but just really cool people as well.

And people say such nice things - it's humbling and an honor all at once. What a joy to discover that what you do is appreciated.

Sunday morning brought some pleasant conversations, spilled coffee and breakfast plus a dip in the pool before heading north through Indiana (the Hoosier National Forest!) and then into Ohio for a 400 mile trek up to Medina/Seville area where I'm staying with my dear friends the Brouses. The photo of me leaping in mid-air in front of a barn was taken on their property last year; I always stop by when I can - and was just up here last month shooting video of Blake's 4th grade talent show. This week, we endeavor to make a movie out of a script he's written; we'll see, he hasn't actually casted the project yet!

I'm spending today catching up with video production and administrative stuff - there's lots going on right now. My apologies to those who have sent me movie quizzes and the like; there just isn't enough time in the day to participate and I'm trying to drop "hello" notes when I can. The day is quickly approaching when I'm unable to be as in touch as I'd like to be - but it's always nice when someone says "it's cool that you actually respond when I write." Granted, that don't always happen, but it's not for lack of trying.

Cool thing number three about my dear wife, Jae: she's silly. She hasn't allowed 40+ years of living to take the child out of her and she can be just as silly as she wants to be. I'd like to think that part of that comes from encouragement; I don't look at her strange when she acts like a 1920's flapper girl in our kitchen, or when she makes fish faces at me - I make them right back and dance right along with her. She knows the times and places to be serious and business-like. Thankfully, most of the time, our time together is devoid of such strict behavior. We like to laugh and we do quite often. And when you read this, honey , I'm thinking about that realtor guy's picture on the trash can in Memphis. Grrrrrr. LOL!

Well, back to editing - because for the rest of the week, I'm chillin'. Hope everyone's having a beautiful Monday - much love to you.

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