well, here it is. I have a few minutes to update the bloggersphere on our trip to folkapalooza, or as some know it. . . Willow.
It’s a folk, bluegrass festival that’s been going on for 39 years as a fund raiser for the Willow Creek Prespyterian Church, southwest of Freeport Il. It’s held the 2nd weekend of August, and several hundred players and listeners converge to share tunes and stories. We’ve been going for, I think, 4 years now. Maggie went to her first on when she was, I think, 15. Our friend Mike, has gone for quite a while, and, that’s how we re-connected. Saw his name on the website, and thought ” nah, can’t be him”. It was. . .
Anyway, we decided to go again this year, and actually camp in a tent in a cow pasture. Yeah, go figure. . . Our friends Mike and Jan were nice enough to allow us to set up next to their tent, so we actually knew someone there. Weather was perfect, cool in the evening, and warm during the day. We arrived Friday evening around 5, and set up our tent. After that, we joined in with a couple jams around the camp area. In some cases, it’s kinda like caroling. You wander from one camp fire to the next, singing and playing whatever is in your rep, or is being done by the rest of the ‘carolers’. . .. And you know, it gets dark out in a cow pasture 20 minutes from nowhere. We cashed it in around 11 Friday night, and fell asleep listening to music drifting on the falling moonlight.
Saturday morning, we woke to a beautiful morning in the country. Breakfast was being prepared ‘next door’ @ the Airstream airport. Two very nice long time attendees were making biscuits and gravy, eggs, and all the fixings from scratch. We were invited over, and you know, we just couldn’t say no. So, on a full stomach, we had to go stand in line to sign up for our 15 minutes of fame on the Willow stage.
We got our gig time. We’re on @ 1:00pm, for 15 minutes or three songs, which ever comes first. It’s not as easy as one thinks, getting up on a hay wagon, to sing your best stuff in front of 150 people you’ve never met. We’ve had practice @ the bluegrass jam in Poplar Grove. In the past 5 years, Maggie has really gotten the hang of this song thing. I am so proud of her. She sings well, plays well, and can perform as well as anyone out there.
We performed a song that our friend Keith composed, an old hippie tune, and a country song. Wanted to cover all the bases. We made it through with no real difficulties, and finished our set. Mike and Jan were on after us, so we like to think that we warmed up the crowd for them. They were great as always. Music is so neat, ‘cuz you meet such nice people, and get to share important things with them, like music. . . You all remember the Mike story, right? I went to school with him. 6th, 7th, and 8th grade with him, in the last millenia. Anyway, one never knows what adventure one will have.
Maggie has wanted to do this since the first time she came. We were able to complete the wish. Cool.
After dinner, our friends from Poplar grove came over to the cow pasture, and we ‘caroled’, and jammed with lots of people I didn’t know. Late into the night, wandering from camp fire to camp fire, we wore our fingers down to raw, burning stubs of musical creativity. What a great night of fun, but we ran outta gas, and had to call it a night. Cold and tired, though satisfied with interacting, we fell asleep listening to the wind whistle softly by the tent.
The sun rises earlier in the country, so we were up and headed out to de-camp the tent. We can’t stay in the pasture forever, so it’s time to head home. Watching the sun rise over cows, with absolute quiet is quite the experience in observing musicians, and listening to everything from hippie tunes, to bluegrass to full tilt self endorsement. . .
We’ll be back next year, though, like birth or a tattoo, we’ll have to let time soften the weekend. We’ll be back to jam, though the jury is out right now on camping.
A post script to those of you who really know us. . . . It wasn’t PSG, but then who wants to camp with naked bluegrass jammers. . . But, we had a great time.
I’ll try to upload a small video to google in the next week, in case anyone wants to see.
On to our next adventure. I’m a lucky man to have such a wonderful partner to ‘adventure’ with. ..
Later. . .