|This report comes to you directly
from the mainstage of the Kerrville Folk Festival. It's dark, Alisa Fineman
is onstage now, the sun has gone down, and the keys are very hard to see..
But, the festival is going on, Dave Cambest can't have his lunch without
reading the ramblings, and if i don't get caught up, i'll still have a great
time, but i won't have the joy of
sharing it with y'all..
Day 3 began with the New Folk on mainstage in the heat.. It wasn't 100 degrees, but 88-90 in the sun is still tough.. Amy Carol Webb's performance was right on, and since she sang Daddy don't go, people have been coming up to her and sharing their "daddy experiences" with her.. Winners will be announced between the third and 4th acts sunday night.. The ballad tree was emceed by Tom Kimmel. I had other responsibilites, so Ozzie will fill in on that report..
Mainstage was, as Rod Kennedy
described "an Eclectic night".. The evening got off to an electric
start, and Kevin So, who has always has a tremendous stage presence, showing
off his talents with a band. Eric Gerber and Stephanie C., excellent performers
in their own right, joined with kevin's talent to really blow the audience
away.. Kevin has come up through the staff ranks since he first arrived
in kerrville 5? years ago. He's been featured on the kerrville staff concert
tape in 96?, he was in new folk last year, opened up the ballad tree last
year on the first day, and this year got his mainstage slot (albeit the
6pm oven slot).. Rest assured, he'll be back on mainstage next year in
a later slot.. It's rare that a 6pm slot will inject energy into an audience
still searching for shade, but kevin was that electric.. He's added new
arrangements to a number of his old songs, and Stephanie's vocals in the
mix really added a
Kevin's set was followed by a set from Kimmie Rhodes, and then one from Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer.. Both performances were enthusiastically received from the rapidly growing, memorial day, saturday night audience. (this night traditionally has the largest attendance) Even lawn space towards the back of the mainstage area was hard to find, and walking from the vendor booths to the maistage required going all the way around the blanket area.
Tom Kimmel followed with a superb (how many damn ways can you find to say (insert tony the tiger voiceover here: "GRRRRREAAAAAT") set including backup from Kate Wallace and the incomparable Kristen DeWitt.. Tom has a warm engaging stage presence, and it's a joy to listen to him, whether he's singing, or talking.
Bill & Bonnie Hearne followed with a special set. Bonnie has been very ill, and this was the first time out in quite awhile. She wasn't going to miss her 28th straight kerrville appearance.
As good as the night had been, it was just getting started..
The next artist was Steve Seskin.. You can check my review from last year for more information, but this is one hell of a songwriter. He was accompanied by John flynn (?) on guitar, one of the best guitarists we'll hear this year at kerrville.. Steve just kept on rolling out one great song after another.. I was glad when he finally got to "don't laugh at me", a song dedicated to those people in life who have been picked on in some way or another.. Anybody who can't relate to this song is just not breathing anymore.. Besides, i needed to cry, and this song just rips
oops, hold on, peter yarrow needs to get to his seat in my row...gotta get up... I'll be right back...
.. just rips your base level guts out...
After lots of hugs, steve finished his set, and then everyone took a short break while the stage was setup for Pele Juju..
Pele Juju is simply one of
the highest energy kick-ass shit, world music bands i have ever heard...
The energy they bring to the stage resembles the same kind of energy i
felt at 4:30 am in 1967 in philadelphia when, after about 10 hours of
music, Sly and the family stone came on stage and just woke up the house...
Or, in 1969, when grace slick came on early in
Pele Juju has a new drummer
and a new lead singer. The drummer is at the same level as the previous
drummer. The lead singer, although she was great, and brought a tremendous
amount of her won energy onstage, just did not have the same presence
and fit with the band as their previous lead singer who was VERY special..
In spite of the changes, it was still the
Also, under the bad news column, the chair people are not here this year, so those of you who wanted me to order chairs for you, we'll have to wait until i come back for the labor day festival, or next year.. The t-shirts this year are a dark blue with white lettering, very nice, but, Rod Kennedy, if you're listening, please remember it's hot in texas, and your attendees would prefer light colored shirts...
Campfires last night were packed, and artists were a long time coming around... chuck brodsky, heidi muller, amy carol webb, susan shore, and (i presume) a number of seattle artists held court at coho. Annie wenz, and the singkerrnicity regulars were in force over there, and we could hear large amounts of applause coming from nashville... Of course, you couldn't get near nashville, it was surrounded by the weekenders.. things will calm down on tuesday..
Moving onto kerrville meanderings:
This place is very special.. When i arrive, i just hold my arms out and let the energy from the ranch wash over me.. After 3 or 4 days, i've been filled up, and can then start giving.. The positive energy that exists here is SO pervasive, that it affects everyone in a differenet way.. Some people have difficulty handling the openness that you find yourself awash in. Tearing down walls can be a painful process, but for me, it's a joyful one..
I had 2 wonderful kerr-speriences
yesterday that told me i was finally 100% here.. One person that i knew
was in distress over an issue. They came over to talk with ME (!!), because,
(they said), i could reveal a peaceful resolution for them.. Another person
was someone i did not know, except as a performer. We were walking in
opposite directions about 5:30 in the afternoon, and just stopped to say
hello.. It turned out she was in great
Ian Tyson is finishing up, and i need to get back into tonight's music..
peace and love to all.. It ** CAN ** be this way, always... many hugs and lots of love to chris... this too shall pass..
Annie wenz.. wishes that all the universe could be here in kerrville (of course, reality kicking in here... Where the hell would they park ??) all the time.. She & I feel the same exact way.. If it were possible, we'd like to spend 365 days a year with these people in this environment. She says she gets the deadhead thing... Me, i only get folk things..
Stefanie Gleit sends greetings to: the Hudson Valley folk world out there..
Susan & Susan send belated birthday greetings to Nancy W.
Al Grierson just stopped by and said to send a virtual "wave for the roses" out to everyone...