Man! What a great event that was. For two days under sunny skies in Tucson, I listened and talked to a BUNCH of musicians and music lovers. The annual Tucson Folk Festival is a must-do for me from now on. Next year, I hope to perform. I learned of it way too late for this year. It’s run by the Tucson Kitchen Music Association which I will soon join. It started humbly 23 years ago, around a kitchen table, but has grown to a fantastic event featuring performances on 5 stages by some really skilled and entertaining musical acts. Among my favorites were:
Bob Malone – One FANTASTIC piano player and bluesman with a sound like Mac Rebennack (Dr. John) but the energy of Jerry Lee Lewis. My favorite of the show. Check out his site and listen to his music.
Karen Nash – The sweetest sounding voice at the Festival. She sings, in a country style, clever lyrics among the best I’ve heard. She’s married to Bob Malone. The two of them perform together as much as they can.
Fur Dixon and Steve Werner – A fabulous Western music duo from Van Nuys, CA. I know, you’re sayin’ “Western? Darrell?” OK not my usual fare, but they sang the best harmonies I heard at the event. During their set, a parade of motorcycles (the annual “Harley Parade”) passed by with a thundering roar. Steve (who is himself a biker) immediately went into a rendition of “Born to be Wild” with the audience joining in. Classic showmanship!
Among the activities were some workshops and I participated in a few of them. I most enjoyed the “Original Song Circle” Workshop with John McGill, winner of the 2005 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting contest. When my turn came, I offered up “All Right Now” and impressed a few songwriting peers, if I say so myself. The best compliment came from John McGill’s own mother who wanted to buy my CD.
The first picture below is me performing. The lady next to me is singer/songwriter Andy Hurlbut from Phoenix who writes good western folk tunes. In the next picture, John McGill in the foreground accompanies his wife Sally on a Hymn she wrote as Andy and songwriter Lon Austin look on.
Now I have even greater motivation to produce another CD of my newer songs just to get ready for next year. I hope I get to see some these same folks again. They’re all great people.