It was FUN!
But then, we all knew it would be.
We played “Complicated Man”, “Storm Comin’ Through”, and “Snuggle Up to my Good Side Baby” (quite favorably received by the baby-boomers in the audience) before I switched to slide guitar, using my new Dean Resonator, and played “ROTFLMAO – the facebook song” and ending with “Die Workin'” (requiring me to double on harmonica).
We’ve performed on the Museum stage twice before, but this year’s crowd was bigger by far. The beer sales area (which you can faintly see in the right-side background of the first photo) probably helped!
A late start and a faulty cord cost us time for a sixth number, but our sacrifice put the schedule back on track. I would have loved to do more, but with so many acts to showcase, the festival has to run on time.
I love this festival and the friends I see there every year. And I’m always happy to see someone new who blows me away with their performance.
This year, that would have to be Heather Hardy. She’s a blues-violin playing singer who was backed up by a band of Tucson All-stars including her dear friend, and Sunday night headliner, Sabra Faulk (who blew us away last year). Heather is part of Sabra’s “Angel Band” , but on Sunday afternoon, Heather took center stage at the Tucson Museum of Art. She had folks dancing.
Of course, with 130 acts, there were plenty of outstanding shows to see, and I would be remiss if I did not tell you of the superb job my friends “JC & Laney” did on the stage at La Cocina – Old Town Artisans. That’s my favorite of the festival venues. Even though they can sit well over 100 people, it still feels intimate and the audience is close to the stage. JC Scott & Laney Greynolds were joined by their producer Steve Wood on piano and it really “filled out” their sound. Not that they needed it. Their vocal harmonies blend like golden honey. And JC’s songwriting is excellent (“Every time I feel my heart on fire, You’re at the end of the flame”). Good stuff. Please check out their website at http://www.jcandlaney.com.
About the only improvement I can hope for regarding next year’s experience is that the Hotel Arizona will be back in business and renovated for a comfortable stay. This year, 2 weeks before the show, they called to say “All reservations have been cancelled for renovations”. WHAT? And you didn’t KNOW this when I first made my reservations? I guess that just as the hotel needed renovation, so does the management.
We stayed instead at Hotel Tucson city center. The WORST hotel experience I have had in Tucson. Scratch that one off the list forever.
But the hotel woes were certainly outweighed by the fun of the festival. Starting with the kick-off party Friday night hosted by the Greg Morton Band – Tucson’s premier ensemble of bluegrass virtuoso. Greg Morton, as I told the audience after Greg introduced me, is the “Michael Jordan” of flat-pickers. I joked that if i ever saw him and Peter McLaughlin (lead player for John Coinman) play simultaneously on stage, I’d likely go home and burn my guitar. Well, wouldn’t you know my resolve would be tested! What a show!
I’ll close with a post-script of more photos of the fun and our musical friends.