I actually left when I was supposed to. 10ish. Got me a breakfast burrito, ran by the bank and got myself going.
I had called and woke up Isaac earlier as requested (he came all the way from New Orleans ... that's dedication) and we talked occasionally through the day.
Nothing much happened on the trip. I was better prepared this year. I had bought a tiny cheap backpacking tent, so I didn't have to take Tent-Zilla. I remembered to get a smaller tarp for it.
I did make one major stop ... I think anyone who knows me knows where.
Yeah, I stopped at CDGBs. I kept myself to my usual 30 minute time limit and spent very very little. I should not drive when listening to Deep Purple Made In Japan.
I got to Mahtowa around 6 or so. Parked on the
The last two years Isaac took over a little pavilion for his tent. Basically he had a place out of the rain and a front porch. This year folks beat us to it. We both camped next to it still. This did make sleeping a little tricky. More on that later
Isaac got there around 8:30 or so and got set up.
Watched the music for awhile. Everyone I talked to agreed that the friday band Pert Near Sandstone should have been the saturday night band and vice versa for the saturday night band, The Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs
Some of the highlights for me in the songwriting contest
Diane Nettiffee started things off wonderfully. I can't think of the name of her second song, but it was a lovely story of longing and remembrance.
Wayne Longtin was brilliant and funny.
Mary Elias was amazing, I need to track down her music
I got to hang out and play a little with Mark Jukich. Turns out that he is a friend of my favorite MN tribute singer. He did some cool stuff, something I can't say for the tribute singer.
The guy who took 4th wrote a really funny song about a g/f talking in her sleep. I can't think of his name, but I really want to play some shows with him. (it might have been Bill Schnabel)
Shannon Murray took a deserved win with The Garden.
All in all there was not a bad song in the bunch. A couple people brought too much stuff/too many people with them, but that was ok.
My set went well. I brought up lyric sheets but didn't have to use them. Ghosts was a little too hyper, but that is to be expected on a short set. Mahtowa Blues went great. I played too hard, but that was ok since I wasnt going to play any more that night. I saw one guy fold in half on one of the jokes.
Oh, did I mention I took 2nd ??? I dunno, might have neglected to mention it.
I missed most of Colleen Myhre and the Mercy Train. She and Kurt (the other singer) are good friends but I was too busy bouncing around. What I heard was brilliant. They work together really well, and the young fellow they have playing guitar ... well ... I hate him ... sort of in the way I hate people who can really sing ... he can REALLY play.
Charlie Parr sat out in the sun all day so his set was ... well ... a little low key compared to his usual barn-burning self. I did sit right next to his wife and son. His boy was a hoot. He was so excited to see his daddy play. I didn't get much of a chance to talk to Charlie, next time ... he said he will be in Des Moines sometime soon. If you like old fashioned stomping country blues, the sort that makes you want to get up off your ass and dance, go see Charlie. He's amazing.
I watched a little of the Front Porch Liquor Pigs, but wore out early and went to lay down. The maniacs I was camped next to played music till 4:30 in the morning, and then were up playing again around 6:30 in the morning. Geeze. Even with that I slept pretty well, but Isaac and I agree that next year we are going off to one of the corners of the field.
The song circle on sunday was great. 6-8 players depending on when you got there.
What I played, in my dim it's been a hard week memory
I Got Them Old Mahtowa Folks Festival Highway 61 Blues Again Mama
Pine City Motel Blues
Masters Of War (Dylan) with everyone joining in, and then taking over completely when I finished the verses, it was wonderful, even if I did step on my friend Ray going back into the verse from a solo
I know I played a couple more, I think Bang My Bald Spot might have been in there somewhere. But those are the songs I'm certain about.
I took off around 2:30. It was an easy drive, didn't stop much.
It was an amazing weekend. I'm flattered beyond all belief to win something there. The people and the place mean so much to me. It's pretty much THE highlight of my performing life to date.