It's a long way to Pittsburgh
I drove to Joliet Thursday night. I was going to take the day off, but decided to save that for later in the year when I will really need it. I got there about 9:30 or so and went to the back room to crash pretty early. We decided to leave really early, to give us time to get checked in, loaded in and crashed out before the music started that night. I finally laid down for a bit, and then realized that there was a panel I wanted to be at. mrgoodwraith talked about all the various sorts of geek music going on. I got a couple of names that I need to go look up.
The Music Starts
Cedric of The Bedlam Bards
I've played with Cedric a few times, and have seen him several times over the least couple of years. As always he was a ton of fun. There was even more fun to be had when we had a chance to jam.
I think she said this was her first show. She started by tanking a song a line or two in. As someone else said in a review my thought was "oh great, here comes a train wreck". She then proceeded to charm everyone in the room, and play a bunch of really really really good songs. Once she gets her performance chops up to speed, she will be a force to be reckoned with. As it is, she's a songwriter to be reckoned with.
The circle Friday night was a blast. Really Randy, you bring in an amazing bunch of folks, you really do. I got to hear several folks I had not heard as well as Cedric and Juanita Coulson, who I never get to hear enough. We did Merlin and something else I can't remember. I also pulled out FPN, which broke an awful lot of folks (from what I gather from comments elsewhere). For those of you who were there, I've added to it since then. It'll be even uglier next time. We packed it in around 1:30 and went off to get some sleep.
I must commend mrgoodwraith's recommendation of the breakfast place next door. A truly yummy greasy spoon without the grease.
I only saw a few of Clif's songs, since we had to bring gear down. I'm bummed, since he is an amazing songwriter and a great guitar player. He has this kind of old country blues turned filk feel to him.
Hmmm, he did a couple of songs I hadn't seen him do live before (including his Fump song from this week, absolutely killer). He had some new schtick and is, as always, one of the best dementia performers.
Pete doubled as the sound man all weekend. He's also a very good songwriter. It is odd how similar our acts are. He's like the more laid back version of me, lots of digressions, but not as much caffeine.
I posted the set list and a couple of quick comments earlier. There were some issues. Pete ran about 15 minutes late so our first couple of songs were our soundcheck and I couldn't quite hear Gundo most of the time (I take a lot of my cues off what he is playing). Even with that it was a really fun show. A lot of that is up to the audience, and they gave us back more than any performer could expect. By the time I got up front for the last couple of song, they had driven the energy level so far up that I still can't believe that we survived the show. We played Would You Like To Play A Game for the first time. I got about half the lyrics out (it's a little intense) but the audience were still there and shouting the chorus back at me. Thank you so much everyone. As always, it's better when you help. And you were right there. Through the show, musically, we went some "interesting" places, but I think this was the most fun show I have been involved in in years and the energy level was through the roof.
Catherine Asaro and Donald Wolcott
I missed them. Sorry. I was on an endorphin high and had to get out of the room.
I went up to New Kensington for a couple hours. It's one of the many places I grew up when I was a kid and the only house that I lived in from birth to 25 years of age that is still standing is there. Really, everywhere else I ever lived has been torn down. I went to my grandparents old house and sprained my ankle on the sidewalk that goes around it. Serious fun. And I went to their graves and called my Dad when I was up there. The drive up there and back was wonderful, so many childhood memories came flooding back.
I got back in time for ...
I've said this before, I hate people who can really sing. Put in also that they write amazing songs and are deeply funny and twisted and can turn around and tear your heart out of your chest ... wow.
The Saturday night circle
I don't remember a lot. We did Bold Marauder and Sweet Home O'Meara (with special guest villain Cedric playing the blues on his fiddle). We crashed out pretty early and for some reason no one was surprised.
Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps
They are always wonderful, and this show was no exception. I really need to get her whole catalogue.
Maugorn the Stray
I just caught a song, cause it was time to hit the road. 9 hours back to Joliet, 5 hours the next day back to Ames, a half day of work and then finally home about 6:30.
This was more fun than should be legal. Randy, you put on one amazing party. We've got to get back there again. Thank you so much.