Sunday, August 21, 2011

I went to see Arlo Guthrie play with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at Conner Prairie. It was a very hot summer night. Even when the sun finally went down, the heat and humidity was overwhelming. Here is what Arlo wrote about the performance in his blog:

"We followed the heat as it crawled eastward to Indianapolis, IN, where we played outdoors at Conner Prairie with the Indianapolis Symphony and the boys in "Time For Three." They were a lot of fun to share a gig as well as share the bugs that were flying around the stage. The bugs we fairly squishy and tasted great - not a meal but more of a snack. We did two nights there. There were far fewer bugs the second day - which goes to show you how much we ate the first night."

Doesn't that just sound like something he'd say?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trip to the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

What an adventure I had this summer! I made the trip from Indianapolis to Oak Hill, New York, to the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. It was a 13 hour, approximately 850 mile drive (one-way). I had never been to that part of New York before and it was so beautiful! I loved the mountains and the views.

Upon arriving at the festival, I set up camp. I camped five nights in my little tent, sleeping in my sleeping bag with just a mat between me and the earth. The days were pretty warm, in the upper 80's, but the evenings were cool, requiring a sweatshirt and long pants. It was great sleeping weather!

I was a volunteer at the festival. I worked on the Shower Crew for a total of 12 hours during my five days there, in return for the entrance and camping fee, three meals and a snack a day, PLUS access to backstage. Also, the first ten rows were reserved for VIPs and Volunteers. They even had a massage tent, where 15 minute massages were available for free to the Volunteers and VIPs.

The festival is held on beautiful Walsh Farm. The only trees were around the perimeter. The only shade was man-made. The sky was simply beautiful, lots of big fluffy clouds floating by.
And the sunsets were fabulous!We were also treated to a full moon that week. Simply beautiful.

There were so many people at this festival. I don't even know how many people were there. Thousands. There were older folks who had been coming since the '70's. There were teenagers. There were young families with their children. Everyone was having a great time.

The campsites were divided into areas where people would be the happiest. There was the High Meadow, which was way up the hill. No cars were allowed up there. The shuttle buses helped carry camping gear up there, and then you were on your own. There was the Quiet/Family Camping area where things were quiet after 10:00 PM. And then there was Picker's Paradise Camping, where jams were going night and day. There was Generatorville, where people with RV's could camp together. No matter where you camped, there were only Port-a-Pottys available.

But the reason everyone was there was for the music. What a wonderful lineup! I'll have to say my favorite concert was Chris Thile and Michael Daves. They really put on a great show!

One day I left the festival to explore the area. I found a wonderful organic restaurant right on Catskill Creek. I had a lovely breakfast there and sat outside and enjoyed the creek as it gurgled by.

After I finished my strawberry smoothie, I couldn't wait to find a path down to the creek and take off my sandals and put my feet in the cold water. Ahhh.

I sat there a long time enjoying the water, the sun, and watching other people enjoying Catskill Creek, too.

In addition to the Main Stage, there was the Master's Tent. It was a smaller venue and you could get up close to the musicians.

Tony Watt, Chaz Justus and Michael Daves, Guitar Masters!

Oh, my, I had a wonderful time!

The Fiddlers' Gathering 2011

Every summer I am drawn to the Indiana Fiddler's Gathering held in Battle Ground, Indiana, the last weekend in June. Battle Ground is about an hour's drive north of Indianapolis. The main focus of the festival showcases fiddle players, but there is always a potpourri of music. These are two of my favorite ukuleles, my Fluke and my cigar box uke.
There are always lots of vendors at this festival selling everything from homemade soaps to hula hoops.

My favorite group this year was La Vent du Nord. They were from Quebec and really put on a great show. The instrument on the left is a hurdy gurdy - not seen very often in Indiana.

The fiddle player also played percussion with his feet - it was great!

They were joined by uilleann pipe player Chris Layer, a local favorite. The uilleann pipes are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland, and they blend well with Northeastern seaboard's song traditions, as well as Breton and Celtic tunes.

I was accompanied by my handsome 14 year old grandson this year. He was interested in the guitars that were for sale - and also the food vendors.

I loved this girl's beautiful red hair.

And hula hoops are all the rage these days. What's old is new again!