It was not exactly the auspicious first performance I had envisioned giving at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield.
It was better!
Because of the deluge that was raining down upon us (an act that preceded me on Stage 3 had the audience sitting on the stage behind them because it was dry!….which put me in mind of scenes from Pete Seeger’s Hootenany black and white TV show)….I decided to do my first set of the day in the horse barn just south of Stage 3, which became dubbed “The Stage 3 Annex” by Seth Bates, the Emcee for the afternoon sets.
This let the audience be dry, it also let the sound people not be touching electrified equipment while the rain and mist blew through, around and upon their attempting-to-be-sheltered equipment.
The rain on the tin roof above provided some challenge over which I had to work to be heard, but the hardy folks who gathered to hear music had an experience that is not unlike rainy day porch pickin’ all across this great nation of ours (and I’m quite certain, in several other great nations on the planet!)
The inclemency of the weather also provided an opportunity that I eagerly snapped up:
The chance to jam with some of my colleagues and friends, who are themselves prize-winner and very fine dulcimer players!
Nathaniel Samsel (from Georgia, a recent winner of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival’s Mountain Dulcimer Contest) is in the middle; Jeff Hames (a National Mountain Dulcimer Champion from Mississippi is on the far right) and Irma Reeder (not pictured, but playing guitar on my right from New Mexico, also a Colorado Dulcimer Festival Mountain Dulcimer winner) joined me for a very fun impromtu jam session as a part of my afternoon set.
That’s why it turned out even better than I had imagined. Every day I get to share music with other folks, in ways that prompt us all to bring our best, focused attention and listening ears that help us hone our chops, is a GOOD DAY!
Thanks to Jeff Lilley for this photo to help keep this good memory fresh!