Greetings fellow campers!
(And this includes you whose “tents” come with indoor plumbing and room keys…)
It’s almost exactly a week since my flight touched down at Reagan National, bringing me home from Kerrville. It already feels like worlds away (sigh). It seems to get harder to leave every year… as if you couldn’t tell by all my machinations to buy a couple extra days this year.
I’m still thanking my fine friends at Midwest Airlines for allowing me to re-book and stay on the ranch through Friday. I love those lazy weekdays and sundowns at Threadgill, not to mention being able to spend several hours campfiring and still be asleep by 1. It also bought me a few more exciting weather events (woohoo)… Judi, we did get that powerful storm early Wednesday, but we had enough advance warning to batten down the hatches, and Camp Nashbill survived pretty well. I managed to sleep through most of it, despite Eric’s early morning call to my cell to make sure the ranch was still in one piece, as he watched the hail flying past his hotel room window at a 45 degree angle. I think Kerrville (the town) got hit worse than the campground. (And I apparently have some SERIOUS ear plugs.)
Driving home from work this evening through a wicked thunderstorm, I was thinking about this year’s festival (funny, that) and all the things for which I am so grateful… for my lovely and accommodating “landlady” Teresa, who gave me and my teeny tent such a comfortable home on the outskirts of Greater Camp Nashbill, and who is so much fun to share kerr-linary adventures with (I think Kerrsadillas need to become a regular feature at Nashbill) … for
Judi’s excellent guiding skills getting me to the top of Enchanted Rock, and the great conversation there that was as inspiring as the view … for my private performance of my favorite Eric Folkerth song, and for Eric’s strong shoulder when Schwartz brought us all into the White Light at the end of the Rachel Bissex tribute … for hours and hours (and hours and hours) of amazing conversation with Weird, who never laughed at me even when I started to sound like some unfortunate offspring of Donald Duck and a guinea pig, and for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding in the Weirdmobile (sorry to hear it’s not feeling well), and for the AWESOME hot showers I was able to take courtesy of his generosity and the Motel 6 … for our brave Kerrvirgins Tina and Daniel, it was fun to see
the experience through their eyes and remember my “first time” … for Paul and Terrie and Brian being so smart to take my suggestion of lunch at Mamacita’s, and then generously inviting me along (yum!), and Brian especially for giving me hope for future generations of Kerrverts … for Kellie’s always fun company and excellent tip about Kenny White (he’s got about six new fans in Baltimore and I’m still passing the disc around) … for Linda bringing the spirit of Dave Carter to the Nashbill song circle nightly (I’m still singing about Tiffany slippers going click-clack), and bringing the stars closer for us through Tom’s fabulous ‘scope … for Joseph’s good humor despite our sometimes relentless teasing, and his impromptu songwriting skills (I really think we had something going with “Lonesome, Hungry, and Blue”), and
for stopping by on his way to school every morning even when we made him late … for Paul P.’s ever-so-droll contributions to the breakfast club, and his tasty flapjacks … for Ross and Sharon bringing new life to our camp at the beginning of weekend two, and for Ross’ fantastic “put the man together” song (I’m singing that one when I’m not singing “Phantom Doll”) … for all the gifted writers and players who dropped by to share their music around our candle campfire (JP, Sofia of the beautiful voice, Juliet, John and DJ, Joe J., Bruce, Jenni Mansfield, Michael and Siobhan, Tracie, Noah from Kansas, my homegirl SONiA, so many others) … and of course, what can I say about our host, with his big heart, gentle spirit, way cool $129 guitar, and Mainstage guitar solo that made me cry? Bill, I am just so grateful you are you, and that I am blessed to count you my friend.
And then there were all those talented New Folk performers (did anyone else notice that if you bought Disc 2 of the New Folk set you got 4 of the 6 winning performances? Handy – and economical), another great line-up at Mainstage (Sherpas, Lowen & Navarro, Kenny White. Photoglo and Freebo, Adam & Kris, Modern Man, and Schwarz among my favorites this year), the incredibly moving Rachel Bissex tribute, and some great weeknights up at Threadgill. The South Florida and New Song showcases were both chock full of wonderful
writers, especially new (to me) faces like Joe Jencks, DevonSproule, and Tret Fure. My overall favorite performance was one I would have missed had I gone home as scheduled – Carla Ulbrich and the Malvinas. What a lively, funny, moving evening of music!
Let’s hear it for the women!
I’m doing all I can to keep the Kerrville energy going as long as possible… I ran into SONiA and Terry at the San Antonio airport on Friday and they invited me to a gig in Baltimore the next night, so I got on the phone first thing Saturday morning to round up some friends for that one. It ended up being quite a party! This Sunday I’m taking a friend to see Ellis Paul (her first time) at my favorite coffeehouse in Virginia. I spent the last two nights working on a very fun project, creating a Kerrville Kompilation CD for my friend Cathy, who was *thisclose* to coming along this year but couldn’t make it happen (and is already regretting it). I’m hoping the artists will forgive me the somewhat unauthorized copying of no more than one song each, given that the end goal is that Cathwill spend lots of money going to see them and buying their discs either here or at KFF next year. It was quite a project pulling out all the CD’s I’ve collected over four years of festivals, choosing the songs, and (most fun of all) writing “liner notes” telling her a bit about each performer. Lots of reminiscing along the way…
And do I even need to say that the wristband is still firmly in place?
Wishing I was still under Texas skies, and missing all of you,