I am a little slow getting out my July newsletter 'cause I am just back from the Kate Wolf music festival. (Note: highlighted text here links to web pages, videos, etc.) The festival setting is beautiful, and with four stages, you hear so much music!! Yes it is hot, but you can sit in the river or wear a wet shirt during the heat of the day. And kudos to the sound folks, the staff and volunteers who make this festival such a gem.
The artist line-up was a nice balance of veterans and up-and-comers, and a lot of variety of styles. Taj Mahal closed Saturday night and John Prine closed Sunday. Both made you feel that you were sitting in their living room sharing songs -- and what a legacy of songs they draw from!! Artists I had not heard before that caught my ear include Sam Chase (This is a studio video. He had a seven piece band with him at the festival - fiddle, cello, sax, banjo, bass, drums, back up singer, plus Sam on acoustic guitar - and he sure got the crowd going. A wild man !!), Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem (great players with a lot of fun songs. Here is their website; check out the homemade drum kit in the photos), Achilles Wheel (this was shot at the KW festival last year at one of the smaller stages, great boogie band with two drummers), Alice Di Micele (she has a fabulous voice and had a great fiddler with her at the festival, Crystal Reeves). There were many other great bands too, quite a number of which I did not get a chance to hear because I was jamming or recovering :-)
At the beginning of June, I played a Steve Key Songwriters At Play showcase in Paso Robles. Steve's showcases are a treat because you get to hear such a cross section of music. There was a young band, Sawmill Joe, that arrived late having driven in from Denver and they were a stand out. Old time music with Tom Waits style: raw passion and great delivery. Here is a video. I also played three kids music shows with Michael Hanna at library events in June. Such a pleasure sharing music with kids and parents. Here is one you might remember.
I was at a private party last month and got a chance to play with my fiddle teacher, Chad Manning (who I told you about last month) and some of his associates. Oh my!! Heard some truly world class playing up close, a bit like this. I am a lucky man.
Coming up in July, I have a couple of farmers market shows I am looking forward to, and I am playing the Napa Porchfest at the end of the month. That is a fun event, where you stroll old town Napa listening to great bands playing on the porches of Victorian houses.
Hope you are well into enjoying a good summer. Love to hear from you always.