This weekend was the best weekend ever. At least two of my friends agree. And we’re doing it again next weekend. This weekend was spent in La Forêt. That’s français for The Forest. Black Forest to be exact. That’s where the Meadowgrass festival was held, for the third year in a row.
Friday I arrived in time to catch one of the last acts of the night, a Zydeco band named Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. They definitely left me with a hankering for some cajon food. I would say gumbo, but I’m allergic to shrimp, so I’ve never tried the stuff.
Horse Feathers was one of the best acts there, the lead singer’s voice reminds me a lot of the lead singer from the Great Lake Swimmers, who played the same festival last year. I caught GLS at a show in Denver the year prior, tickets to which were a birthday present. If you like Great Lake Swimmers, you’ll like Horse Feathers. All the guys were pining away for the talented female cellist. They also had a musical saw as part of their act, that was interesting to watch! It always amazes me to see people playing an instrument by ear, and I can’t imagine it is easy. Same goes for the theremin, and the cello as well, since it is fretless.
Sons & Brothers choked me up, surprisingly. They are local favorites, and on the Western Jubilee’s record label. While I’m just a young whipper snapper, their stories about little girls and ponies tugged at my heart strings just a little bit. But don’t tell anyone.
The campfire jams were definitely the highlight of the weekend, hosted by the local trio The Changing Colors. Also present were members of the local groups Grass It Up and Burn the Maps. Some of the members of the larger groups (such as Yarn) stopped by, but didn’t have insturments with them, to my (possibly faulty) recollection.
Friday night’s jam session turned into an amusing battle of the bands. Locals Joe Johnson, The Haunted Windchimes and The Changing Colors took turns leading songs, with a crowd of pickers strumming along with them as song leaders called out the chords. One of the more memorable songs came from Mike Clark (mandolin, harmonica, vox for the Haunted Windchimes, as well as his other projects, The Ghost of Michael Clark and The Jack Trades). He was accompanied by Desirae Garcia (uke and vox) and Chela Lujan (banjo and vox) (“the girls” as they kept being referred to) from the ‘Chimes with a call and answer song that was practically shouted. It started with “Well, I’m Gonna Build a Boat.” No one wanted to concede the fight, and Joe Johnson did an awesome job with capturing the complete attention of the crowd, as well as The Changing Colors, who won in my book, especially since they played the last song of the night both nights. Check out this amazing recording of them by Kevin Ihle: Now, who would want to follow that?
Kevin also recorded quite a few of the other artists at the festival, look for them on youtube. My friends were excited to see Damien Jurado, and we were all a little star struck to see him laying on the couch in the green room as we sat across from him at the fire place as we waited for the Haunted Windchimes to take their turn with Kevin. Luckily, there was a rock column outside that we could discuss the difficulty of (5.8, but what about in flip flops?) with Patrick Anderson, pedal steel player for the Broken Spoke (as well as for The Ghost of Michael Clark, along with Aaron Fanning, cellist for The Changing Colors). Poncho, as he is also known as, is a route setter at a local climbing wall. We also discussed the mathematics professor John Gill, who is thought to be the founding father of the sport of climbing. We had already covered the most important people in American art history (Rothko) and literature (Walt Whitman), along with nuclear power the night before, so it was extrememely fitting that we finally covered him. Dr. Gill also happened be in the department at the university I received my mathematics degree from. I unfortunately missed the opportunity to take a class from him, as he retired after my first year, and I was a civil engineering major initially. I think my rock climbing-fanatic friends Vanessa and Paul may have though.
Night 2 of the campfire, local Sarah Rose did a great cover of Sunglasses at Night, and the trombone player from another band covered the synth part from across the outdoor ampitheater, amusingly. The Windchimes did a rendition of Madeline Adams’ “Shotgun Wedding.” I love the lyrics.
Don’t you wish you was a baby
Don’t you wish you was a baby again
You had a fine mama, fetch you milk from the palm of her hand
Ain’t it mighty, awful mighty
Sleep and suck until your thumb runs dry.
You had a fine mama, fetch you milk from the white of her eye
You can catch the Windchimes again in Pueblo this weekend at the Bluegrass on the River festival. The line up on the main stage is available below:
|10:00am||-||Fulton County Bluegrass||Bluegrass Patriots|
|10:45am||-||Stray Grass||High Plains Tradition|
|11:30am||-||Blue Pepper Trio||Ashleigh Caudill & Narrow Gauge|
|12:15pm||-||Long Road Home||Stray Grass|
|1:00pm||-||Bluegrass Patriots||The Rifters|
|1:45pm||-||Sons & Brothers||Sons & Brothers|
|2:45pm||-||Palmer Divide||Haunted Windchimes|
|3:30pm||-||Blue Canyon Boys||Long Road Home|
|4:15pm||-||Ashleigh Caudill & Narrow Gauge||The Ackermans|
|5:00pm||-||Mountain Holler||Acme Bluegrass|
|5:45pm||-||High Plains Tradition||Lonesome Traveler Band|
|6:30pm||-||Dinner Break and Stage Setup|
|8:00pm||The Ackermans||Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand|
|9:00pm||Ryan Shupe||Saturday Night Dance|
|10:00pm||& the RubberBand||with|