Old Songs Part 3- The Last Day

Sunday was bitter sweet. It was the end.. but it was still great.

I had my last shifts to work in the morning. You know, I enjoyed them but I sort of felt like I missed out some things while I was working but at the same time, I got to see things I wouldn’t have normally.

For example, while we were working the gate, the Rustic Riders (aka the Rusty Criders. It’s fun with fonics!) came over and sang and played for us. That was really really nice. Sort of like our own little concert.

I also got to have some fascinating socio-political discussion with the guy I worked the ticket sales with. So fun.

Sunday is a shorter day but there was the Disney Sing Along with Bing which was fun and I got to learn how many Disney songs I **don’t know**.

I really spent a lot of time just wandering and stopping and listening to this and that. And I stayed for a good amount of the afternoon concert.

I heard this really great band, whose name I have since forgotten… Thank goodness for Twitter.

So yeah.. the Andrew and Noah Band

So great right!? They had a fantastic set but I didn’t get to record a lot of it. I was in a high traffic area and I stopped here and there so people could walk through.

And here is an actual 10 minutes of Bing Futch. I found a seat with less traffic.

So what have I learned in my three months of ruminating on this?

It was awe inspiring to be around such kind people. To be surrounded my music and laughter and light was so beautiful an experience. It reminded me of all of the things I’ve let fall by the wayside, all of the energy work I used to do, all of the joy I got out of finding wonder in the things around me. And it reminded me that I can be granola crunchy in my own way that doesn’t fit into any particular mold. I can be myself around people I don’t know so why not do it around people that I do know?!

I also feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have had a chance to talk with such great people. The fact that people I admire and respect sought me out to talk with me is a reminder that I’m more than that “kid no one likes and everyone picks on” that I should have let go 20 years ago. It’s a reminder that I have value.

I know that’s pretty heavy, man.. but that’s what happened. It’s not every day that a music festival makes such a huge impact on me, but for some reason, this one did.

Old Songs Part 2.5 – The second half of Saturday

Well, hell.. it’s been months.

I’ve not posted about the second half of Saturday at Old Songs all of this time because I think I’ve been internalizing how amazing it was.

Guys it was magical. It’s rare that I’m in a place that I feel totally comfortable.. like totally. And I had an opportunity to be around people are just…well HAPPY.

So.. to continue where I left off

I had just grabbed some ice cream and headed off to the workshop where Bing Futch, Stu Fuchs and Joseph Bruchac were doing a Native American flute thing.

I had not met Stu before that day. I had heard of him but I had no idea what cool dude he is. He’s just… ZEN.

I sit down on a bench with my ice cream cone in hand, and Stu starts talking about starting with a meditation … and then he started using words like “mantra” and “mudra” and I’m like.. um… I need to get rid of this ice cream… I have a feeling something kind of awesome is about to happen and I’m going to need my hands for that mudra.

I got myself up, snuck out the door, pitched my Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (which is my total favorite and I don’t get it very often) and I hustled back into that room. I so completely enjoyed the meditation that Stu lead the group in. That guy has the energy of a peaceful spring fed lake.. so serene and calm on top, but giggling and bubbly underneath. He’s a delight for sure.

After the meditation, there was storytelling from the Native American Traditions, there was some flute playing and dulcimer playing and an all around good time but what I can’t get over was the energy between these three guys. They didn’t practice anything, they didn’t play together before and they actually didn’t even know each other before that day.

Then Stu pulled out a didgeridoo. Not a traditional didgeridoo.. one with a slide on it like a trombone. When he started playing that and Bing started with the dulcimer and Joe got some hand rhythm percussion going, I was transfixed. It was … astonishing.

I managed to get my hands to my camera and capture just a moment or two on my phone. I didn’t have a great seat for viewing but holy crap.. (also, I’m secretly jealous of Stu’s hair)

I don’t share this with many people, but my experience at Old Songs, reminded me about my goal to be more myself. To bring myself back to myself, so I’m going to share this with you all. I see auras and energy because of work I’ve done before now. Work that I’ve let fall by the wayside… there’s more too, but I’ll just hit you with a bit at a time. The energy that was flowing between the three of these guys… it was insane. I hadn’t seen or felt anything like it in years.

I mean just look at these guys. Don't they look like old friends?

I mean just look at these guys. Don’t they look like old friends?

I went back to wandering around and saw the things and did the things and had fun fun fun..

And then out of nowhere, Bing shows up and asks me if I want to intro a song for Rhythm Roots on Ditty TV. HOLY CRAP! after the fear of Oxtail in my teeth was dispelled, Bing filmed us and I was pretty dorky in a fun way. (I eventually filmed it from my living room while watching it on my TV but the sound quality isn’t great.. so turn your speakers way up and WITNESS MY DORKINESS! (SO FUN!)

And then..

It rained.

It rained a lot.

I got to find out just how not waterproof my raincoat no longer is.

I got wet.

Really wet.

The evening concert was moved inside but I stayed outside instead of heading into the barn to listen to the concert because at that point, it was too late. I was drenched.

And I totally didn’t care…. why?

Because this guy found me and we hung out and chatted and listened to the music.

Hanging out in the rain with Bing Futch

Hanging out in the rain with Bing Futch

And then I went home.. higher than a kite on all of the good vibes.

Old Songs Part 2: The First half of Saturday

I started off Saturday working a shift in the booth at the Main Gate

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In the booth! Come see me at Old Songs!!

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It all went pretty well, except that I charged someone 25 cents instead of 25 dollars on their credit card. But I made it up with another charge of $24.75. I’m sure the office at Old Songs just LOVED that. Sorry!!!

After I was done, I hightailed it over to the Dutch Barn to hear Bing’s concert.

It was great, as per usual but I had to shush the people behind me who were talking through Sweet River which is like my FAVORITE and although it’s on Bing’s album : Sweet River it’s so so so much better live.

After that concert, I wandered around a bit and stumbled upon some singing.. yay!

It was so beautiful!! I got to sing a long for a bit before I wandered off. I think I stayed for two or three songs. So amazing to hear those voices of strangers coming together in harmony.

Then I had lunch.

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Oxtail, bitchez.

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The guy who served this to me had a bracelet that said “Jesus is the Answer”. I don’t know about Jesus, but I know I was transported by this oxtail.

I went and entered a raffle to win this pretty little thing.

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So pretty…

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(I didn’t win. It’s ok because I was explicitly asked to NOT bring home any more instruments)

and then I bought these rhythm bones which I’m claiming are NOT an instrument.

Then I stumbled upon this Jam Session

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Street corner jam #oldsongs35

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And then I went to sit down for a bit and just enjoy the vibe.
When someone handed me this.

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I love this place. #lovewins

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t go play because I was working from 4PM to 8PM but holy cats it’s so great to be around people who want to celebrate these things!

Then I found Stu Fuchs rockin some uke..

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The great Stu Fuchs… I envy his tremelo.

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(are you tired of my blow by blow yet? TOO BAD)

I wanted to find some time to get some dancing in even though I was wearing the most inappropriate shoes ever.

So I headed to the dance building and sat down to wait for the band to start…

and I waited.. and waited..

and they played the “check check .. one two one two” song like.. FIVE times.. and I got bored. So I left and got some ice cream. With a fist full of Cherry Garcia, I headed over to where I knew there was a Native American Flute workshop with Bing Futch, Stu Fuchs and Joseph Bruchac…

What happened next was… amazing, inspiring… transcendental and transformational… and I had planned on skipping that workshop….

and I’m going to have to tell you in an other post because this one is already WAY too long.

Old Songs: Part 1 – The Friday Warm Up.

I spent the past weekend in Altamont, NY at Old Songs Festival. I had been to Old Songs before but I’d never stayed for the whole thing and I certainly never stayed when it rained.

I know… crazy wimpy, right?

Let me clue you in on something else. I’m kind of a cheapskate, too. See, my past experiences of Old Songs were… fine. I’d go and I’d hear a band or something but I’d leave feeling like I’d sort of wasted my money because I didn’t really know the bands and I was too lazy (that’s right.. LAZY) to take the time to research anyone or even stretch out of my comfort zone.

These past two years I’ve been reintroducing music into my life. I pulled my dulcimer out of the box and I’ve slowly been pulling myself out of my hidey-hole.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I decided to volunteer at Old Songs.

INORITE? Real people.. and me interacting with them. CRAZY!

(also, free tickets and free Friday classes-  told ya.. cheapskate)

So I volunteered to work the main gate. It wasn’t hard but the best part was that my first day was super easy since I didn’t have any shifts to work. That  meant I got to go to Bing Futch‘s workshop.

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Why hello there @bing_futch

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It was pretty much the same workshop I took with him at the Sand Creek Center for the Arts last month. I’d like to say that meant that I looked really great because I had this down cold..

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@hahamommy … 😉 wish you were here.

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But I didn’t. Since we’ve moved, I’ve barely touched my instrument.

So that was Friday pretty much. I did have a chance to spend some time chatting with Bing. I really find him super fascinating and an all around wonderful person. The dude just feels great to be around, know what I mean? You know those people.. the ones who just oooze good vibes? He’s one of those.

Saturday? Holy crap Saturday was amazing. I had no idea there was SO MUCH to do at Old Songs.. so much! and it was all fantastic!

I realize this post makes it sound kinda blah but there is so much more coming.. hang tight for my Saturday recap. I actually threw out ice cream. Perfectly good ice cream. I KNOW!