Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Back in Nashville, where the talent convenes

I drove home from Steamboat Springs (21 hours), arriving late Monday afternoon, in time to drop in on my parents and see them off as they head to upstate NY for the summer. It's hard to get us all in the same place, so I take every opportunity to visit with them.

I listened to a Jimmy Carter audiobook on the trip "Sharing Good Times"...the basic premise is that he has learned over the years that experiences gain added value when you share them with people - either directly, by experiencing them together, or indirectly by recounting them and sharing stories. That's exactly the sort of impulse that made me want to start this blog, and I'm grateful and a little surprised by how many of you seem to be enjoying sharing these experiences with me!

Nashville has spent the last 2 days proving to me [again] that there is magic here - it takes a couple weeks away to see that with fresh eyes...that may be just another good excuse for my endless wandering? I had been home for a mere 2 hours on Monday night when Bob and I headed out to a housewarming party, here in the 'Hood (Sylvan Park). Gail Davies and Rob Price have been busy renovating a place and we went to oooh and aaah over all their hard work. It was bound to be a great gathering of folks - Gail's son Chris is a multi-instrumentalist, and for this occasion he had brought the pedal steel - Rob Price is a wonderful bass player, and of course Gail is incomparable as a singer and a songwriter. The three of them started off playing a few songs, and over the course of the evening every talented human in the room had contributed a song or a vocal or picked a little on their instrument of choice. It was mostly classic country, and I can't get enough of that...another fun element to the evening was Kathy Chiavola shuttling musicians from all over the world back and forth to the party - she brought a young woman from Japan, Mari, who has moved here to Nashville recently to pursue her songwriting - next she arrived with a nice fellow from Germany, and later two guys from Holland, one of whom played one of his songs for could have been a country radio hit in the 70's and his Dutch accent completely disappeared when he sang. We got to hear and visit with Pete Huttlinger, which is always a treat...what a great player.

As if all that wasn't enough, my weekly Tuesday writers night at Wilhagans last night turned into a reunion of this year's Kerrville New Folk competition...along with some of my favorite regular attendees (Dan Schaefer, Alan Oatley, David Llewellyn, Doc West, Steve Taylor, etc) we also had the pleasure of hearing Tony Laiolo, Treva Blomquist, and "Ilyaimy" a duo from the Baltimore area who had simply blown me away in Texas a couple weeks ago. We did a campfire circle format last night, which is quickly becoming my favorite way to do the show. Aside from the obvious ease of not having to set up the PA, it allows us all to focus on each other and chat in-between songs. It's very intimate and warm...I may never set up the PA again, until we are forced back inside the bar by cold weather - that's a long way off, according to today's 90+ degrees.

I am going to post a few belated Kerrville pictures here...the first week was punctuated with some major thunderstorms (as usual) and after the biggest of those, I captured these kids playing in the "swamp" formerly known as the "road" in front of our camp:

and here's a lovely portrait of me having a post-storm measuring cup of wine:

That's all for now - I'll be home in Nashville for over a month, but there are plenty of interesting things coming up to report on...stay tuned.


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