I am also pretty keen on Cuzin Earl and the Barry Mando Project. I am a bit familiar with the former and not so much with the latter but eager to pick up on some of the conversation I have heard about them. The 23 String Band is an amazing collection of area musicians. One of the things I like to see is local musicians getting exposure on a stage like this. As Michael Jonathon of the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour says, all one has to do is go out and listen. There is a wealth of music, great music, that does not get air time but is every bit as good as that which does.
This festival is always done so tastefully with a family atmosphere in mind. One can come with chairs, blankets but no umbrellas with which to shade oneself from the tortuous July sun. Oh, and Kelly, no pets. I have always placed myself front row center but, as I said last year, I'm thinking more of the shade this year. Also, front row center works pretty good until Saturday night and then it becomes more front row behind all the dancers and vision for a sitter is obstructed. It seems just a short few years ago that I was one of the dancers and revelers but once I start counting it may have been longer than that. Whatever the case, these days it's about the music. And my friends.
These days it seems that work and daily chores consume so much of our time and it is at the expense of those friendships forged in a younger day but which still retain that sweetness that comes from shared time and experiences. I rarely see many of them but at this festival it is like Old Home Week. They are all there even if they do appear a bit different. And they still bring just as much of that sweetness and reverie I knew long ago.