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Clifftop report - 2007

Posted by jojo25 on Wednesday, August 8, 2007


what a time this was...camped down the hill with the unwashed masses...thus suffered from virtually complete sleep deprivation for 5 days...isn't that considered a form of torture??...guess not, when it is self imposed

we had one very good addition to our part of the campground...a 8'x8' portable dance floor...the idea came from Tim Jenkins (Gays Mills, Wi)...the plywood from Lumpy in Pittsburgh...the frame from Butch in Florida

the dance floor attracted dancers and callers, which attracted musicians, which attracted dancers, which attracted musicians...a very nice loop!...they even found a fairly flat spot for easy task at Clifftop

Tuesday nite/Wed morn played for a dance with Ryan and we played "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" for at least 30 minutes!!

early Sunday morning (the last Sunday, not the first one)...about 3 AM it got crazy and a naked square dance was held...I missed I was trying to sleep (silly me!)...but heard tell of it...I guess this was a reaction to the naked jam that took place on Friday nite/Sat morn...lots of hormones flowing amongst those yutes!!

each Clifftop (this was my 4th) has been different...this time I didn't stray far from camp (with one exception to go see Chip Arnold) to play music...lots of music around the dance floor and with my close neighbors...with the exception of Sat nite/Sun morn I actually held my own with the young folks (yutes)...only on that last nite did I get worn out before they did

and...I finally got that new planned, I stopped at Elderly on the way (took the ferry across lake Michigan) and noted my fav from what they had in  stock...then shopped at Cllifftop, checking out all of the vendors/builders and selected a Cedar Mountain banjo...a woody with a solid rosewood rim/ring, 12 inch pot...very plain in appearance...very different from my Arthur E. Smith...but that's OK

one serious complaint...way, way too many dogs...they should not be allowed...there were numerous dog fights and at least one person got bite and the dog drew blood...not good!!

I am not at all sure that I will go back to Clifftop is great in many ways, but I gotta go 900 miles to get family doesn't want any part of it...and I feel as though my energies should be expended locally...supporting OT here in the Midwest...also, I have promised my better half that I would take her to Italy in '08 and that will preclude Clifftop in '08, as it will take all of the vacation time I can muster just to do the Italy thing


5 comments on “Clifftop report - 2007”

frailin Says:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 @12:55:25 PM

What a great report (and story)!  Thanks for posting for us wanna-gos-but-couldn't.


mschlutt Says:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 @1:21:07 PM

From Blue Mounds, WI?!?  If you can't make it to Clifftop, come to next year's Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival in Madison!  The lineup was fantastic this year.  Certainly not quite as much old-time Clifftop, but about 860 miles closer for you!

See you UP at Sugar Maple.

Stev187 Says:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 @2:23:08 PM

Great report.  I also loved Clifftop.

I joined in on string bass during the square dance "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss."  What were you playing?  That little dance floor was cool.  Nobody got naked while I was there!

During the day, I played with pals up by the watertower.  At night, I ventured down to where you were.  I played bass in the cajun tent for a while (looks like more fun than it is) but mostly played banjo with some great fiddlers from WV and KY.  We were the very last jam on Tues. night--I had to leave the next morning.

This was my first Clifftop.  I will definately go again.  Like you, my family wants no part of it.  Still, it's a great music escape.

I didn't notice the dog problem.  I saw more than I thought I would, but I witnessed no fights or bitings.  People seemed to clean up after their doggies.  I noticed more small kids than I expected, too.

All in all, a great experience for me.  You can see my pictures from the week on my photo page (Clifftop 2007).


cashwo_wv Says:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 @2:47:04 PM

Great report and great music coming from that square dance place.

Steve, you were staying near some great wv musicans by the watertower.  I saw a jam there with Mike Bing, John Blisard, and Charlie Walden (MO).  Awesome music there.

luthier99 Says:
Friday, October 5, 2007 @10:02:33 AM

Man, I'm jealous!  Sounds like a blast.  When I first started learning clawhammer, I envisioned myself sitting around a campfire, jamming through some old time favorites while a small group of listeners gathered to enjoy the music and positive energy.  It hasn't happened yet, and to be honest, my skill level is still lacking when it comes to jamming with other musicians.  However, I can't waite to be the player, not the listener, in my banjo future!  Thanks for the info.

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