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1st and last Thomas Point Beach

Posted by vt picker on Saturday, September 6, 2008

Last Thursday morning, I headed off to Thomas Point Beach for my first and last time. This, despite Bruce having gigs all weekend long (which has kept us from going before).

I still did arrive with a fabulous banjo player; Casey Henry from Nashville. I learned at Banjo Camp North, she made the trek north in her pickup which has 200k+ miles on it and I suggested she fly, and I'd pick her up and take her there.

So, we loaded up the station wagon with the bass, her banjo and fiddle; some suitcases; and a cooler; tied on the new popup camper (we named Doyle) I recently bought (it's maiden voyage) and headed East.

We spent the next four days listening at the stage, and playing at the campsite; some nights until 3AM, some until 5AM. We enjoyed High T, late night playing, fantastic weather, and the best bunch of campers you can imagine. Plenty of hob-knobbing went on, I was introduced to the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band and they hung out at our camp complex much of the weekend. (the complex included Big Appleachia members, Old Time Bluegrass Singers members, Country Man Dan, Jim Hammond, Dave Gannon, Casey and me).

Highlights: seeing our campmates onstage, Marty Stuart's set (WOW) Del and the boys (and the boys coming by to pick Saturday night at the campsite, again Sunday to tell stories round the fire), Claire Lynch and having lunch with supreme bassist Mark Schatz and Eileen, playing all night long; after playing most of the day, and just being with such a great group.

It's a shame the festival is ending; because they've really figured out how to do it right. There's an all night "caboose" which sells food/ coffee/ drinks/ firewood/ ice from 9PM to 9AM, tents and shows that end at 10PM to encourage playing, a beautiful spot, and amazingly friendly people. I think 1/3 the audience was Canadian; based on the license tags in the lots.

We're all hoping the owner has a change of heart and keeps it going next year, or at least still owns the property so we can show up and have our own festival; High T and all.


3 comments on “1st and last Thomas Point Beach”

caseyhenry Says:
Saturday, September 6, 2008 @7:05:08 AM

And many thanks to Kelly and Bruce for the hospitality, the ride, the fingernail clippers, and the great company. If we can't do it again at TPB, we'll just have to find another festival!

jpoulette Says:
Sunday, September 7, 2008 @3:15:20 AM

WOW - sounds like you guys had a great time! Did you get ANY sleep??? How did "Doyle" work out??

Casey - Sorry we missed you AT B&K's before you went to TPB, just too many irons in the fire. BUT, we're thinking of going to the Kaufman Kamp next year - especially since you're signed up for an intro fiddle class. Playing the fiddle is something we've wanted try for a long time!!

vt picker Says:
Sunday, September 7, 2008 @5:43:13 AM

no, i didn't get much sleep. you can sleep when you're dead... or when you go back to work on Tuesday! Doyle was a champ; what a great little popup. I didn't run into anything trailering; and Casey and I easily set it up ourselves and took it down.

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