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Willow Creek Folk Festival 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I have been remiss in blogging, esp. about Willow.  So here goes.  This was a fine weekend.  The weather was damn near perfect, mild temps, near constant breeze during the day, clear skies at nite to see the meteors.  Only the most wee bit of rain on Sunday morning.  But what would Willow be without at least some rain.  Our camp expanded this year to 3 canopies.  The food was yummy as usual.  I cooked about 5 dozen of my pancakes Sat. morn.  So many people brought me fresh blueberries for my cakes that I went home with more blueberries than I brought.  Used Ray's newly restored antique Griswold stove and his Griswold griddle.  That puppy was hot!  The cakes were just flying off that thing.

To get Willow officially started for me I had to wait for Keith Borowski (soon to be Dr. Borowski!) to get there and break the seal on my primo bottle of Scotch...that done...Willow proceded.

Had a very nice stream of musicians contribute to tunes at our camp, starting with Colleen Foley.  We sang tunes and had fun.  She hung for Fri. afternoon before departing.  I missed seeing Bill Foley but forgive him for not going, as he is laid up with a bad back.  MIck Scott came by for a chat, but we didn't play tunes together until we got on stage Sat. nite.  Bill Mort arrived Fri. afternoon and stayed thru Sat. breakfast.  Bill has to be my fav. Old Time mando player.  Wonderful tunes with Morty!  Fri. afternoon saw the arrival of David Brown, Ray Thraen, Judy Cuplin and Mike to our camp.  Lots of other folks, not all musicians.  Vicki brought a canopy and, as always, contributed in many non-musical ways.  Sandy showed up and we played tunes till the wee hours with Ray and David. At about 1 AM, David told us he was going to bed.  Off he went and I turned to Sandy and Ray and told them I was gonna play a tune that would reverse time:).  So I started into Paterroller, knowing full well that it is one of David's fav tunes.  And sure enough, David returned, sat down and played it with me.  First there was a guitar player sitting there...then he was gone...then time reversed (sic) and he was sitting there again!  Harold dropped off a load of firewood.  No fire Fri. nite, but we had a real nice on Sat. nice and there was something about glass blowing!

Earlier Friday, whilst dinner was a-cooking I played all the swing tunes I know with Doc Brad on drum brushes...a lot of fun as Brad really knows how to swing a tune.

Saturday a whole new fresh crop of folks showed up...Bingo and his son Will, Linda and Greg (The Old Gray Cats!), Brandon Gold (his first Willow), Jim Perrot, Tom Little.  Met Isaac and Caleb, two young (16 & 14) Old Time musicians from Rockford.  I think this was their first Willow.  Young folks like those guys give me real hope that our music will thrive long after I'm gone.  I am afraid I offended Isaac, but I hope not.  I am working on making amends.

Brooks Thomas asked Tim Steil and I to accompany him during his stage performance doing 3 of his original tunes.  That was fun and a nice challenge, as the first two were in E!

I was glad to see Greg Steil and thus was able to give him the gourd I got for him :).  Saw lots of other wonderful folks and heard some very nice tunes in snippets from the stage.

On Sat. morn. I went up to sign up for stage time...most slots had been filled.  But the first 30 minutes were nearly blank and there was a note that said if you signed up for a slot in those first 30 minutes you could take a second slot latter in the day.  Typically one is only allowed one slot per day.  So I signed up to be first!  And for a slot in the last hour, after 9 PM.

And the Marxolin...I brought it for amusement and showed it to one and all as the weekend progressed.  Though I have had the thing for something like 15 years, I had no clue as to how to play until Dr. Brown figured it out.  So I took up on stage and used it to make the first live noise (I can not say it was music) on stage at Willow 2013. Twas a hoot!

So, for the rest of that first mini set I did a tribute to John Hartford...also dedicated that first set to my late great friend Steve Prieve.

For the second, later set, I played with Greg Jones, Linda and Brandon.  Did a rockin little set of A fiddle tunes.

In mid-afternoon I did the set with Brooks.

And lastly I did a set with Sandy, Ray and the gang....a set of fiddle tunes in D...had folks dancing over and on the hay bales...line dancing!

Had great food all weekend...David brought a pork something or other...Vicki and her daughter cooked a huge wonderful breakfast Sun. morn...and of course my pancakes on Sat. morn.

and the babies...lord were there a lot of babies...I left our camp to go on up to the stage Sat. morn and returned to find 6 kids at camp...two of which were 6 month old twins...and, in addition to those 6, there were 2 Finnigans and Amelia...and Rosa...seeing 3rd generations coming to Willow...

This was the 47th annual Willow...not many festivals can claim that vintage...tis small and there are no hired bands...but it is wonderful...those of us who go regularly start looking forward to the next one as soon as it is over

This may well be the only fest I go to this sure was a good one.

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jojo25 has made 5 recent additions to Banjo Hangout 

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Occupation: architect

Gender: Male
Age: 70

My Instruments:
Arthur E. Smith Shellbourne II -
Cedar Mountain A2, a Lo Gordon "woody" w/ rosewood rim/ring & 12" pot -
Fretless - converted 1926 Style N pot...flush frets via maple inlay in fingerboard
1926 Vega conversion - flush fret fretless
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Highwoods, Freight Hoppers, Old Crow Medicine Show (not so much their new stuff (8/10/2009)), Volo Bogtrotters, Allen Street String Band, John Hartford, Scott Jopllin, Louis Armstrong, Iris Dement, Django, John Coltrane, Monk, Asylum Street Spankers, Bill Mort, Bingo, Mick Scott, Walt Koken

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Created 12/1/2004
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been playing the banjo since -1973 - these days its mostly Old-Time and Irish, predominately OT...initially inspired by Earl, I've slowly migrated to OT over the years. I play banjo in the Terrapin Ridge Ramblers, based out of Elizabeth, Illinois, with Ray Thraen on fiddle and Judy Cuplin on piano. Our motto is "We win, cause we have more fun." Also play with the Old Gray Cats, based out of rural Barnveld, Wisconsin...and with the good Dr. David Brown...on mando and guitar...and ribs:)

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