Folks, I'm just back from a music trip to Florida and Georgia, and it was a blast.
On Saturday our festival group, Red & Chris and Their All-Star Band (myself, Christopher, Jenny Obert, John Hedgecoth, and Barbara Johnson) performed at the Great Hahira Pick-In. Now, that may look like a strange name for a bluegrass festival, but an excellent one, which Murphy and I used to play, was put on there for 16 years back in the 1980's and 90's. This was a one-time revival of those old shows, and it drew a very large crowd. Along with doing quite a bit of original music, we found that we could do more hard-core Monroe bluegrass for the crowd than we usually can at a bluegrass show, so we piled on the rarely-heard old stuff: Stoney Lonesome. Close By. Brown County Breakdown. Rawhide (not as rare, but just as hard-core if played right). The band and the audience all had a great time.
This festival had an excellent hospitality tent for the performers. Now folks, that is a great thing. When you've been playing on stage, selling CDs, visiting with dozens of people, and generally being on your feet for a long time, it's really nice to be able to sit down and have a good meal. Thanks, folks!
At Hahira it was a pleasure to visit again with Marty Raybon, whose family band, American Bluegrass Express, played many of the same festivals we did in the Southeast 25 and 30 years ago. It was a special treat that Marty's brother Tim was there too. Tim's a nice guy and good musician who fillled in with us on bass for a weekend long ago.
After playing our second set we sold some CDs, packed up our stuff, and headed to Gainesville, Florida for a show the next day.
Next time-- Sunday!
PS-- Barry Hyatt has posted an 8-minute clip of our festival set on YouTube (the date was actually November 7th, but that's OK!):