Chris, Jenny (his fiddle-playing girlfriend), and I drove down to Florida recently for the Will McLean folk music festival, and we had a great time. It was a long way for us to go, being held not far from Tampa, but it was certainly worth the drive.
The festival is named in honor of Florida's pioneering folksinger and songwriter, Will McLean. A highly individualistic and creative person known as "Florida's Black-Hat Troubadour," Will influenced many other musicians and blazed the way for the rest of us who followed after.
We arrived at the show on Friday afternoon and promptly started warming up--we had a set to play at 7:00. And the set went great. We played a mix of bluegrass and Florida Folk material, and our friend Ron Johnson posted our two-guitar harmony arrangement of Will's song "Osceloa's Last Words" on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW-TmL-PCKE . (Red Henry and Chris Henry--guitars, Jennifer Obert--fiddle, Barbara Johnson--bass).
After performing it was time to pick, and pick we did, until late at night. On Saturday Chris and I led a well-attended mandolin workshop, playing some music and answering lots of questions, and selling a good many CDs and Murphy Method DVDs afterwards. Then we backed up our friend Dale Crider on his afternoon set for a lively crowd. There was more picking that night, and Dale showed up to sing lots of our old bluegrass favorites from when we were learning to play in the late 1960s.
On Sunday we backed Dale up on another set, and then played our own show at 2:00 on the Main Stage. We had a terrific crowd which (I say modestly) gave us a standing ovation, and then we sold some more CDs and DVDs before hitting the road. We won't get rich playing at folk festivals in Florida, but you know what? We'll be back!
P.S.-- Next shows:
Gamble Rogers Music Festival, May 1-2, St. Augustine
Florida Folk Festival, May 28-30, White Springs