I never knew such an awesome Festival could exist as the Kerrville Folk Festival. Everywhere I walked I heard original songs flowing through the air. Occasionally there would be the classic campfire cover but for the most part the attendees are all songwriters and seized every moment to share their works with other songwriters. It took a couple days to truly feel settled but once I had my tent perched on the hermit top of the hillside and my tarp fixed to protect from the nearly constant rain, I was able to just sit and write and enjoy the hilarity of being in the lovely Texas terrain. I volunteered on the recording crew. The festival makes LOTS of recordings. I loved my job of writing down the set lists, especially the part when I got to verify the names and rights of the songs with the artists. Always a fun moment. My favorite band playing from the main stage were the Brooklyn based Texas rockabilly band the The Sweetback Sisters www.thesweetbacksisters.com/ (who I later learned played at the Albino Skunkfest in Greer, SC not too long ago) and my favorite from the campgrounds is a new singer/songwriter and a winner in the New Folk Competition, Adrianne Linker www.facebook.com/adrianne.linker. All the sets happening on the main stages were recorded, as well as many field recordings out in the camp grounds. I was honored to have a few of my songs recorded by Brian Cutean www.qtnrg.org/ who has been attending the festival for over 30 years and is making a great effort to document the musicology and culture of the festival. The songcatcher and folk songwriter explained to me that the 42 year old festival counts as a village of an indigenous group of people with it’s own traditions and language. In recent years a history project has begun to preserve the stories and time line. Brian make CD’s to contribute to this.
After too short of a time in Kerrville it was time for me to move on. I needed to pick up my old band mate from Paper Crocodiles www.papercrocodiles.com , Tom Purtill at the Phoenix airport. I’m delighted to have him along for the next leg of the trip. Aside from a fun shows at a coffee shop with half the room filled by Tom’s family, we had a few other Phoenix adventures. Tom’s cousin had a birdy bathroom and his uncle Joe Bethencourt http://www.whitetreeaz.com/ has at least 20 banjos, an impressive collection of firearms and 8 greyhounds which he and his wife rescue. A few quick claw-hammer banjo secrets and Tom and I were off to LA.