Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Festival in the Middle of Somewhere




Yesterday I had my second opportunity to hear Debbie's band at a festival way out in the country. Debbie sang and Rick was on the keyboard, but this time they backed Ace Jones, the lead singer and guitarist. Dwane Pruitt played the drums. (Dwayne also played the drums Thursday at the farmer's market gig.)

The drive from Tuscaloosa was gorgeous. The scenery we passed was lush and green -- meadows and pastures with curious cows, stands of forest and woods. The sky was a deep, Prussian blue with piles of cumulus clouds billowing upwards from the horizon. The day was hot, though. The humidity here makes air so thick you could spread it on toast.

The festival took place 20 miles south of Greensboro in a vast grassy meadow with a canopied stage. An outdoor kitchen served some of the best catfish you'll ever eat, as well as fried chicken. Various beverages were available, but, in the heat, we were just grateful for bottles of cold water.

Four bands were scheduled to play. Starting at 4:30,Debbie's was first. They played for about an hour, going from song to song, each having their own moments with riffs and variations. The people who come to hear blues get right into it, making for one of the most attentive and appreciative audiences a musician can ask for.

We stayed for awhile to listen to the 2nd band, who sounded really great. But it was a long drive back to Tuscaloosa, so we finally had to leave. We didn't get home until a little after 8:00 p.m. After a late night supper, we went to bed, accompanied by a different kind of music from the cicada orchestra outside the door.

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