Author: Sargent, Geoff

A Waxing Half Moon

It’s Friday evening, the moon is high and bright, and I’ve got my dobro on my lap trying to make it sing. My fire on the patio is slowly burning down to coals, my wife is asleep on the sofa inside, and my dog is probably keeping her company. I can’t keep him outside with me because he constantly wants to trash talk the neighboring dogs on the other side of our dilapidated fence and at 11 in the PM it ain’t gonna happen. Most annoying. But I understand that he believes his job is to protect us from friend and foe, and he is exceptionally diligent in this duty.

I love fires. They allow me to wander with my mind, imagine the past, forget the present, and create the future. I use fires as my crystal ball, they are where my muse sometimes lay, and the coals provide solace to my worries and the flames, lyrics to my songs. I almost took a fire pan up to Grass Valley this year and regret not doing so. I can imagine a sleepy jam, fed with bourbon, winding down and flaring up with the fire. There’s always next year.But don’t you know, Grass Valley just gets better and better. This year our extended camp included a whole host of friends. Some were buds from my bands, some buds from past Grass Valleys, and some, well who the hell knows who they were. We had a blast. One of the new activities in camp this year was what I should probably call, competitive cooking. It wasn’t planned though we should have anticipated the competitive side…what do you expect when several cocky musicians agree to cook over different evenings. Curtis just loves his dry-rub tri tip and fine wine, Ron cleaned up with his sausage pasta, Jon and Wendy provided the required Chili fixins and of course I have to be the one that does something different with Curry. And as with any good competition, there was more than enough to share with extended camp members, which was their welcome surprise. Next year I expect the competition to be out of control…..personally I’m thinking mud bugs…aka crawdad boil. I keep flipping back and forth between naming our spot Camp Gastronomique or Camp Carnage. Both names capture our essence.

Grass Valley gets better because I know more and more folks…….sometime during the week I get my hug from Darby, get to hear Rick grouse about something, watch JD poke fun at Rick’s grousing, get my once a year jam with Mark Varner, Bob Schwartz, Topher Gayle and others, sneak into the backstage area to schmooze, watch the next generation yet again smack me in the head with their talent, and have to make the difficult daily decision about “do I go listen to music or do I go play music”. That last one usually requires a beer and some reconnoitering to see who is around.

Unfortunately I have been soooo seduced by the Father’s Day Festival that I am embarrassed to admit not attending other festivals… admission that I am sure will bring down on my head public “encouragement” from my various friends and acquaintances. So be it. I’ll do my best to make GOF or Plymouth this year to round out my festival resume and get a second shot at jamming with some of my other friends. Now if I can rope in some of the folks from my Grass Valley camp….hmmmmmm do ya think?

Posted:  7/18/2010

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