Author: Alvira, Marco

February Days

February can be bleak in the Central Valley. We’ve seen weeks on end where the sky is flat and gray; the earth, far off in the distance, is the same dull, leaden hue. Land and sky form an ashen wall. The cold that rolls down from the mountains and rests on our saturated ground chills bone and soul through and through. Brandy and hearth are merely temporary respites.

Sometimes, just sometimes there is a fleet spark of hope that kindles the spirit, if but for a moment. The Great 48 generated a little heat. The glow lasted for about three days. However, the gloom is deep and profound here in the heart of California. The other day, outside my classroom window, I saw some kids tossing around a baseball. The smack of horsehide on good leather made my heart patter for a second. Alas, I could see the kids’ breath, as they strained against a winter of inactivity, condense in little translucent clouds in front of their faces. It would be awhile before they would really be having fun.

This morning, my spirit leaped. Jason Winfree and I just finished talking on the phone. I secured his superb band, Red Dog Ash for the last open slot on the King’s River Bluegrass Festival (formerly Hobb’s Grove, if you hadn’t heard). RGA was the icing on the cake for a line-up that has more talent than any one small festival could possibly hope for:

Evie Ladin and Evil Diane
Whiskey Chimp
The Andersons
Bean Creek
The Get Down Boys
Red Dog Ash
Rock Ridge (formerly California Borderline)
The Grass Kickers
Uncle Ephus
The Criswells
The King’s River Gospelaires

That’s twelve bands representing some of the best of California and local talent. I can’t wait for September 23, the opening day of the King’s River Festival. Warm days, beautiful shade trees, rustic setting, good food and friends and outstanding music feel like they’re just around the corner waiting for me at Hobb’s Grove, the traditional site of our festival. If you’ve been there, you know the feeling.

Keep an eye out for the soon to be updated King’s River website for more information regarding ticket prices, camping and all the normal festival stuff. You’ll also be linked to all the bands’ websites, that way you can enjoy a sample of what’s to come (and maybe even support a band or two and buy a CD).

Yup, the sun poked through today for just a little bit. I have a wonderful Spring Campout in April to look forward to. Thoughts of the Father’s Day Festival definitely add a little heat to these cold, bleak somber days, but I have to say: day dreaming about the King’s River Bluegrass Festival, September 23-25, really puts a glow on my day.

Posted:  2/6/2011

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