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Indiana Fiddler's Gathering 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Every year this festival just amazes me!  I am happy to have the opportunity to run into folks who travel a short or long distance to play, listen, or do both.  I find it interesting how different each of my festival experiences have been. 

The first year, we almost turned the car around and came back home after driving a few hours.  It was hot, I was pregnant and sick, we hit so much road construction, and the drive seemed too long for the amount of time we were going to get to stay.  We kept going, mainly because we really wanted the opportunity to watch Foghorn live and David Bass in action and wanted to play music ourselves.  We arrived to a cold and wet Battle Ground and had to make a few Target trips to stay comfortable.  However, it was the most amazing experience and it reminded fondly of the days when we traveled to South Dakota for the fiddling contest.  So many musicians doing what they needed to do - play music and share it with others.  I was hooked and knew I wanted to come back.  What I remember most was sitting in a little rain on our small chairs, watching the wonder of Foghorn playing to a crowd that loved what they were doing.  I couldn't and still can't believe that I was there to witness that night.

The second year we were more prepared.  We were fortunate to be a billing act so we showed up early to set up camp.  We didn't know that really know one shows up on Thursday night.  We picked a spot, took care of business, and watched as folks trickeled into the camp ground.  I get a little nervous meeting folks but I was going to force myself to meet the people as they came in.  I met Stephen and Claudia as they were setting up camp and they invited me to join them in a jam.  The year before, I didn't really know anyone and didn't feel good, so I stayed at our camp or listened to the performers.  This year I was going to go and play and their jam was my first.  I couldn't believe the amount tunes these folks knew and how different their jams were compared to the bluegrass jams from home.  I fell in love with these new tunes, how they were played, and this new groove that I was starting to hear in the music.  With a little 5 months old strapped to my back, I sat in the night watching, listening, and playing with my new friends who came from Ohio, Illinois, and even New York.  This was it!  I knew what it was in the music that made me tick.  I prettly much hung out with these folks for the remainder of the festival, taped their jams, gathered as much information about the music and tunes that I could, and found out about the other festivals.  It was so kind of them to help educate me about the world of old-time!

This year was nothing short of amazing and we when drove into the grounds, it felt like home!  I couldn't wait to see and play with my friends, hear the other musicians, and enjoy everything the festival had to offer.  The Friday night Illinios jam was wonderful and I was able to listen while putting little Ruby to bed.  The bands we shared the stage with were wonderful people, who just happen to play good music. The festival itself had made some changes with focusing on recycling.   It was a little tricky in that the 5 month old is a 17 month old and has a time limit on the back pack carrier, but I was still able to do a little jamming.  I was amazed at the amount of tunes that were now becoming part of me.  I had remembered them from the previous year and it was becoming easier to play them even though I hadn't played them through the year.  I was pleased to see the folks from my part of the woods who made the trip and I know I need to recreate this festival setting in my own hometown.  I am excited to think about next year in Indiana and what it might bring and running into new and old friends throughout this year.  Enjoy doing what you do and play on!


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Playing Since: 1975
[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

My Instruments:
2 old German fiddles - but I have many more - only a few playable.

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Created 7/14/2008
Last Visit 3/9/2013

Fiddler for The Prairie Acre. I learned from my Grandpa, Vernon Spencer and grew up playing around Amos Chase, Pete McMahan, Cyril Stinnet, and many others.

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