Kerrville Folk Festival 35th Anniversary, 2006

Kerrville was hot!

cooling off in a nearby creek
Tommy, Jason, Tom and me

David Jacobs-Strain

phenomenal guitarist and performer - and he's only 22! He was one of my favorites this year.

Attended the opening weekend of the Kerrville Folk Festival with my buddy Tom Tranchilla and his friend Tommy Lasorda from St.Louis, Mo. Tom T. had been to the festival before but this was the first time for Tommy and me, which made us Kerrvirgins. We had a blast. We got to see and and hang out with some of our favorite musicians and friends. 

After the nightly concerts ended (around midnight), then the campfire song circles would begin. We would generally play these till about 5am before turning in. There were many camps where people  hung out and jammed. Some were more informal, some were by invitation. I spent most of my time in Camp Stupid where a lot of Houstonians were. It is something of an institution here at the festival, and lot of great performers generally pass through there.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept of what song circles entail, here is a brief description. Basically chairs are arranged in a circle, and musicians sit in and play in turn. (the playing order is in a clockwise direction). Generally, since this is a songwriters' festival, most play original songs. While the current songwriter is taking his/her turn the other musicians in the circle would join in, providing harmony vocals, instrumental backup and percussion.

If the current performer calls on you or nods in your direction during an instrumental break, that is your cue to take the solo. Since I generally play by myself, it was a real treat and a great learning experience to get to improvise while playing in a group context. And since you are generally unfamiliar with other people's songs, it keeps you on your toes.

We got to watch the New Folk competition. An ex hometown boy Gordy Quist was one of the winners so we were real happy for him. A couple fo the guys we thought for sure would win didn't. C'est la vie.

All in all, it was kind of like Woodstock without the mud, drugs and public nudity. Must do it again next year, although given the distinct lack of meaningful activities outlined in last sentence, I'm really not sure why.

Copyright © 2006 Jim M Kam, All rights reserved. Chapman Stick is a registered Trademark of Stick Enterprises