thanksgiving at seven springs

now playing: pure prairie league, “the cost of doing business” (from the brand new, not yet released “all in good time” album)

yeah, yeah, yeah…i know what day it is.

and how long it’s been.

sorry. i’ve been busy.

as some of you know, i’ve started work on a new record (and a new blog to accompany it), and i ran into a bit of a snag this past week…i installed a fanless power supply and a low-noise heatsink and fan on the CPU of the computer – got everything booted back up, got the desktop up on my monitors, and went to dinner with wendy and jayda. when i came home, it was off – locked up, black screen, with a green light on the front of the case, but no other indication that it was even on.

it hasn’t booted up since.

the main problem here is that i had hoped to have some roughs done to mix to disc and take with me to seven springs this weekend for the poco show. alas, it was not to be.

i still haven’t gotten it working again yet.

i will, though. it might not be today, and it might not be tomorrow….

the trip, the shows, and the place itself were all great…seven springs is a ski lodge just off the somerset exit of the turnpike…the trip ended up being myself and my friend jon, charlie wade’s wife dorothy, and wendy – we left reading on friday a little before eleven, and got there around 3pm or so. soundcheck had already started, and poco was opening the show, so they were last to soundcheck…pure prairie league had finished just as we got there. (for those outside the loop – bands usually soundcheck in reverse order…the last band to play soundchecks first, first band last…so that once the first band to go on has completed soundcheck, nothing has to be changed between that point and showtime.) we stuck around for soundcheck long enough to hear bill lloyd do his impersonation of country singer john anderson on a snippet of the jethro tull classic locomotive breath…bill was filling in for ailing poco guitarist paul cotton for this show. he’s a hell of a guitarist, songwriter, and singer…i managed to strike up a conversation with him about his long players project – the long players are a group of nashville musicians who, every few months, go out and play an entire classic album from front to back – live – with special guests from the nashville community singing the songs. if you go to bills’ website, there’s a full section on the long players and some of the albums they’ve taken to the various stages in nashville…it’s pretty ingenious.

i also got to renew my acquaintance with curtis wright, who i met for the first time a couple of years ago when PPL did a co-bill with poco at the scottish rite auditorium in collingswood, nj. the first time we met, i walked up to him at soundcheck and started up a conversation with him about his guitar, and he handed it to me – pretty trusting soul, i’ve gotta say. but i’ve run into him a couple of times in the time since, and he’s always been more than generous with his time and his advice. incredibly humble, too, considering how talented he is.

at the seven springs show, he had his mother and two brothers with him – he’s originally from huntington, pa – and his mom was so much fun to talk to. she reminded me a bit of my own grandmother, caledonia stricklin….a slight, frail woman at first glance…but anything but that after you talk to her for a few minutes.

jon and i went downstairs before the show and brought the huge bags containing all the bands’ merchandise up to the floor where the show was taking place, then we all broke for dinner before the show. we came back into the hall and started unpacking t-shirts, hats, cd’s, and the like at around 6:30 or so, and it was as if we’d broken out the original fishes and loaves…people swarmed us (and at the time, it was only wendy and i) and we probably sold…well, i’ll just say we probably sold a substantial amount of merch before jon and dorothy made it down. i think it was a little overwhelming for wendy – she’d never done it before, and i don’t think she expected the volume of people or the pace that trying to satisfy a throng of souvenir-hungry baby boomers would entail – so she was only too happy to see jon and dorothy when they got there.

we went to sit down once the show started – all three bands from the drifters’ church staple were on the bill (which was my main motivation for being there)…poco got through their set as well as anyone could have hoped, considering that they were without one of their principal members – they sounded great, bill did a superb job with the guitar parts and staying on top of the harmony parts…he’s a true pro. pure prairie league was amazing – they’re as good a live band in their genre as there is…i’d put their harmonies up against the occupants of hotel california anyday.

i was a little disappointed in firefall…in fact, we left after three songs. the drummer was playing much closer to the neighborhood of linkin park than 70’s soft rock, the bass player had this piercing, shrill voice, and the guy who sang rick roberts’ parts just plain had no sense of pitch whatsoever. it was…well, uncomfortable.

i left because i wanted to be able to listen to their music at some point after the show and not have the experience colored by how they sounded that night.

anyway – we gathered up all the gear and the merch at the end of the night, after standing around at the merch table for a while talking with rusty and bill – then we went out to the bar and talked to curtis and his family for a while…one of PPL’s roadies from their days on the bus had come out from ohio to see the show, and he was down in the bar with his wife…they were talking a bit about michael connor (conway), their keyboard player who passed away last year…and apparently, curt had a penchant for throwing “penalty flags” on the band back in the day, which he’d done that night but it was a largely unnoticed inside joke – i wasn’t sure what the hell he was doing when he did it.

curtis and i decided we were going to stage a coup in the bar and take over for the acoustic band playing in the corner as soon as they took a break, but they never did…and i got tired of the barrage of “panama red”, “signs”, and “friend of the devil”-ness that they were throwing out non-stop, so we went back out to the bar for a while, grabbed something to eat, and bumped into curtis again on the elevator going up to our rooms at a little after 2 am.

the next morning, we got up to go downstairs for breakfast and met up with jack, rusty and mary – rick alter came down and joined us as well…after breakfast, we all piled in the trooper and headed back east.

i’m still a little bummed out that i wasn’t able to rescusitate the studio computer in time to get anything off it to play for rusty and company – i’ll fine tune it once i’ve gotten it fixed and send him something to listen to around christmas, if all goes well.

we’ve booked a date at the tin angel with my nashville buddy charlie degenhart…we’re appearing with darcie miner. show is at 10pm.

y’all come, ya hear?

overheard today from the stall in the bathroom at work:

“why is it that it takes white out all day to dry on paper, but only seconds to dry on your fingers?”


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