Mudcat Café message #1038570 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63765   Message #1038570
Posted By: Roger in Baltimore
20-Oct-03 - 04:44 PM
Thread Name: Getaway 2003 Memories
Subject: RE: Getaway 2003 Memories
I had a wonderful time. October doesn't get much better in Maryland. It rained a tad on Friday, but by Saturday morn it was dry and stayed that way all weekend. Partly cloudy and a high of about 52 F. on Saturday, and partly cloudy and a tad warmer on Sunday. When the sun was shining, most workshops were outside in the sunshine. It was warmer there than in the unheated buildings.

I, of course will miss some important stuff. I was a daytripper this year (for financial reasons), so I missed all of the late night sings and part of Saturday night's concert.

There was much concern for Rick Fielding who could not be there. Big Mick is headed for Toronto. We sent along our love and a surprise (I allmost gave it away. Kendall (I know he'll kick me for this) looks hale and hardy, but he has not gotten his full voice back. He did a few songs and told a Maine joke Sunday night for his part of the concert. My synopsis of the joke (I don't have Kendall's eye for detail and local Maine color nor his comedic timing.

"A little boy is sitting in front of the local hotel with a stack of candy bars beside him. He's just packing them in, one after the other. A gentleman stops as he passes by and says, 'You'll never live to be a hundred eating all that chocolate'".

"The boy looks up at the man and says, 'My Uncle Frank lived to be a hundred and ten'".

"The man replies, 'But I bet it wasn't from eating chocolate bars'".

"'No', says the boy, 'It came from minding his own damn business'".

Some special Mudcatters I recall in attendance were: Joe Offer, Dani, Ferrara, Bill Day, Jeri, Bob C., Big Mick, Mario, Judy O., Gorgeous Gary, Sinsull, Kendall, Charlie Baum, Dick Greenhouse, Susan from the DT, and Barry Finn. I've left out many. Others, I just don't know they are Mudcatters.

Big Mick had a 30 minute concert set. He sang "This Land is Your Land" allmost like a dirge. He pointedly included all the political verses. He says he read that Woody was always concerned that those verses would be lost. In the middle he narrated the stories of two women he met through his union organizing. They both were struggling through adversity to keep themselves and their families together and hoped the union would help. There was nary a dry eye in the house when he was done.

Big Mick is a man who puts his whole heart into his work. He is as jovial a companion any man or woman might want, but he also has a deep, caring, serious side that doesn't always show and might even surprise you at first.

The Shellback Chorus, a band of nautical singers from England, were wonderful. Lots of spirited singing and grand harmonies. Individually they showed up at workshops and shared songs with us. They often helped us learn more about the history of English music we sing.

Songster Bob presented a workshop on Songwriting that was low key, supportive and helpful. No ego injected by himself or the participants.

I led a Blues Workshop. Max participated with a couple of songs. We were blessed with Joel on his barrelhouse piano, his wife on mouth harp, and Jim B. on his washtub bass for backup. We had 'em dancin' in the aisles. It was great! After all, blues music in the 20's was often dance music.

Ferrara spent many hours arranging the workshops: developing workshop ideas, getting leaders, and arranging the schedule.

Dick and Susan brought in their Camsco Music display. I spent several hours drooling over CD's I didn't know existed that had so much music I wanted to hear. I had to settle for two Mississippi Sheik CD's (damn budget!).

Charlie Baum, of course, helped to organize the whole thing with the help of other FSGW' ers.

Judy O. ran a "Silent Auction" of items donated by members. The money goes into a scholarship fund for those folk music lovers who just can't afford to come.

Gorgeous Gary announced that he was engaged to be married.

Alaska Mike, who has just begun Mudcatting, was a high point. He sang a beautiful song about hope that should be on his next CD. I twice heard his Iditarod song. It's a humorous fantasy about a man who decides to genetically alter some Huskies to make them the best in the Iditarod. I won't tell the story, but it reminded me that "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature."

Max was the more subdued I have ever seen him be. He said, "I'm maturing". I suspect that being responsible for a family helped that along.

It also seemed to me that CRS is getting contagious. There were many more "forgotten verses" than I remember in the past (myself included). Even when the singer wrote the song, sometimes the words were slow to come or never came at all.

There is always some serendipity at the Getaway that enchants you. This year I sat in the "Tearjerkers" workshop trying to recall the words to "White Squall". I left there and trundled up the hill to a workshop called "In the Tradition". One audience member requested "White Squall". Alaska Mike sang it. As it usually does, it brought tears to my eyes.

It looked like Ramblewood is trying to improve its' buildings. There was some new paint. However, the hill is just as steep as ever. Most workshops seem to be 200 yards apart and it's "up hill both ways". I still think they need to workout a tow rope!

There were great songs from people I don't know. A lady who had lived in Oregon sang a fictious song about a ship trapped in a bay. They were heavy laden and waiting for the tide to rise far enough for them to clear the inlet. The crew finally decided to consume their entire ration of rum.

After a sound nap, they all stood on the rail and relieved themselves. The ship rose and they sailed out of the inlet.

Another chap did a rap song he borrowed from the Pheromones. It's about the 17 year locusts (actually as the rap points out they are cicadas). It ends with the admonition "Bugs. Not Drugs" You had to be there to understand.

Dick Greenhouse sang a parody of "The Roseville Fair". It's about bluegrass bands that are never in tune. Dick says the new addition of the Digital Tradition should soon be finished. The parody will be in the new DT. I think I heard him say it will include about 9,000 songs. And they say folk music is dead. Hah!

In the blues workshop, a man sang a song called "Perfection Blues" about a man who falls short of his wife's expectation of Perfection. I might have to call him up about that one.

Barry sang a song about criminals being locked in to their behavior and it being hard to get out. He neglected to tell the audience he wrote it.

The Sunday night concert closed with Janice Cole singing about her "Kitchen Man" and how he's got baloney that "truly satisfies" and how he can always use her "sugar bowl". Them's that knows me knows I'm a sucker for a good food song.

I announced at the Sunday dinner that I am looking for some people who can sing "Fox on the Run" in the key of "F" who might help me with the chorus on my rendition of Peter and Katrina Cady's "Sox with a Gun."

Well, that's just some of the highlights. I'll leave some room for others now.

Roger in Baltimore