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Book Reports

Oct 10

October 10, 2011

Well, here we go again......playing catch up with my galavanting around the country.
The Philly Folk Festival's 50th anniversary was fantastic! We had some real extreme storms that weekend but luckily I performed during the "dry" times! My evening performance went well. I do believe that I was the only "folksinger" that actually performed "unplugged"! The folks doing the sound were 'right on the money' and my old 1930 Gibson L2 sounded great! I really enjoyed my evening set and the audience seemed to know it!

 On the Sunday, I hosted the BLUES WORKSHOP, which was a blast. Sitting to my left was David Bromberg, Jorma Kaukonen and Tom Rush! I did let the audience know that when we started out, our favorites were 'the old blues guys', and at this time, we were all older than they were when they played the festivals! Pretty wierd.... So great to hear these guys again. I do believe that none of us ever sounded better!!

A week after the Festival, hurricane Irene was approaching the North East! I had a great gig in Kingston at The Rondout Music Lounge, down by the river, where some pretty fancy boats from the Jersey Shore and Long Island were 'honkering down' after their cruise up the Hudson River, to escape the storm.

My Saturday gig was almost cancelled, but we decided to go for it. With rain pelting down, we had a nice size crowd as I took the stage at ROLLER'S FLYING FISH, in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, after yet another incredible meal prepared by Chef Paul Roller. As I told the enthusiastic audience on the main stage at Philly FF the week before, If they wanted to see a Book Binder eat a lobster in Philly, it would have to be at ROLLER'S as Bookbinders world famous seafood resturant had gone belly up after 55 years!

My Sunday Lakewood NJ gig was cancelled due to the storm, and when I left Philly, Irene was on top of us! I tried to make it to the PA Turnpike to drive West away from the storm but the turnpike entrance was closed because of flooding! I watched some guy get rescued as the water made it up to his cars windows, turned around, drove up the hill and settled down for the night in a shopping center on the high ground. Watching the water run down the hill, I kept an eye on the storm on my TV and out my windshield, finally falling asleep in the comfort of "the bus".

The next morning I headed South finally seeing sunshine by Virginia. Made it ok to Chatanooga where I hadn't performed for many years and then on to Knoxville to do THE BLUE PLATE SPECIAL radio show with a live audience. My old 'sidekick', FATS KAPLIN was also on the bill! performing with his wife KRISTI ROSE. It was great to hear them perform and to hang out some. We had lots of laughs and for the first time in 35 years, Fats & his fiddle joined me on stage for a few tunes! We sounded great and both enjoyed it! Looks like we will do a few "reunion" shows next year and I am really looking forward to them!

THE JOHN C CAMBELL FOLK SCHOOL in Brasstown, NC was next. What an interesting place it was. Started in 1925, modeled on the Scandanavian Folk School model, it is a facility that teaches local arts & crafts with visiting instructors. Kind of like BUCK'S ROCK WORK CAMP in CT, where I was a counselor 50 years ago! I had a great 2 days there with a very well attended concert and guitar workshop which I truly enjoyed. I do hope to return there in the near future! Thanks to David Brose for hiring me!

What a great month it was in The Mid-South. Great gigs followed in Marshall NC, Johnson City TN, Union Grove, NC and Durham where Jon Shain hosted a guitar workshop with 12 pickers in his home followed by a sold out 'house concert' at his friends Art & Nancy's home.

I did manage to stop in for a few days in Lexington, NC to meet with my NC VINTAGE GUITAR NUTS group and we had a blast! Lynn Michaels hosted the gathering. Larry Wexer came down from NY and Bob Carlin of course was in attendance along with various other guitar pals who stopped by during each day. Interestingly, Larry and Bob were both teenagers when we met at summer camp so many years ago. Imagine just for starters, a room with four 1930 Gibson L2's!

Nancy met me in Durham for my "birthday week" and we had a great time. As we drove North thru the mountains the colors of the leaves became more extreme. We camped for a few days at The Belterra Casino on the KY, IN border for my actual Birthday and had a lot of fun playing penny slots and eating wonderful buffets....and even made a profit there!

Did a radio show in Bloomington IN to promote my show at The Historical Center there which was very cool and then camped out nearby. Caught the movie, Money Ball, which was great. It was sad that the NY Yankees, The Tampa Bay Rays and even the Boston Red Sox didn't make the playoffs.....I did enjoy listening to the games we had on XM Radio. I guess there's always next year.....

So, Nancy flew home from Indianapolis yesterday (I miss her already) and I have a radio show to do tonight in Indy. Tomorrow it's back to Bloomington to tape IN SEARCH OF A SONG, Jason Wilbur's Public radio show on WFHB (writer of my hit, The Ballad of Amazing Grace)

I will be heading East to THE FUR PEACE RANCH after the taping and am really looking forward to the Rev. Gary Davis weekend with Jorma and my old pal,Woody Mann.

So, Bye For Now, See Ya Down The Road

The Book