'Til We Meet Again
Soon the time will come when I'll be leaving
And these parting words are breaking my heart
But my leaving is only temporary
Soon we'll meet again and never have to part
--Ralph Stanley, "Til We Meet Again"
Well, here it is, Sunday night, and I'm already pining for next September when we go back to Nashville and do it all over again. Somehow, sitting here alone at my dining room table just doesn't cut it.
Being immersed in complete bluegrass mayhem was, as I expected, once again overwhelming. This year, I had my eleven-year-old with me, and I had almost as much fun taking in his wonder as enjoying my own. It made the experience a little less intense, but more magical in a way, and we were sad to leave it all behind this morning.
While festivals have their season, the World of Bluegrass event is for the truly bluegrass dedicated diehards. As one gentleman pointed out as my son and I rode the elevator very late Friday night, "Folks don't come down here to sleep."
Moving the show from Louisville, KY to Nashville was a bold one for IBMA, but it seemed there was little trouble filling the gigantic Nashville Convention Center. While the rolling jam sessions were not one on top of another as in the old Galt House, there was music all around us and, wherever we walked, another picker or two carrying their instrument to and fro. One exhibitor told me that attendance was up 43% for the three days of FanFest alone.
My one regret is that I somehow managed to get sick for the weekend, losing my voice to some crud that lodged in my throat, preventing me from singing a single note. It was really serious punishment after waiting all year for these three days, but, I guess the lesson is that I shouldn't make excuses for not singing on the other 362 days when I'm well.
Truly, that's what any personal mission is about -- it's about the action. Whatever we love, whatever inspires us to act, it is in the action that we are really living. I might miss a few chord changes or slur notes on a mando run, or get the verses to "Gold Watch and Chain" mixed up at a jam session. But if that's what it takes to get others to try, it probably won't kill me.
Much more to come. In the meantime, keep on the sunny side!