Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Podunk 2012 - Sunday and Wrap-Up

Sunday at bluegrass festivals usually turns into a good time for those who elect to stay. It's a laid back time of enjoying the Kids' Academy, perhaps a gospel sing and usually the opening band presenting a gospel set filled with familiar old songs. People are tired and happy...a warm vibe dominates the festivities as campers prepare to go home, seats get folded and folks head for home to re-acclimate to the real world, go to church, mow the lawn, and get ready to go to work on Monday.

Kids Academy Jam

This year's Kids Academy practice and instruction was held in the Dodd Stadium Sky Boxes - air conditioned, plush, with a great view of the stadium. Although relatively few kids showed up, those that did were skilled and enthusiastic. The small size permitted personal instruction as well as practice. When I arrived, the kids and staff were jamming together to the SteelDrivers' "Heaven Sent" sending chills up my spine.

Staff Members
Vickie Baker & Louise Muller

Linda Turner

Tim St. Jean

Dave Dick

Gail Wade
The Spinney Brothers - Train Song - Video

Travers Chandler & Avery County - Whose Shoulder Will You Cry On?

Kids Academy

Parents & Friends


Link to Kids Academy Portfolio

Feel free to download these photos and use them for your own purposes.

Kids Academy - Liberty - Video

Band Competition

Band competitions are fun. Bands you've never seen or heard of before get a chance to perform a short set, usually about thirty minutes, before judges, friends, and a few committed fans. At Podunk there's a cash award and the promise of a booking for the following year. This year's bands traveled from far away as New Jersey to keep it interesting, although the Boston and Connecticut were well represented, too. The judges were bluegrass professionals with credentials as a booker, a radio dj/former bluegrass magazine publisher, and a luthier. They brought thoughtful analysis and different perspectives to the mixture. A fan vote, which cost a buck per vote, may have done more to raise funds than to measure sentiment. A small group of Podunk regulars again disrupted the event by getting behind a specific band with signs, costumes, and balloons.. I'm inclined to think that such shenanigans may negatively effect the judging. In fact, I feel certain that is what happened last year. Such behavior should be discouraged.

Four of the five bands chosen to compete showed up.  I've made videos of all four bands, and they'll be appearing on my YouTube Channel in the next ten days or so. Time constraints have kept me from posting them here. Each band is linked to in its heading, if they have a web site or Facebook page.

Harry Gambrill

Mike McLane

Steve Gallatig

J.C. Bell

Sarah Larsen

Chris Freeman

Antonio Alcorn

Noah Boden

 Harrison Goodale

Jason Frigerio

Tim Ryan

 Jill Turpin

 John Turpin

Rick Chance

Joe Lergio

Connor Smith

Nick diSibastion

Dan Bordeau

Friends, Family & Fans Stay On

 The Results
Fan Favorite - Poor Old Shine
with Jim Perry & Roger Moss

Runner Up - Hub Hollow 
with Jim Perry & Roger Moss 

Winner - Three Tall Pines
with Jim Perry & Roger Moss 

Opening and closing a festival is usually a pretty thankless task. So here's kudos and more than a nod of appreciation to The Roys and The Spinney Brothers, who each accomplished their jobs with professionalism and a real musical contribution.

The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival was a success despite too hot weather and too small crowds.  Moving a festival to a new venue is risky at best. Doing so with little advance notice is extremely difficult. Getting fans accustomed to the idea of a new site once they've come to enjoy the old one presents a problem that only the fans themselves can solve.  Dodd Stadium proved to be a more than adequate venue in which to hold a festival. Distances between the camping area and the stage were shorter than had been the case before. Shade was at a premium, but campers are a creative lot and will provide their own shade next year. The turf on the stadium floor was carpet-like - easy on the feet and cool.  Except for a few boorish people, serving beer did not pose a problem and the misbehavors were not permitted to continue to disrupt. The stadium food is at least adequate and is designed to provide more variety when the crowds increase.  Proximity to the casinos and Old Mystic Seaport were a pleasant alternative during the day for some festival goers. Next year's lineup includes: Blue Highway, The SteelDrivers, Larry Sparks, Claire Lynch, Tony Trischka, Charlie Sizemore, Lost & Found, Larry Stephenson, Wayne Taylor, Donna Ulisse, Nu Blu and more to be announced. The dates are August 1 - 4, 2013 and are already on sale. Be sure to be at Dodd Stadium for the next Podunk Family Reunion.

 Our Two Chairs