Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Red Knuckles, Grey Fox




















Well, we all have our favorites and I just have to come out with it: there's nothing I enjoy hearing more than Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, start to finish. So you can imagine what a great time I had in July while enjoying the many sights and sounds of the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in upstate New York. Saturday night is the big night at most festivals, I suppose, and folks at Grey Fox this year had a few tough choices to make, but as much as I like some of the folks appearing on the main stage I knew that the dance tent was where I had to be for the spectacular, two-hour-long star-studded performance by Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers. They did a little new stuff, but mostly stuff I've been enjoying for at least the last 20 years. While most of my favorite musicians (and myself!) have seemed to age a lot these last few years, Red and the boys stay forever young. Perhaps it's all those chocolate doughnuts from Waldo's Discount Doughnuts. Watch out, Dunkin' Doughnuts - you just wait till the outfit from Wyoming Montana starts advertising in the northeast. They got chocolate and chocolate, you know, lots of things like that, chocolate. Speaking of which it was great to note that Waldo is still dealing with his metal block and it seems that his posture remains similar to that of the treble clef to add a touch of pizazz to the already zingy show.
While Red and the boys did a great show on the main stage earlier in the evening, I think they were holding back. Cousin Elmo made an appearance, this time sporting a beret (what was with that?) and Colonel Mel Sharpie's cigar was alot smaller than it used to be oh so many years ago. There was an appearance by a very strange white-coated rabbit, too, though I don't believe anyoneever said "Harvey," at least not in my earshot. We all felt like baked sweet potatoes this year at Grey Fox, boy was it hot! but a lot of folks still found the will to dance (and enjoy it), not the least of which was the ever-smiling Dancin' Dave and his beautiful bride. The new location seems like an excellent one and, understanding that the first time at any site will cook up a few problems, things went very well indeed, I think. Plenty of jamming, dancing, great food, good vendors, fantastic activities for kids and families...if you didn't have a good time, well, you probably don't have a good time anywhere.

A real treat for me was getting to hang out with my good friend Mary and talk shop with Darwin and a few other photographers; getting to camp next to Chris and Mark and Sarah and the gang from Nashville, visiting with the Kuykendalls and so many other friends from down through the Grey Fox years.

While Slade has gone on to play his own quirky brand of music elsewhere, a guy named Swade stepped in and was nearly as weird as Slade (bass players are always the weirdest guys in the band, right?)....like I already said, you just can't beat Red! But you're gonna have to get out and hear them in person because words just can't express....don't worry; they seem to do a gig every 10 years or so. But these guys on the right always manage to pull better gigs than Red. I think it's because Wendell's usually getting most of the "fringe" benefits.

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