Yesterday we spent all day at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival in Kemmerer, WY.
This was our second year, and I’m really hoping that it’s going to be our second year of many. This place is so good. I have to be brief, as we’re supposed to be in the van heading home in about 15 minutes, so here is a short run-down of the day:
Got in to the fest at 10 for the band scramble – an open-to-the-public call-to-arms for all musicians. You sign up, get assigned into a random band, and then have an hour to put together three songs. The bands then perform their three songs on the main stage, they are judged by the crowd on a decibel meter, and the winning 3 bands take home some money. It is rad. Such a great idea – bringing the community onto the stage, bringing the bands into the community (if they so choose) – it is awesome. I’m not saying that my band won… we didn’t. We lost pretty hard. But it was still damn good times.
After that I found a guy named Marty, slinging and old Martin who seemed to know every old country song ever written. When the band finally rolled down to the fest, I grabbed my bass and went to school, so to speak. We played for a good while, and by then I had to go warm up with the band. I told Marty I would be looking for him afterwards – I couldn’t get enough of that music!
We went on the main stage at 4pm, and it was like coming back to a home town. We made lots of friends last year, and it was so cool to see people from the year before singing along to the tunes and sporting the shirts! We got special requests from families, we had our guest singer come up for the encore again (thanks Allie!) and had a damn good time.
After the set we got to meet all the good folk over at the merch booth, then Phil and I wandered back over to find Marty. He had gathered Jeff to sing, another guitar player and a good little crowd. We played for a good long time with those guys. Every song is just too damn good! I can’t tell you how good it is to find people that know the music that well – that can tell you how to play it, and that know songs that you will not ever find on a radio or a disc. A total gift, that. Thanks Marty.
Rolled home late, went to bed. We’re all binging on the Hotel breakfast now, getting ready for the long road home. Say a prayer for us – wish us luck – burn an offering to the van gods, and we’ll be back home tonight.