About exactly one week ago, the old timey jam had just concluded at the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival (July 19-21). I miss it already. Hey, I missed it on Monday when I was back in the car coming home.
I left here on the Wednesday before the festival. For about 2 1/2 days the weather would cycle through fair but hot and stormy. We set up camp anyway on Thursday and had a couple of jams. The last storm blew through early Friday morning, and after that the weather was perfect — slightly cool and sunny with a light breeze. By the time the get-acquainted dances started Friday night, most of the puddles were history.
I saw John Gorka twice; he played different songs the second set. I’ve been a fan of his for at least 25 years, and I was extremely glad to be able to see him at Hiawatha. The only thing he was in that I didn’t see was a songwriter workshop that took place at the same time as the old-timey jam that the Ott Lake Rambler was facilitating. I needed to be there; they needed a mandolin player.
Yes, I played mandolin in most of the jams. I hadn’t really picked it up since early in last year’s festival. I never had much skill, so fortunately I hadn’t lost much. And I developed some, too. I did way more jamming than I did watching mainstage acts, though I did see the Celtic band Solas twice, the Royal Garden Trio (a swing band), and a little bit of singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot. And I was fortunate to witness the onstage debut of the next Cajun sensation Gator Bait, who got a spot in the open mic on Saturday morning.
The best part was interacting with all my Marquette friends, who I do not see often enough. There wasn’t enough time for talking and sharing each others’ company, and we talked a lot as it was.
I didn’t take many photos. I did get some good ones of individual people, so I need to send them off. The one above is from Friday just after I got my tent set up.