Bellevue Washington, shooting what there was: tall buildings. I bored myself repeatedly shooting trees in the foreground of looming buildings. There was steam drifting out of this one.
I briefly met Darrell Scott to help him borrow guitar for the show; Southwest had lost his (and found it too late). Only in these kind of extraordinary circumstances would one this situation occur: we walked together to the Martin booth. We passed the spot where only 12 hours early I sat and sang My Father’s House alone and travel worn. I mentioned the timing break was difficult for me to sing and that I liked it. He said something I didn’t understand, “It gives something for the dancers to think about.”
I was born and raised in my father’s house; can catchin’ rain in the kitchen.
He said a good song never comes to those who chase, it comes to those who listen.
so I’d listen to him,
wakin' up in the middle of the night, I know he thought we were sleeping
And with an old melody and a guitar in hand somewhere between dreaming and weeping.
I will never forget the first time I heard this song driving out of Nashville to Memphis in 2000. There are even photographs to help me. Meeting John Prine and seeing Guy Clark live, AND finding Albert Lee’s Hiding on vinyl, well, there is a lot I won’t soon forget. Putting in Mr Scott’s Family Tree was an emotional punctuation to that trip. Okay, back to 2011. . .
I somehow missed both of his sets except for the encore, A Satisfied Mind, a song I learned from Mr. Scott. I still perform it his way, though I did go back to Porter’s original for some reference. My friend Mr. Elliot arrived from Idaho and reported that though he not heard of Mr. Scott, he couldn’t recall a more moving show.
Bellevue shopping. This is where we’re at, people.
I made some new friends from Calgary. They invited me to sit in the 3rd row extra seat. I was pulled in so many directions that I was only able to sit with them for a few songs. These musicians used to play with Doyle Lawson. They sang Lionel Ritchie’s Stuck On You, a song that spontaneously erupted from my guitar last June at Grass Valley.
The Hyatt was a black hole for us A#&! cell users, and I was unable to reconnect with lefty Rick with the sweetest left-hand Martin (D19?) I have ever seen. No surprises; everywhere is an A#&! black hole.
There was a lot to this whirlwhind festival. I caught up with my Reno bluegrass friends, worked my shifts, and tried to find folks to play with. I sang fewer than 10 songs. It was not like outdoor festivals I have been too, but was similar to a hotel festival in Owensboro in 2008 (ROMP?). It seems to me that the indoor fancypants setting made it more of a picker’s holiday than a singer’s one. My interpretation of ‘the artist’s way’ in microcosm reminds me: in creative endeavors, one simply begins and tries to shed what the anticipated result will be. Nothing went as planned and everything was amazing.
Corporate art sells the illusion of quality. This piece was pretty convincing, but more like a prop up close.
There were very large framed photographs all over, all of mediocre quality. More illusion; as long there is art, it is not important if it is very good. Probably better if the images are not too arresting anyway. This seems analagous the the blaring music heard in grocery stores, gas stations, and shopping malls. The sensitive artist I have become must work hard to deflect the barrage of external sensory stimuli. We all do. Sadly, this deflection takes us away from each other. On this trip, it occurred to me that aspect may be the point of all the junk; to keep us buried in it and away from finding each other.
I did some serious errands in Portland. The weather was dreary and miserable, so my plans to visit the film lab turned to ‘get out of Beaverton now.’ The weather broke near Salem.
Things rolled along very smoothly, especially considering how many ways the unexpected happened in the last week. I headed over to the coast near Drain.
I shot with my recently refurbished Old No.1, the H1, trying to carefully manage the single set of charged AA batteries. Automatic point and shooting got away from me lately, so on this trip, the out-the-window photography was fun and satisfying.
I stopped the car to shoot the Tioga.
I shot some before I got home. 3up photomerge.
Here the [Hipstamatic w/Alfred through Bubo] images Euchre creek marsh before arrival at home.
Though I had worked diligently preparing prints of my bluegrass-themed photography, the identical box of other prints were unpacked in Bellevue. Not only that, but the severe weather and planning delays relegated frame shopping to impossibility for me without a vehicle. The best laid plans are dashed simply and quite often. I had other experiences that were much much more meaningful.
It was like the holiday season when I got home as test prints and camera gear (all intended for the trip) finally arrived. I have been spinning the incredible soundtrack music from Yojimbo!, as well as listening to the new Film Photography Podcast episode. The guest host, Mat Marrash, is someone I exchanged messages, and I have been interested in his rapid progression to large format photography and home developing. It was neat to hear the film enthusiast become part of the show that inspires him and me both.
It is time to buckle down. I have to sell a few things, including a brand new Instax 210 (a second unopened one with 60 shots: $110), the Nikon P6000 ($400), and perhaps some other things. The hiccup in focus to go to a bluegrass festival was welcome, but delayed some plans I made. Onward!
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