kern river rock n blues fest weekend
after andretti-ing our way thru the windy kern cyn (at night! argh!), we rolled into kernville w/in 15 mins of downbeat. james jumped out, donned his trenchcoat, & swam into the fray to start his show. i beat it on up the hill to mcnally's, where we'd been put up to stay... mcnally's was a long drive, & i was tired after much driving. i found the proprietor & got our room, dressed in my WBJ t-shirt, & headed back to the club where i got to watch james & band, reunited w/the outstanding max bangwell on drums! it was a super-fun gig w/happy enthusiastic crowd. next morn i found james down by the kern river w/a stick in the water, smiling like a 10-yr old. "i almost caught a fish," he whispered. "but i forgot my bait, so i used a piece of candy!" the fish didn't bite, but james looked to have been enjoying himself for a while, fishing peacefully... that day we hung out at the room & watched an old doris day flick on the portable dvd player & ate some food, then dressed & headed down to kernville... the sun was beating the stage to death when james & blues express hit it. my hubby put on a rock-solid, 1000% percent performance, dressed to the nines in tuxedo jacket & skull tie from sister sherri. his damned bridge flew out on 1st song & he just kept going - what a pro! these mishaps happen here & there & he plows through! i didn't see it happen cause i was selling t-shirts, but at end of song, he knelt down & asked some of the older folks up front, "anyone got any polygrip?" then ran backstage while max played one, fixed his teeth, & jumped back up there & kept going. the audience, of course, loved him!... when james stepped down, lisa cee, now of NOLA, went up w/her professional soul set, then the blasters came up & slammed out a rocknrolling kickass headliner set!! i got nice pix of james & phil as well as me w/my "fellow alumnus" keith wyatt, but they are stuck in cyberlimbo for now... this reminds me harvelle's wednesday night shows starting this upcoming wk will be fundraisers for kid ramos' medical expenses -- first wk's special guest will be BILLY WATSON! after that, pink arguello, & after that phil alvin! these will be especially terrific whiteboy james shows, w/such added star power & musical prowess... james & i danced & danced sidestage while the blasters played; he is super-fun, as you'd imagine, to dance with! we stuck around to "soak up the evening," then were back up the mountain to the room for a while... sunday morn i went for a long hike, scared off the 1st & 2nd paths by the remoteness of the 1st & giant animal crashing thru the bushes of the 2nd. the terrific views of golden flowers, verdant mountainsides, azure sky & crashing river put me in a grateful mindframe & i was able to be calmed & become again grounded in What Is Real... en route back, i crawled under a tree beside the rushing river, sat on some cool rocks, & meditated for a bit, nearly lulled to sleep, but caught myself before somnolence succumbed to slumber. when i got back, a jam session was going, so i took a long shower & dragged my butt out to it. i was gonna play for my friend tammy, but she had to head back, so i just sat there, kinda grateful to get to do only that. james was worn-out exhausted by this time in the wkend, but he got up there & kicked butt again, playing some of his rarer tunes in ragged raw full-voice w/his always-storming energy... we headed back toward bakersfield, landing at mom & dad's warm & friendly dinner table & then tumbled into the soft clean bed... time to head back now; may you be wise & well, or at least one, if not both.