I couldn't sleep Thursday night. It's kind of like after a house concert...the adrenalin is still going even though I am physically tired. Eventually toward morning I finally slept hard, and waking up felt like the first time I'd truly been relaxed in too long. We had plans to meet our beloved Mark Rubel for lunch so we had a lazy morning; we stopped at a coffee shop for some iced tea and coffee, and relaxed.
We headed over to Blackbird Studios to meet Mark, where he teaches at Blackbird Academy. Lord I love him. He showed us around...his amazing classroom, and then the even more incredible complex of studios. Really mindblowing. I kept thinking that we MUST get Owen down here to see it all!
This was the studio that fascinated me the most.... I almost told Mark that it reminded me a of a herring smokehouse museum in Lubec, Maine but then I thought perhaps I was crazy. I went back and looked through my pictures however...and sure enough---in Lubec, Maine: the sticks for smoking the herring. I remember how beautiful they looked...and of course even though the smokehouse had closed in the 90's....still thick with the smell of the smoke.
We had a delightful lunch at a Vietnamese place near the studio. After eating not great food for a day or so it tasted fresh and perfect, and I adore my Rubels so I was incredibly happy. Trust Mark. We walked back to the academy and I struggled to keep up with the two long legged men...I felt like Judi's dog Wally when Ernie would try to take him running....his poor little legs going triple time. Heh.
We toyed around with a few things but ended up going back to the house to hang out for a bit. There's so much music that it's hard not to get caught up in the "but we're MISSING something" mode but I also wanted to just relax and enjoy myself. There were WAY too many things to do that evening but I finally decided that since I had NEVER seen Tim Carroll, AND he was playing at my beloved 5 Spot...we did that. Nice crunchy guitars---I loved it. I've loved him since the mmmm early/mid 90's days of the Blue Chieftains on some Diesel Only compilations I believe...took me awhile to make the connection but finally a song or two did it for me. He was great. I went through a phase of listening to the Tim Carroll and the Orange (is that it?) ep when I was trying to fall asleep. I know it's an odd choice...it's not exactly lullabies, but damn it worked for me...and it sounded so good to hear those songs.
After that we headed over to the American Legion for a thing Rodney Metoyer had put together. We walked up to Anne McCue playing outside. Lord she is incredible. We headed in after a bit (oh, and I got to meet Rodney in real life for the first time!) and found Amy Speace playing, then Gaelyn Lea (2016 Tiny Desk winner), then, awwww, our beloved Rod Picott. We got a chance to chat with Rod for a bit and we swapped picture taking with Wanda and Bryan Smith. These pictures express exactly how I felt.
We headed out, we were tossing plans between Kevin Gordon and Walter Salas-Humara. We decided it was important to have sustenance so we headed over to Mas Tacos Por Favor...where I had never been (Ernie was leading the way the whole weekend, the jerk). We got a parking place close by and I innocently got out of the car and attempted to walk across the street.
Evidently there was a little ridge in the road which was NOT apparent in the dark. Before I could sense a thing I was flat down on the ground between two parked cars. Ernie tried to help me up and I graciously said, "LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A MINUTE." Poor man. He did eventually help me up and I hobbled numbly into the place. I ordered quickly without much thought (in hindsight I would have gone for a fish and a fried avocado). I hissed at Ernie to get me a glass of wine and found a seat. He let me hold his beer to cool off my scraped palms. Man....those things just shake you up. Despite that my tacos were fantastic (not incredibly crazy about the quinoa but two was plenty anyway). They were closing up so I hobbled out. We got in the car and I just kinda wanted to cry. Such a stupid thing. We had wanted to go out but I hurt like hell and I was bleeding a bit so headed home (so to speak). I was sorry to miss so much but it felt right and it had been a great day already.
Our love and thanks to all we saw.
More to follow.