Fred, Joel, Chris, and Ross: thank you!
These guys are the Whistlepigs, and they are four of the most generous spirits I've ever had the privilege to meet. They drove a full turn of the clock to return to the Forget Summer Arts Festival this past weekend, came out and led a fine jam into the wee hours at the campfire Friday night, and then hit the main stage at 10 a.m. the next morning for workshops and played in every one. Then when those workshops were over, they came over to the songwriter circle and did a great job offering a listening ear to budding songwriters, sharing encouragement, experience, and inspiration. I was hosting the circle, but I mostly sat back and let the 'Pigs and the Frontier Gals do all the work. Thanks again, everyone: you made the "Two Ears, One Mouth" workshop everything I had hoped it would be and more.
But wait, that's only the beginning. Saturday evening, when it was thirty-some degrees in the shade (that's ninety for you southerners), these guys got up in the floodlights for an hour and a half and gave their all. I had spent ten minutes on that stage earlier in the afternoon, and it was like a sauna already - I'm sure it had only got hotter since then. But there's no stopping the 'Pigs! I don't know how anybody sat still through that show - I found a spot (in the shade!) at the side of the crowd where I could stamp my feet and clap along, and oh, I wanted to sing. If my dancing partner hadn't been working at the festival gate, I bet we'd'a been up in front of the stage. Hey, Fred, when is the next CD coming out? I have lots of memories of building fences with my dad - I want to hear some more of that fenceline song. And more of all the rest, too!
After all that, Fred and Chris still made it down to the campfire after midnight for a few songs. They finally gave up when they were just about falling asleep sitting up with a tune in their hands. Thanks again, guys. I can only dream of ever playing like you, but I hope and pray that I can learn to welcome a neighbour like you do.