Herndon Festival

Yet another good year for the festival. My participation unfolded much as I had anticipated. Jill was out on Thursday, so I came home, made a quick dinner, then drove over. I found a spot quickly, but was late for Mary Ann Redmond (thought I didn’t miss my favorite song, her cover of “Cry Love”). I met up with the Jewells afterwards, then joined them at the Depot Stage for Fairport Convention. It wasn’t the original incarnation (only featured founder Simon Nicol in addition to two newer guys), but they did the legend proud. It was good, but I had plenty to do that night, so I left after the first set. Jill and I got to enjoy the fireworks from our deck, though.

Friday Jill was home before left, but she was wiped after her first day observing in the OR, so I made some hot dogs for us, then walked over to the festival. I again was late, still got to see most of Naked Blue. I skipped the Stones tribute band for Josh Kelley at the Depot Stage. He was good, a lot funkier than on record and nice covers of “Space Cowboy”, “The Weight” and “Lola”. He also played a new song, “Masterpiece”, that I wouldn’t be surprised to be a big hit.

Saturday I woke up early for some reason, made breakfast and played with Illa, then drove over to the festival with the chairs, umbrella and blanket, then went over to the Depot Stage to see Charlotte Kendrick. She was good, and Dan Rowe on standup bass really added something. I watched some of Hero Pattern, and they were just ok and I was hot in the sun, so I walked home. Jill was out, so I watched TV (glad to see the return of Studio 60, even if it won’t be back next season) and read the paper. She picked up some new battery operated fans with water squirters, which would come to be very important to me during the hot day in the sun.

We walked over to the fest around 3 to catch Antje Duvekot, and both of us enjoyed her, Jill picked up her CD as well as one from the next act, Craig Cardiff. Between the two, I went back to the Center Stage to catch Natalie Stovall perform an interesting choice of covers: “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy)”, “Start It Up”, and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”. My favorite was “Devil” because of the nice musical joke she put in: during the demon part (y’know, “Then a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this”), instead of the usual part, she and the band jumped into Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.

We hunted down some food next, Jill got a Greek salad and I got a very disappointing seafood quesadilla (it was supposed to be crab, shrimp and lobster and instead was mostly bland fish), then watched the end of Jeffrey Gaines, then Scythian at Center Stage. Much to my surprise, Scythian also covered “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” during their set, which I believe is a first for me (to hear it twice in the same day by different bands). Scythian was good, but close to the end of their set I felt a wave of sleepiness crash over me. I might have tried to fight it off or get a caffeinated beverage, but the blanket was right in front of me and looked to good to pass up, so I napped until Jill came back during the band break with some wings, bacon wrapped shrimp, and jambalya from Jimmy’s. Tasty, and I felt refreshed from my nap.

Enter The Haggis was good, but a little too punk for us since we’d already seen a perfectly good Cletic band in Scythian, so we grabbed our blanket and headed over to catch Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams on the Depot Stage. Their psychedelic rock proved to be a good way to close out the night, then we headed back to get our stuff and watch the fireworks before we drove home.

Sunday I woke up late, and barely had to time to walk Illa before heading over to the fest. It may have been raining, but Robbie Schaefer was at the Depot Stage with his son, Ethan sharing the stage for the set. For the kids, but still funny for the rest of us. I got the chance to chat to him, then dropped off my chair. I was going to leave, but Stuart convinced to me to check out Melanie Mason at the Café Stage. I did, and I was glad – she’s got a very unique voice, well suited to the blues. I didn’t stay for her whole set, as I had a bunch to do at home, starting with breakfast and taking advantage of the cool weather to finish cleaning the office (nice to be up here now, and Illa likes actually being allowed to come in). Jill was in the middle of addressing 700 some envelopes for a school project, so I got my rain gear on then headed back. I caught some of the Nields and had a crêpe, then dried off my chair and hunkered down.

The festival had been somewhat crowded Thursday, fairly crowded Friday, and bursting at the seams Saturday (it was hard to get around in the evening). With the steady rains falling Sunday, the place was fairly deserted – the crowd that showed up for the Smithereens reminded me of some of the Thursday night concert crowds. It was everyone else’s loss, as they turned in a tight show full of their hits and some Beatles classics. I was damp afterwards, and it was good to come home afterwards and get dry (so not like FRFF). Made fajitas for dinner, now it’s finish the paper time.