One more thing. Seeing Rob aka Jack the Sailor, and Carol was testament as to why this Mudcat is such a phenomenon. I would encourage all here to never miss an opportunity to get together. Something about connecting up with folks that you have come to know so very well, yet have never met is wondrous. You feel connected to a larger family, and your view of the world is altered in the way that only comes from having a view shaped by the "circle of experiences" of others.
Carol and I were talking during dinner (just before the Saturday night gig) about how our lives were literally changed by this place. Mudcat helped Carol out of a place that she no longer wanted to be. It gave her a whole circle of friends that are now very important to her. And most of all, it introduced her to the love of her life. For me, it introduced me to a circle of musicians and musicologists that have affected my music in profound ways. I have become friends with people that passed on to me songs and stories with but one command. And that is to pass it on to the next one. And I will.
Never in my lifetime has the need for the bards been so great. We live in a time that will have profound consequences for the future. It is incumbent on us to come to know one another so that we may use our instruments and voices to help shape our world for our children. The Mudcat, like no other place, will allow us to do that in a sane way, tempered by our exposure to one another, and respect for one another's views. It is a worldwide community.
All the best,