Mystic was an extraordinary experience for me-- the firs time I have been invited as a performer. Most festivals have a broad cross-section of material. So did Mystic, in a way-- but it was all tied together by the sea and attracted an audience who loved sea songs as much as those of us who love to perform them... not just chanteys but all kind sof sea songs: ballad, worksongs, war songs, lullabies, focs'le songs, broadsides, comic and theatre songs, gospel songs. The audience knew so much and sang so well, it felt like a gathering of the tribes. On the way we stopped and saw the New Britian Museun of American Art-- a real jewel box, and during a lull, we went over to Canterbury to see the Prudence Crandall House. it was fun dipping over to New London too to see a real working waterfront.
There were great performers of international stature: Archie Fisher, Finest Kind, but many others were of a more local reputation and sang with a depth of understanding of their place or their topic.
Judy Cook and I, 2/3 of Yankee Frolics, did our War of 1812 Songs with Rick Spencer and Geoff Kaufman-- wonderful singers with a wealth of understanding. Every time Judy sang of a naval hero Rick seemed to point out that he was born in CT or worked in CT.
Kudos to Geoff for an extraordinary job organizing this absolutely unique event. I'm not sure how he arranged for the weather, but it was perfect: sparkling, crisp, low humidity.
On top of it all, I saw an egret... who could ask for more?