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Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?

Elmore 05 Jul 22 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,CupOfTea, no cookies 05 Jul 22 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,Guest Joan F 05 Jul 22 - 07:13 PM
Elmore 05 Jul 22 - 09:55 PM
Elmore 05 Jul 22 - 10:17 PM
GUEST,Guest Joan F 06 Jul 22 - 04:05 AM
Zhenya 06 Jul 22 - 09:22 PM
GUEST,Guest Joan F 07 Jul 22 - 02:01 PM
bbc 11 Jul 22 - 09:06 AM
Elmore 12 Jul 22 - 12:05 PM
Charmion 12 Jul 22 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 04:19 PM

Went to Old Songs festival for 30 or so years, but ended up living in the middle of Nowhere, Ga. for the duration. I know it's a bit late, but I'd be grateful to know how it went. I did the grid, which looked great. How was the weather? how about the audience? Large? Small? Did anybody attend the Tony Barrand tribute? Any info at all would be much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: GUEST,CupOfTea, no cookies
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 05:20 PM

I was sad to miss it this year, too. I heard several reports, the most complete from a festival regular who mostly hangs out to play tunes. She reports that the attendance was WAY down, there were perhaps only a dozen tents/RVs in the field. The dancing was good. She thought that there was a nice influx of youth, though didn't see anything that was just for kids. She was most impressed with some of the Quebecois folks, a spoons/bones workshop, some great banjo workshop, (but minimal banjos for a banjo jam) Her distinct impression was it was a really really good year for singers. Reported Sally Rogers was superb. She wouldn't have been surprised if they lost money.

Got less specific from other folks other than "smaller, but still wonderful" was the general comment. Unfortunately the Folk Notebook streaming of the concerts has technical problems galore, so I didn't get a chance to listen online.

Next year... I'm planning on next year.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: GUEST,Guest Joan F
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 07:13 PM

I can't walk far these days because of Parkinson's. They had golf cart trams to take people around the grounds, but very few of them, & they ran maybe once an hour. So I missed a lot of stuff I wanted to go to. Also, it was scorching & humid, both of which I can't take.

And they need to get their tram idea done better; people couldn't assure me there would be trams after the late night barn singaround (or the late night dance if you're into that) so I didn't go.

I was proved right to be suspicious when some people in an official golf cart absolutely refused to take me near my campsite during the ending concert because "the workshops are over".

Fortunately I was able to find someone in a diff golf cart willing to ferry me, as I had found after the previous 2 nights' concerts.

These trams are not meant to be personal taxis, just to get you to a tram stop *near* where you want to go, & obviously near a workshop site.

But for the invalid I have become,I will need to rent a scooter & van to ferry it in, or they need to make available a really reliable tram service. I'd be happy to pay extra for it, as I bet would the other tram passengers I met.

I'm still sorry to have missed stuff I missed, but as at most festivals the stuff at stages I was stuck at was none too shabby.

Still, it was not precisely what I came for,but I'll have to get used to that unless they actually find a miracle cure to reverse Parkinson's.

Far from what people believe, we do not all twitch; that's actually a long-term effect of medicine I'm avoiding taking because I don't wanna twitch. However,I took my meds that weekend, as I wouldn't be driving (they make me very sleepy) & they did not work a weekend miracle cure.

I can still walk, I just need to sit down, from tiredness, not pain, about every 1/3 of a city block.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 09:55 PM

To: Joanne in Cleveland. Thanks for the news. I'm not surprised at the small audience. Concern about the pandemic lingers on, and a two year hiatus damages the momentum. I didn't even want to go a few years ago when Bill Spence passed.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Jul 22 - 10:17 PM

To: Guest Joan F. Sorry for the difficulties you encountered. Perhaps they had a bunch of rookie volunteers. I remember one year when the heat was oppressive, and several evenings when the rain spoiled it for me, but them's the breaks.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: GUEST,Guest Joan F
Date: 06 Jul 22 - 04:05 AM

They had the 2 scumballs I met at the very end, who refused not only to cart me anywhere but to call their bosses because "we have no way to contact them". Two peeps in an expensive rental cart with no phones! Imagine that.

I'd have started phoning myself except I needed all my energy for the very long walk.

Otherwise they had the usual great volunteers.

Festival had a couple no-show acts due to testing positive for Covid, but not the acts I specifically came to see.

I tested myself last Friday, a requisite for something I wound up not going to anyway, & so far I'm negative.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Zhenya
Date: 06 Jul 22 - 09:22 PM

I was at Old Songs this year. I thought the attendance at the Friday and Saturday evening concerts looked about normal. The weather was quite warm during the day but it never rained and it was actually very pleasant in the evenings.

We stayed at a hotel so I can’t comment about how many people were camping. Some of the daytime workshops seemed to have smaller crowds than usual, but that might just be my particular interests. I did think the bathroom lines seemed a little shorter this year. There seemed to be a few less food vendors, and they weren’t offering quite as much as in the past.

I went to the tribute sessions for both Tony Barrand and Bill Staines and both were very well attended and very moving. My particular interests run towards Celtic, Québecois, and Old Time music, so those were the daytime workshops that I concentrated on. I did also enjoy the additional variety at the evening concerts. It was announced that a few of the performers had tested positive for Covid and weren’t able to attend. I did miss being able to see Beppe Gambetta and John Kirk and Trish Miller, and hope they’re feeling better now.

I had to leave before the final concert on Sunday, but I was able to listen to most of it on Folk Music Notebook on the way home. The radio host did mention that they were technical problems broadcasting the day before.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: GUEST,Guest Joan F
Date: 07 Jul 22 - 02:01 PM

As long as people are discussing food vendors: No spaghetti vendor. No Greek-food vendor. Guy who advertised as being Greek-style or something had anything but, but with tzatziki sauce over everything, but after I established "no real horiatiki salad or real Greek dressing" I got an amazing huge many-kinds-of-lettuce with every veg they had fried & dumped into it that I could hardly finish. I am not avoiding fried veggies, yum. Thai Guy, who is at all NE festivals I go to still had giant piece of chicken, which these days is too big for me. Also has added to menu, but the sesame chicken is disappointing nuggets which aren't even crispy, but *are* real chicken pieces, unlike real McNuggets.

No strawberry shortcake. No surprise pop-up booth selling very expensive but very good Ethiopean food. No another guy I went to a lot for small snacks whose small snacks I can't quite remember. Hey, its been 3 years.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: bbc
Date: 11 Jul 22 - 09:06 AM

Hi, folks,
Just saw this as I don't drop by very often these days. Yes, I did go to Old Songs, as I have most years except for a couple high school graduations & the past 2 COVID years, since the late 1980s. Vaccine cards were checked outside the gate. I chose to only attend sessions in the 2 large halls & to sit, distanced, in the back by the door. I got through the weekend without contracting COVID & had a lovely time! I miss Folk Legacy & CAMSCO & various friends who have either passed away, moved away, or become infirm enough that they can't comfortably negotiate the fairgrounds. Even so, I saw many friends & thoroughly enjoyed the sessions I attended. The most notable for me were the Bill Staines memorial led by Joe Jencks, the Peace session led by John McCutcheon, & the Sacred Harp sings. Although many people sat close together, as usual, some of us chose to sit at the back or, at least, to mask. Although I think attendance was somewhat down, there was still a good crowd! Joy Bennett did a great job! I look forward to next year! There was no rain this year, but the temp was in the 90s both days; Oppressive!

Here's what I shared about the weekend on my Facebook page.

My account of Old Songs, 2022. First & foremost, sincere thanks to Joy Bennett & all personnel for making this weekend possible; it means so much to so many of us! It was wonderful to come home to Old Songs after two years away!

Now that I live closer to the fairgrounds, I daytrip. I attended on Saturday & Sunday &, despite the high temps & still some COVID risk, I felt blessed to see quite a few friends, to hear some performers who I love, & to do some singing myself! I had decided to only attend sessions in the Sheep & Cattle barns & to sit at the back near the doors.

On Saturday, before I even got through virus check & the gate, I was tickled pink to see Lori Fassman! We exchanged a quick greeting & hug! Then, I caught the last 3 songs in Sacred Harp in the sheep barn. I moved to the cattle barn for "Southern Voices" with John McCutcheon, Sam Gleaves & Deborah Payne, & Sheila Kay Adams. I have known & admired both John & Sheila for years. It was a distinct pleasure to hear Sam & Deborah & to pick up their CD "Welcome as the Flowers in May."

At the end of the session, I was so pleased to have a chance for a quick chat with Charlie Baum before I took a break from 12:30-1:30 PM to stop by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston sing-along & connect for lunch with my dear friend Denise. Then, at 1:45 PM, Denise & I went together to the cattle barn for the "Peace" session with John McCutcheon, Claudia Schmidt, Reggie Harris, & Joe Jencks. Each one had something so special to share, but the closing song "We Shall Overcome" led by John had us standing in solidarity &, many of us, weeping. It was a powerful & healing session, so needed in these times! From there, I followed John to the Street Corner for some hammered dulcimer jam. Sweet, as always! At 4 PM, I called it a day & went home to rehydrate.

I enjoyed a few words a few times with both Joy Bennett & Chris Koldewey as they went about the festival, making sure things were running smoothly! I believe it was during the "Peace" session when I had the chance to have a short chat with Howie Bursen & to sing harmony next to him on a song or two. I saw Pamela Goddard, Carolyn Miante Pepler, John Roberts, & Lori Fassman there, too! I had a chance to say hello to Sally Rogers after the Bill Staines & also to blow a kiss to Reggie Harris. Sometimes, that is enough. Oh, almost forgot! At one point, I managed a short chat with Sheila outside the Ladies by the sheep & cattle barns. Poor Sheila! I didn't identify myself by name & what with the fact that my hairstyle is now quite different from what it's been for years, I don't think she actually recognized me. I wasn't a bit offended. She did the great performer thing, though, playing along famously as if she *did* know who I am. No worries, Sheila. The important thing is that I know who you are & I appreciate you! I'm not actually sure if Howie recognized me either, but that is aok! Love to both!

On Sunday, I got up on alarm to make it to the whole 1 1/2 hours of Sacred Harp singing in the sheep barn ably led by Stefan Amidon. Boy, did that do my heart good! I stayed in that hall for the Gospel Sing with Sheila Kay Adams, daughter Melanie Rice Penland, & cousin Donna Ray Norton, Sam Gleaves & Deborah Payne, Stefan Amidon, as well as Jim Lloyd & Addie Levy. Sam Gleaves & Jim Lloyd were new to me & both were a pleasure to hear!

"Remembering Bill Staines" came next, in the cattle barn. Good turn-out & lots of harmony singing along with Joe Jencks, Reggie Harris, Magpie, Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen. It was a joy & sorrow to remember Bill!

After that session, I was really feeling the heat & told friend Carolyn Miante Pepler that I thought I needed to head home. I stopped at Ann Schunior's booth to buy a gorgeous mug & dropped by Performer Sales to buy a CD by Sam Gleaves & Deborah Payne. This morning, I've already listened to one & drunk from the other. You can figure out which! LOL

All in all, it was a great weekend & I was so glad to be back! I took a few shots with my cell phone camera, but the quality is poor. I'm only sharing a few.

John Kirk & Trish Miller were missed, having come down with COVID just before the festival! Here's hoping for quick recovery & full healing!

I found Old Songs to be full of ghosts, albeit friendly ones--folks who've passed from this life & those who, for one reason or another, no longer journey to the festival. I was thinking of you, missing you, loving you! You were there with me in my heart!

Best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Elmore
Date: 12 Jul 22 - 12:05 PM

Thanks to Zhenya and BBC for their descriptions of the festival . Wish I could've been there in spite of or perhaps because of the ghosts.


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Subject: RE: Did Anyone Go To Old Songs?
From: Charmion
Date: 12 Jul 22 - 03:25 PM

I had an offer to go with a fiddling friend, but cried off at the last minute. I couldn't face it without Edmund.


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