June 12, 2006


Scorching part deux

So on Saturday I lay about relaxing. Since I did not drink the night before, I was gladly hangover-free. I'm planning to meet up with E & D at the Groove sometime later in the afternoon, but in the meantime I muster up the motivation to cut the grass. And a great motivation it takes, for it's at least a half acre of grass on an average 15-20% slope - NOT fun to mow. So I foolishly blow it off in the cooler morning to wait for what turns out to be the hottest afternoon so far this year (98 deg.), and needless to say I am wasted after just doing the front. After panting and evaporating on the couch I hit the bed for a nice nap.

Set an alarm? Nah, I'm just gonna lay down for an hour or so and then head to Cherokee Farms. Always set an alarm (and I know this). I wake to the sound of my cell phone beeping a voicemail message. How I miss the actual ring is a mystery. It's pushing 5:00, and E's voice says, "Hey...yadda...wonderin'...yadda...see ya soon?" So I get my shit together, feed and love the poor neglected orphans and hit the road.

When I get to Smokey's I find out the turnout was a bit light, with only a couple hundred folks tops. They've also been having trouble with the power all afternoon, so some of the bands had to go acoustic. But by the time Deep Blue Sun is ready to go on they've got the juice flowing, and juices were flowing in me too so let's wiggle. They play a hot set during which we return to the mothership to drop off casualties and gain reinforcements. D is feeling weird and becomes a casualty herself, not to be resurrected for the night, though two attempts were made through its course.

Me and the E-ster return for Atlanta blues hero Tinsley Ellis, who makes full use of the restored power. My God, what electricity did for the blues. It was a joy to be up close and watch him work, a completely different animal from Mr. DiMeola on Friday. We go try to roust D, come back, hang about and have some good laughs with Smokey. He gives us his hula hoop demo - around the neck! In my book, he is one of Earth's finest citizens. Donna Hopkins Band comes on for the late set, and the land has finally cooled down and summernight has settled in marvelously. They play a cool version of Whipping Post and with a friend from the audience a very sweet duet on Angel From Montgomery.

We tucker out before the end of their show and head for the tents. E is out by the time his head hits the pillow, whilst I mill around in the backstage kitchen (did I mention we were "passed") for some nibbly things and finish my last beer. When I return to our site D calls out and then comes out, near furious for her snoring hubby. We sit in our chairs and converse for a while, accompanied by the rhythm of the beast within. It's 3 a.m. and life is good.

E chose the site when he came out on Thursday for its afternoon shade. Trouble being in the morning the sun hits it hard about 8:30 and tents quickly become saunas. This foretells our disposition for the day, as around lunch time we bolt about ten miles to the E & D castle for air-conditioned naps and a swim. We're ruined, knowing that the field will be too freakin' hot to enjoy the music, so after a while we head back to retrieve our gear. I see Smokey and bid him thanks and farewell, we'll see him at next month's Hootenanny (July 22) if not before.

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