Summer is Zydeco season and I spend a good part of it playing festivals, fairs, wineries, park concerts and more with Ron Bombardier and the Bayou Boys. For our kick off weekend we played three days: Friday night we played another in the Amador County Arts Council TGIF concert series at the 49er RV Park in Plymouth(I played the opening concert last week with Wingnut Adams). You got to love these gigs. People of all ages come out with their picnic dinners, just in the mode for some musical fun. Nothing is so inspiring as a good size crowd there for the music. It's so different than your standard bar gig.
First couple of gigs each year serve to shake the rust off, and Friday was no exception. I think the audience could'nt tell but our friends and family kept talking about us needing WD 40, so I did my Tin Man impression: Oil can! Oil Can!
Saturday morning at 7:15 I rolled out of town to make a 10:30 downbeat at the Red Bluff Crawdad Festival. I rendezvoused with RT, our drumbo du jur(subbing for Rat A Tat Pat) by the airport off ramp off I 5 to caravan. Lucky we did that because 30 miles south of our destination sure enough his van lost all it's power and cruised to a stop. After scratching our heads for a bit, we crammed enough drums for the gig into my HHR, RT was holding a floor tom on his lap and made to the gig with 30 minutes to spare.
This festival is called the Isleton Crawdad Festival in Exile. For years they did it in the little delta town of Isleton, but it got more and more out of hand. it had basically become a bike run and at the same time a party for east bay gangbangers. Moved to Red Bluff, it became a Louisiana food and music celebration and a wholesome good time.
We played our 2 sets, hung out with musician friends ate, drank and were merry. When we were done I took Rick back to his van to wait for the tow truck.
We had an option for free lodgings at the R Wild Horse Ranch, the sponsors of the festival. never one to turn down a free room I headed for the ranch, which lies about 35 miles east of Red Bluff. After wandering around the big ranch, I was shown to my cabin, or monks cell. It did have a sink and toilet and 5 beds. Very rustic. Later on some of the other musicians from the fest showed up, and sounds of music and voices filled the barbecue scented air.
I got up early and headed back to the grounds, we played from 1:30 till 3:00 with Pat, our regular drummer, this time on the main stage. Big fun!!!
All and all it was a great time, lots of good friends, good music , good food. A little taste of New Orleans right here in Norcal.