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Coopers Glen Festival, 2006

Child and Mother at Coopers GlenWe had the most wonderful weekend this Saturday/Sunday at the Nature Center in Kalamazoo. We were performers at the Coopers Glen Music Festival and it was a great time.

Coopers GlenWe got there early afternoon on Saturday. We were immediately greeted by several volunteers who did their best to feed us as much as we wanted and more. It was quite hot and humid and there were plenty of cold drinks and a covered eating area where we could relax and wait our turn for the stage. We were scheduled for 5:45 so Brian decided to show me around the grounds since we had time to spare.

Darcy Wilkins and the Leavin Bros.We walked around, listened to Sparky and Rhonda Rucker while checking out the scene. There was a mother dancing and playing with her daughter in the grassy area front and left of the stage, and I enjoyed taking a few photos of them together.

Fabulous Heftones at Coopers GlenLater we heard Darcy Wilkins and the Leavin Bros. (we had met at Wheatland last September so it was good to see them again). We found a potter selling hand-thrown bowls in beautiful shapes and colors, and purchased a few while listening to Blue Moon Rising. Then we went back, changed into our stage clothing, tuned up and waited our turn. (Knitters, I’m wearing my Perfect Hug Shawl in the Bear Hug size, knit in Rio de la Plata.)

Fabulous Heftones at Coopers GlenWhat a great audience we had! It had been sunny earlier so a lot of the folks who came for the full day were far from the stage under trees. However, we could tell that even the back row was right with us, really listening in. One woman closer to stage clapped along with every song. She seemed to know all the words to even songs we have not yet recorded.

We had 45 minutes and since we have songs that are rarely all of 3 minutes long, we got to play a long list of our favorites. The time just flew by, the way it does when all is well.

When we finished, we had a nice crowd of folks come over to get on our email notice list, get a bumper sticker or CD (or two), get autographs, or just plain talk to us about this music that we enjoy so much. We sold more CDs than expected and it was great fun getting to know folks.

Detour and crowd, Copers GlenWe changed out of our stage clothes (poor Brian wears a tuxedo on stage and it was so hot and humid he must have felt like he was wearing a plastic bag). Then we got to go back out, sit in the crowd and be part of the audience. Well, sit most of the time and dance a little of the time. It was very good.

The band right after us was Detour, a bluegrass band from “up north” Michigan, I think in the lower peninsula. The guys were really nice backstage and Brian jammed with them a little. It turns out that one of the guys is friends with one of the guys in Steppin’ in It. Small world, when you’re talking music in Michigan!

John McEuenThe last act on Saturday was John McEuen (of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band but solo). He is a good storyteller and plays several instruments in his show (one at a time, of course). I was absolutely entertained. What a warm person he is (off stage and on actually, we talked backstage a bit when I gave him a few good teabags from my stash). At the end of his show, he had some folks join him on stage (from bands who had played earlier that day). Great fun.

John McEuen Solo, Coopers GlenSaturday night we camped overnight and jammed with some other musicians who also stayed over. I guess we are getting old because we went to sleep just after 1am, it used to be we would at least stay up till 4am or even 6am. It was fun, even if it ended early. It actually started raining once we were in the tent so we probably did not lose out on much.

Sunday I slept in (after the rooster stopped crowing, anyway) and Brian got up and woke up ahead of me. When I finally got going Brian came by and we went looking for food. I brought my own food from home but Brian found some and he found me some hot tea (he loves me).

Coopers GlenWe did sit in the front/center seats for Honest D and the Steel Reserve on Sunday. Wowie! What entertainers these guys are! They just took over that big stage with their honky tonk sort of old style country music. They are wonderful in every way. Every way. If you ever get a chance to see these guys. drop everything and go.

After Honest D played, we wandered around the art vendors again. I got a pair of wonderful glass earrings and we got talking to the young lady selling handsewn skirts. She told us about a concert at Magdalenas that night, a bursting handful of young women musicians all together. We dropped everything, left the festival a little bit earlier than expected and headed off to Lansing. We ended up very glad that we had made that choice. More photos from Magdalenas will be posted here tomorrow.

Knitting content: I had a single ball of a Nashua single-ply gradually-striping yarn from a gift, which I knit into a water-bottle holder on Saturday night and Sunday morning. I also knit a bit again on my “Fortissima Disco” glittery turquoise socks (from my First-Time Toe-Up sock pattern). On size 0/2mm needles they are taking a while but I finished the first and started the second on Sunday at Magdalenas.

Photos: 1&2) Mother and child enjoying the music, second shot child prancing away from mom in preparation for running fast to be caught in midair. Fun! 3) Darcy (in vintage dress) and her guys. 4&5) Brian and I as The Fabulous Heftones, on stage. 6) Detour on stage with attentive lounging listeners. 7&8) John McEuen, with band and without, 9)Honest D and the Steel Reserve.

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