I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

July 20, 2014 - 1:28 p.m.

Bobtown Birthday Bash

I can see I'm going to have a tough time writing today. But there's be no trick if it were easy.

I've been keeping on the QT but yesterday was my birthday. Boy can I keep a secret. I only mentioned once a day, well maybe twice. Of course that was just my way of promoting the Huntington Folk Festival and Bobtown's Kickstarter for their new album, A History of Ghosts. Now plenty of people joined me at the Festival and I thank you for that. There is still time to help Bobtown reach their goal. It will make me happy if they do.

In the good old days when I had a car I would drive musicians to gigs. Now that I'm carless I beg rides of musicians. Matt kindly agreed to drive me and Alex, recreating our ride home from NERFA.

We got there just as it started and I spent the day listening to great music and talking to great friends. I also got interviewed! I won't give details till it's published but there's going to be an article about your humble diarist, make that egotistical diarist.

I saw so many musicians that I'm not going to go through things act by act and discuss the music. I'll give an overview with you pictures and a video. During the day there are two stages, one organized by Mike Kornfeld and the other by Richard Cuccaro. . They are both totally acoustic and fairly close to each other. As Matt pointed out it gives something of a Charles Ives effect to the listening experience. I knew most of the performers. This was very much a home game. I split my time between music and schmoozing. There were lots of fun people to talk to. I won't tell you who I saw but here's the people I could get pics of.


Eugene Ruffolo and Jenai Huff


Kat Quinn


Alex Mallett


Villa Palagonia (Allison Scola)


Mark Allen Berube


Mya Byrnes and her Girl Supergroup


Tucker and The YaYas


Libby Koch


Karen Dahlstrom


Robinson Treacher


Honor Finnegan and Aviv Roth


My Dad's Truck


Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes


The Other Heroines deserve a video.


Dinner was next. I used to sneak into the musician's dinner by walking in with my friends, Now I'm on the guest list, not as much fun. It took me a while to find a seat but I finally found one with Mya & Alex (her wife not Mallett), Ina May and and and damn. I need to take pictures. Was it Bev? That would make sense. I ended up talking the most to Alex which is nice as we rarely get a chance to talk.

Then Kay aka K Aka Kathryn, I think I'm going to start calling her K there as an homage to Kafka, took me out for ice cream for my birthday! It was from a truck but it was delicious. We ran into Paul and he took us to see the beautiful sunset over the pond. See it's not all about the music. The time with the friends is epic.

Then I joined Fred down from for the Evening music. We were joined by Shelley and the gregarious glamorous Gail. It started to get cool and I forgot to bring a shirt with sleeves let alone the windbreaker I should have brought. Richard is a saint and lent me a jacket. I better remember to return it next time I see him.

The Pete Seeger Tribute featuring just about everyone started the evening program.

Then it was on the headliners, my girls, Bobtown. I got to Kvel. I've only known the a year and a half but still count as an early adopter and loudest cheerleader. I loved hearing how much people loved them. I shined with reflected glory. This is my third time seeing them in a short time so I am not going to go on about what they do that's special. Well OK they did some new things special. ON one song they stripped things down and stood around a condenser mic and showed how much they can do without bells and whistles and just the power of their music making. There is nobody like them. If you like their music you have to see them. I'm saying what makes them special. I said I wouldn't do that. OK one more quick thing. They can make beautiful music and be tons of fun. You could enjoy them with the sound off or without being able to see them.


Bobtown. Fred the usual bass player was in Europe. the sub was Joe. Am I right?

The band was busy at the merch table but I went to say goodbye to them. Katherine told me that they didn't have time to sing their birthday song for me but that they'd do it then if I'd get her uke. So I ran on stage and grabbed it. A bit disturbing that I could just do that and nobody stopped me.

I gave Katherine the uke and she, Karen, and Jen sang to me. Pretty much nothing beats being serenaded by three sirens on your birthday. Not the first time thats happened to me. Red Molly's done it too. See I know when I have it good..

Then Fred drove me to the Hicksville LIRR Station. I took the train to Jamaica where I switched to one to Brooklyn and took the home. It was not a short trip but the day was worth it.

I got home to a slew of FB posts, messages, texts, and voice mails, wishing me a happy birthday. I'm not alone. Who else gets a festival with one of his favorite bands for his birthday? Thanks to everyone.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile July 20, 2014
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