Ann’s Amazing Singer/Songwriter Adventure

This weekend, I spent most of my time either asleep or listening to live folk music (and getting suckered into upgrading my cell phone). I learned that there are many different voices out there and FOLK MUSIC IS FUN! Needless to say, my kitchen floor still needs mopping.

On Friday, I went to Cleveland to see Mustard’s Retreat at Cain Park. Mustard’s Retreat is made up of Michael Hough and David Tamulevich, who live in Ann Arbor, MI, an old-school hippie town that is also home to the Ark, a great venue. It was a strange show because the band was entertainment during an art show and most of the audience was just “passing through.” But Mustard’s Retreat always puts on a great show and it was lots of fun watching them try to play a few odd-ball requests. They never did play my song, Solitary Beach, but I forgive them.

Saturday, I worked the Folk Alley booth at Akron, OH’s Homegrown Saturday Mornin’ and then came back later for Not-Your-Father’s Folk Festival (a title that greatly depends on who your father is). I sat cross-legged on the ground from 4 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. and I am still a little stiff. I also tossed out Folk Alley t-shirts. It was a great venue for a folk concert: good sound, lovely setting, concessions. The artist line-up was: Eleni Kelakos, the bluehouse, Vance Gilbert, Trout Fishing in America, and Patty Larkin.

I finished the weekend by going back up to Cleveland to the Beachland Ballroom to see John Wesley Harding and his “All Male Threesome.” Harding and his mates Scott McCaughey and Dag Juhlin played solo and in a variety of groupings. It was a fabulous evening of great songs, satire, and musicianship. I knew Harding’s work (he’s my brother’s favorite musician), but McCaughey (who has played with Minus 5 and the Young Fresh Fellows) and Juhlin (late of Poi Dog Pondering and the Slugs) were new to me. I ended up buying something from everyone, including a double vinyl copy of Down with Wilco from McCaughey, and I can’t wait to listen to it all. I started with Juhlin’s (who looks like an accountant BTW) Into the Woods. The man has mad skills on the guitar. I was so happy seeing him play that I wanted to hug him. But I didn’t, because that would be weird since we had never met before.

Now, get out there and see some folk!

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