By Tom Peschges
So my last blog post was about the realization of a dream, achieving the goal of putting together a band and playing on the main stage at the Minnesota Homegrown Kickoff. And we did that and it was every bit as exciting as I'd hoped it would be. I think all of the guys were satisfied with our performance, the only real problem, from our perspective, is that it was over so quickly. Just getting really relaxed and having fun and Marty is telling us "1 More Song"
Thinking of Marty brings me to my purpose in writing this post. It takes a lot of people to put on a festival like the Kickoff, and a lot of those people don't get the accolades they deserve. Starting with Marty America and Doug Lohman (Armadillo Sound). these guys are absolute professionals. I've been on both sides of their microphones enough now to know. You will hear what you need to in the monitors and you just don't need to think about the front of the house (what the audience hears) It's going to be great.
The festival (any festival) is a significant undertaking. Mostly run by people who are dramatically underpaid or outright volunteers. In the case of this particular festival, a huge debt of gratitude goes to the Festival Director, Matt Johnson and his committee members. Ann Iijima and Chuck and Sandi Millar put in a lot of hours and did a great job, making a lot of things work that otherwise simply would not. There were other committee members too and I don't know who they all are (I told you they were under-appreciated) And then there were dozens more volunteers doing everything from selling wristbands to running errands, setting up and tearing down, moving chairs and selling tee shirts.
For nearly a decade now, I have watched some of the top performers in bluegrass perform on that stage. I've seen many of my friends there as well. It was an amazing experience to stand there in the same place as so many people I have looked up to and to perform for so many friends I have made over the years. It was an experience many of us may never have had without the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association. I am grateful to MBOTMA for that opportunity and I urge everyone to consider supporting the organization. Buy a membership, attend the events and volunteer a little time either at an event or on one of the committees. Whether you aspire to be a stage performer, campfire jammer or just come to listen.
See you around the campfire !