Steep Canyon Rangers
I spent my entire weekend at DelFest thinking of a musician who wasn't even on the lineup: Doc Watson.. I had heard of his declining health just before I departed for the festival. I overheard many at DelFest expressing their own concern. It appears we all had a feeling, sadly. I wish we'd have been wrong.
I had a dream about Steve Martin, last night..
I knew I'd be writing this story, today.. That's likely why he was on my mind. Of course he was in a white suit, with an arrow headband on his head. [I'm a child of the seventies, after all..] But instead of playing for laughs, he was picking his banjo with fire, along with a bevy of world-class bluegrass musicians. This was an especially fun dream, considering I've never seen him perform in any capacity beyond the movie theater.
I first heard of Elephant Revival when I met Bridget Law at a fiddle contest five years ago. She had a magnetic personality and played the fiddle with the best of them, so I made sure to look up her band when I got home. The first Elephant song I listened to was "Ring Around the Moon", and it was stuck in my head for days. Since then I have seen them play many times.
I had never seen Elephant Revival before tonight. And sometimes, ignorance is bliss, and the best way to see a live band. Having no expectations or prior convictions of how a show will sound or make you feel is liberating. After all, music is foremost an innate emotional reaction to rhythms, melodies, and lyrics, and when you have no existing mental model, your mind is forced to make one, which, in its synthesis, is one of the best parts of man’s love affair with music.