If you’re going to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, I recommend the following strategy. Leave work early on Friday (got your attention now, haven’t I?) and check out the afternoon shows. Unless you’ve staked a claim early on Saturday or Sunday it’s hard to get close enough to hear the music, but Friday’s not yet as crowded. And it just so happens that this year Bonnie Raitt was one of the closing acts on Friday.

Bonnie Raitt

We’ve been distributing our Bonnie shows fairly evenly over the decades; 1977, opening for Jackson Browne, 1993 at the Bridge School Benefit, and last Friday. So the next show will be sometime in the 2030’s. Can’t wait! She’s getting better all the time.

There was a good crowd at the Banjo Stage, but we found a spot. Resident Expert saw an open area in front of three young gents and asked if we could set up there. They said, “yes – we want you to sit here!”. O… K. Pretty soon we found out why the area had been unoccupied, when they sprayed beer on us. They were very apologetic, but it was no big deal. Frankly, we expected no less. One of the fellows was quite curious about us; how we met, where we work, why we are the way we are. This was all in between sets, and he wound down the inquiry once Bonnie took the stage.

I have a feeling that she’ll be a mainstay at HSB in future years. She seemed so happy to be there, and was very warmly received. And there was this cool thing that happened, where right at sunset a “V” of Canada Geese flew over the crowd, coming in way in the back at tree top level, gliding up and over the stage. Magic. You could hear people behind you reacting to them as they flew over. That more than makes up for the missing, sequestered Blue Angels.

I don’t think the videos were approved at Bonnie HQ, but there are several on YouTube if you’re interested. During “Have a Heart” the ecstatic dancing guy next to us asked the Resident Expert, “are you feelin’ it?”. Indeed we were. Still feelin’ it, as a matter of fact.

See you there next year.

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