Kerrville from Afar

“Welcome Home!’
Sign at the entrance to the Kerrville Folk Festival

Celebrate 50 years of the Kerrville Folk Festival with a free livestream from the main stage performances. Of course, nothing can compare with the full-blown live Kerrville Folk Festival camping experience at the Quiet Valley Ranch, but when you live a thousand miles away, it’s a great substitute. Especially with the stellar line-ups KFF has in store for the next 3 weekends.

I had no idea they would be streaming the shows until I ran across Ray Wylie Hubbard last night. Now I’ll be checking the schedule regularly. Tonight’s got Shinyribs, for instance, but the real treasure we’re waiting for is Shawn Colvin‘s set tomorrow night.

It’s been years since we attended the festival in person. I attended several of the festivals during the 80s, usually alone, but always meeting up with good friends, old and new, at the festival and in the campgrounds.

The combination of lazy days hanging around camp leading up to the evening’s stage performances and capped by all-night campfire sessions can prove exhausting. Still, the music provides a spiritual regeneration that leaves you cleansed, happy, and energized enough to return to the so-called “real world.” The sign at the entrance emphasizes how many long-time attendees feel every year as they make the annual pilgrimage to the Texas hill country.

Part of me wishes I was back in the campground. Memories of sitting in my van with East Side Flash and Michelle Shocked the year after someone recorded her in the campground and made her a huge hit in England. she was wondering which record company to sign with that would still grant her creative control.

I remember the year Blaze Foley passed out at our campsite in his “disguise” of a sheet draped around him like a toga, with fake eyelashes and massive amounts of eye liner as well as jewelry made of duct tape and tin foil. Throughout the next morning, people would file by and comment upon the absurd, sleeping figure.

I remember seeing young Carrie Rodriguez, about age 15 I think, playing the fiddle one afternoon under the trees in our camp. I remember Nanci Griffith asking my sweety at the time, Marilyn Fowler (neé Cain), if she’d ever gotten the rights back to her song, “Canadian River” (no, she hadn’t), saying, “Let me know if you ever do — I’d sure like to record that song.”

Yes, I do miss the casual comfort of the Kerrville campground. I’m happy to “head home” via the livestreams. Like I said, it’s not the same, but it’ll have to do.

Chris Pierce
Shanna in a Dress
Mary Gauthier & Jaimee Harris

The festival and the livestreams will continue for 2 more weekends.


About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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