When I left on my road trip on July 14, I really did plan to check in here several times before returning home - but a combination of a laptop crash, the limitations inherent in using the blogspot software via an iPad, and sheer end-of-the-day exhaustion combined to make that impossible. So here it is, six travel days and four concert days later, and I'm finally back in touch.
Before moving on to the music I so thoroughly enjoyed, I will mention a bookish thing or two: I read three books in the twelve days I was out (two memoirs and a novel) and even got to visit my favorite bookstore in the world, Square Books on the way home (which is in Oxford, Mississippi). As a result, I now have six books stacked up for review - that's a first for me - and catching up will take some hard work.
Here, though, is a taste of what the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer music festival is all about. All the performers donate their time and talents for the event and net proceeds are earmarked for St. Jude's in Memphis. This is a 1,200-mile drive for me, but I'm hoping to make it a regular July event.
This video marks the very first song ever performed on stage together by Doyle Lawson and Larry Sparks, each of whom now has 50 years in the business, so avid bluegrass fans were thrilled to witness it.
And this video vividly demonstrates the pure musical magnificence and talent of the bluegrass musicians who performed during the four-day event. This is Michael Cleveland and Nathan Livers performing the classic instrumental "Jerusalem Ridge." Michael is, in my estimation, worth the price of admittance all by himself. I have seen this one performed several times now, and it still blows me away. (That is also Michael on fiddle in the first video.)