August Is Upon Us,
Rivers Are Running
Travels and Travails ~ August 2008
LL & The Right Hands (Todd Phillips, Tom Rozum, Craig Smith, and Scott Huffman) backed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (or as Coloradans say, "a big row of fourteeners."), Westcliffe, CO
As you may know, if you've been following our rambles, we had a wild July. It featured lots of different forms of transportation, the first being a leisurely drive over the Sierra on skinny little Hwy 4 over Ebbetts Pass to Reno. Then we flew to Southern CA, and on to CO. In Westcliffe, I got to travel for a few miles on horseback. Then Tom and I took the eastbound train for Philadelphia. I was pretty excited about the big two-night trip, but the enthusiasm faded when we got about five miles outside of Denver and were sidetracked for nearly 7 hours. We missed our connection to Philly in Chicago and had to cash in our tickets and fly the rest of the way. It seems that the passenger trains are the lowest on the totem pole and have to yield to every freight train. But the ride was still full of poignancy, interest and beauty. We saw the flooding from the burst levee on the Mississippi River in Iowa. Amazing. After two weeks, the buildings and cars were still standing in a huge lake for miles around. I guess that's what every spring looked like (minus the cars and houses) before the Army Corps of Engineers started trying to tame the waterways and making flood plains "safe" for year-round habitation.
We met back up with the band in VA, crowding 5 of us into a rented minivan with all our luggage and instruments. It was a test of spacial relationships. The most excellent Steve Roy filled in for Todd on the eastern portion, and he was a joy to play with. He'll be joining us again in October when Todd is on tour with Joan Baez. Then it was on to WI, back to MD and VA, a week in WV, and back again to VA. Finally, back home in Berkeley, all I want to do is sleep.
It was a treat to spend time and play some songs with the Augusta bluegrass teaching staff in Elkins, WV,where Tom and I were teaching harmony singing. It was a stellar line-up, including Mike Bub, Missy Raines, the Gibson Brothers, Terry Baucom, Russ Barenberg, Buddy Spicher and Bobby Hicks, among others.