Yesterday we had a superfun day of bluegrass at the Rivercity Bluegrass Festival at the convention center downtown. I think I’ve explained this before but bluegrass is not something that I listen to at home. But spending a day seeing a bunch of bands live is always a good time.
A few highlights:
We caught Misty River finishing their set and they played one of the best songs I’ve ever heard: Home Grown Tomatoes. I think it’s an original but I’m not sure and I’m too lazy to figure it out for you. The chorus is: There’s two things money can’t buy, true love and home grown tomatoes. There’s a verse that says something like: when I’m gone don’t put me in a box, put me in the ground so I can push up home grown tomatoes.
This song could be the Orleans local anthem.
As I mentioned I enjoy hearing bluegrass live but I don’t have a deep appreciation for all the nuances and flavors. To me it sounds like two songs: the slow and mournful one or fast and plucky one. Generally someone has been done wrong or else there’s a train a comin’ or perhaps something Mama or Papa told them. During one set a woman told how she inadvertently stolen a melody from a fellow songwriter and I turned to Bob and said: How can they tell? All the songs sound the same.
At another point we were at the smaller stage and Bob leaned over and said the song was a Johnny Cash cover. Then he said, “Watch out, the Grateful Dead used to cover this song. You’ll see the Deadheads all nodding along.” I said, “Like the guy in the big pants?”
It took Bob a second to spot him and then he cracked up because there was this blissed out guy with tons of curly hair, nodding his head and wearing these enormous patchwork pants that looked like they were made from xmas tree skirts and fluffy felt and a single leg could be a cosy for the Eifel Tower. We spent the rest of the night looking for “the guy with the big pants.”
The headliner was the Yonder Mountain String Band, a band I’ve never really warmed up to. I thought they sounded a lot more accessible last night and not sure if I was more open minded or they took a different approach for this type of event. They’ll be back for three nights in August and Bob can tell me how it goes.