Post Pickathon Post

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

I’m not sure I can say there was one moment or one set of music that made Pickathon memorable this year. It’s more about the many moments, the many slices of time that seem to make the whole weekend melt into a fog of pleasure.

It rained off and on Friday at Pendarvis Farm. And while that might spell disaster at some music festivals, it created an atmosphere of hopefulness in Happy Valley, Oregon. We all knew the rain would let up. The question was when…and what was going to happen while it fell.

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

Late in the afternoon, I was deep in the woods watching the everybodyfields perform a quiet set for a captive and silent audience. A gentle rain began to fall, though it barely made it through the trees to the forest floor. Band member Sam Quinn said, “This is perfect weather for this band. This is the weather in my brain.” They shut off the power during the rain and the band stepped into the crowd to play the rest of the set unplugged. While I missed hearing the pedal steel and the keyboard, they didn’t sound like they do on their albums. They played different songs than they otherwise would have played. It was perfect weather for the moment.

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

Seeing so many people dance in a field on a overcast Friday night made me happy. The band playing the tunes this year was an all-star line up (The Stuart Brothers and Martha Scanlan) and could have commanded attention from an audience for hours with their tunes. But with caller Bill Martin in the driver seat, I felt like I was the only person on the farm not dancing.

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

I walked into the Galaxy Barn and ran into a wall of steam and sweat. The Hackensaw Boys were just getting going, but the crowd was already on fire. Having stepped from the chilly night air, my cameras were immediately fogged. It reminded me of going to cover a high school swim meet in the middle of winter.

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

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© Tim LaBarge 2008

And then, unexpectedly, we were transported back to the 50s for raucous set by Wayne “The Train” Hancock. Songs about being lonely, liquor and being on the road filled the barn. A lady nearby was wearing pedometer…she said she logged 16,000 steps. That’s about eight miles of dancing.

The next day we found ourselves back in this century and just ten miles down the road negotiating stoplights and Monday morning traffic in Portland. We were exhausted from the late nights of music and the early mornings with the kids. Post Pickathon depression was about to hit. I wanted to go to bed, but instead I found myself in my neighbor’s yard talking about our favorite performances and favorite moments of the festival. Time began to slip by as we spoke and it was like were back on the farm sprawled out on blankets, chatting and waiting for music to start. It was a little piece of Pickathon right there in the back yard.

2 Responses to “Post Pickathon Post”

  1. Kathy says:

    I’m listening to the Old Believers after checking out your suggestions…great music. Would love to hear them in the woods at a summer festival.

  2. Pappy and Carol says:

    Pickathon 2008 was everything you said and the pictures prove it. We too returned home (Ashland) to tell others of our great adventure which took weeks to come down from. Can’t wait to return next year. Thanks for sharing.