Post Pickathon Post 2012

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The Barr Brothers on the Starlight Stage

Here we are again. It’s been more than a week since Pickathon and I haven’t quite figured out what to say about the whole thing. It happens to me every year. But time passes and moments emerge.

I was at some dear friends’ wedding the other night at a winery in the hills between Portland and the Coast Range. It was the most beautiful celebration. As I walked across the lawn and heard a Barr Brothers song drift out of i-pod, through the speakers and across the vineyard I stopped and looked around: Was anyone else getting goosebumps?

A week earlier, beneath a nearly full moon early Saturday morning and then again at dusk on Sunday, I watched these amazing musicians from Montreal control the air in front of them. First harp ever at Pickathon. I can’t get their music out of my head.

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The Barr Brothers on the Woods Stage

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Jack Torrey of the Cactus Blossoms

Late Saturday night, or was that Sunday morning, I found myself sipping a beer with a new friend who’d arrived from Raleigh, N.C. the night before. It was his first airplane ride. It was his first Pickathon. We talked in hushed voices and listened to Jack Torrey from the Cactus Blossoms sing old-timey songs. He wondered: Why did this place have to be so perfect? Why did everyone have to be so damn nice? The music so damn good? The food and beer so amazing? The farm so beautiful? He wanted to hate it all, but couldn’t.

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Bombino, on the Woods Stage

And then, the blast from the other side of the planet. Bombino, from Agadez, Niger, played his drifty, mysterious music to us and we listened and danced. Hearing that desert blues, as it’s been described, deep in the Northwest woods was surreal. Brad Barr jumped on stage with them for a song and filled out the tune with amazing riffs.

Did I bring that full circle? There was so much in between I can’t even begin to put it in any kind of order. Give me another week.

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Bombino, on the Woods Stage

all content © 2012 Tim LaBarge

One Response to “Post Pickathon Post 2012”

  1. Rob Heros says:

    I’ve been listening to some of the artists I missed out on this year, with great joy and bit of frustration. It’s so tempting to think of next year and try and do even more pre-listening, pre-planning, and stage strategizing… to try and make sure than in 2013 I SEE EVERYBODY! But I know full well that I’ll still miss something I would have loved, and that’s ok.

    There’s simply so much to see & so much to hear, so much quality all around you (scenery, people, music, food) – that it’s impossible to be everywhere at once or to see/eat/hear absolutely everything you might be drawn to.

    But two beautiful truths come out of that reality: that your experience of Pickathon will always, always be different from someone else’s… and that your Pickathon will always be just as unforgettable.