YarmonyGrass: Saturday & Sunday
Words By Justin Picard
Photos By Carly Marthis & Justin Picard
Saturday August 21st:
I awoke bundled up tightly in my sleeping bag, sweating profusely. I had on multiple layers and had wrapped myself in a blanket, then tucked myself into the sleeping bag the night prior. I crawled out of the tent onto the grass out front. I glanced down to see evidence of last night’s rage. I proceeded to clean up the campsite as Spuckes crawled out of his un-staked tent. As we sat in our respective camping chairs there was a lot of head scratching, eye rubbing, yawning and spacing out. Right behind us we could hear Murray in the tent rambling. He emerged, with a glazed over look in his eye. There were signs of left over space in our face from the previous evening.
I made my way to the front entrance to see to it that my guest was still listed, and to check on the whereabouts of Tim Carbone’s Fly Fishing Workshop. Muarray, as he did the previous day; spent most of his time in the icy Colorado River, floating from one end of the festival to the other, only to end up at the BBQ stand to sample several dishes, and head back upstream for another run… Resulting in similar happenings. It felt good to be in the mountains/high elevation of Colorado, basking in the sun, surrounded by great people. Our group eventually made our way over to the breakfast vendor next to the mainstage. I saw the gentleman (as well as his staff) being extremely rude to several people. A couple of times, there were outward verbal conflicts. It turned me off big time, but with limited options at that time of the morning, I went with it.
Finishing my shitty breakfast by the side of the river, I was joined by Murray and Spuckes who quickly went from land to water without a second thought. Shortly after, the young gentleman who was running the Fly Fishing Workshop arrived, followed by Tim. Shortly to follow the fishing rods were out and the casting demonstration had begun. The participants, though few in numbers, were enthusiastic and quick to pick up the casting motions. At one point Tim exclaimed “I going to see if I can hit Justin with this one…” And as a testament to his fly fishing ability, the line landed about a foot in front of me. I looked up and smiled.
The remainder of our afternoon was spent lounging, spacing out, wooking out in the river, meeting folks and sharing interesting conversation. Again, I made my way to the front around the time my guest was scheduled to arrive. I sat in the shade and wrote for an hour, until like a child on Christmas, I could wait no longer; I had to make my way back to camp to see what kind of nonsense was transpiring. The bottle of Jack Daniels was in full effect, as well as some Colorado medicine. I marveled at the possibilities. Just prior to the music beginning, I made one last trek to the front to check on my guest. As there was no cellular service, I felt obligated to do what I could to accommodate my friend who had still not arrived.
When I saw Billy Nershi, Scott Law and Toa Seeger sitting on the porch next to the check-in cabin, I decided it would be best to stick around for a little bit. They rehearsed several songs and sounded fucking great. I was put in a good space by their music though, at that moment I put my faith in my guest’s hands. I had done all that I could. Hopefully she would arrive safely and find us without issue. I headed back towards camp.
Back in the main field Murray and I got into dinner. Murray has a habit of ordering several dishes just to sample a little bit of each. Enter The J-man. I knew to be closely behind, as the dishes would be coming my way… and they did. Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Chicken with Rice… It was exactly what this wook needed.
The Laughing Bones took the stage and had a good sound. I grooved while on my back in the grass, my mind wandered. I remember enjoying their playing and thinking it was a reasonable choice to get the evenings festivities started. However, my mind was elsewhere…
As Billy, Scott and Tao took the stage up walked Spuckes, followed by the one person that would settle my mind… My guest; Carly. I smiled as she glanced down on me. “Sorry I’m late…” I smiled and said “I’m glad you could make it.”
The music began and the focus briefly shifted. I really enjoy what Billy Nershi and Scott Law do. Add Toa Seeger and I’m definitely in. One of my favorite musical genres is bluegrass, and these gentleman do it well. I felt that the picking was strong, the communication was perfect, the song selection was also a delight. I thought to myself “So, this is Billy’s true passion? Bluegrass.” In that moment, watching Billy pick and smile, I understood why Cheese was only doing select dates. Though it didn’t satisfy my craving for Cheese tour.
After the set I walked with Carly back to her vehicle to grab her gear and show her where we were camped. We laughed as we wove in and out of the tents, and hiked down then up the ditch to camp. I got Carly all set up, grabbed a few cold ones and made our way back over to the field, where the crowd had grown in volume.
Head For The Hills Live at Yarmony Grass on August 21, 2010.
Head for the Hills was impressive from the get go. The high energy traditional based bluegrass, mixed with tasteful space is just what I need to get me fired up. I looked over at Carly and she had a huge smile on her face. I glanced over to Spuckes, who had his head down and his hands in the air. I scanned the crowd for Murray and spotted him about twenty feet in front of us. We, as well as almost everybody in that field, were getting down. My mind began to float back to the mind-frame of the previous eve. I began to feel the music and dance without thought… My mind was blank, except for the frequent draw to my friends around me for a smile, fist bump or hug.
The sun set and the glowing objects came out. Murray was sporting a glow ball and a glowing Frisbee. I often found myself running through the crowd chasing the loose ball. The nonsense eventually moved out of the crowd to an open side of the field for some Frisbee tossing. As the with the evening prior, we played Frisbee as Railroad Earth took the stage.
Railroad Earth Live at Yarmony Grass on August 21, 2010.
That night, the energy flowed much greater than the previous evening’s set. I was drawn into the music several times while having a disc tossed in my direction. It appeared as if the band itself was getting in to the experience, as they smiled and played with passion. Railroad Earth is a band that I wasn’t initially drawn to. I enjoyed what they did, but wasn’t sucked in. More recently I am seeing what draws people to this creative, talented, group of musicians. It’s the experience that the provide. The vibes that they put off. Their music is cultured, tasteful, positive, and limitless. I appreciate so much what they bring to the scene and I look forward to many more RRE shows in my future.
During the RRE show as the crowd was at it’s peak, I glanced over to my left and saw my good friend DJ Logic. I approached him in the darkness of the crowd and said hello. At first he looked confused, until he recognized me and gripped me up. I have to say, I appreciate Logic so much as a musician, but even more so as a person. His composed, calculated demeanor is respectable and appreciated on so many levels. I introduced him to Carly and he introduced me to his friends. We shared some beers and some laughs, but at one point I had to head off to the car to retrieve something. When I returned Carly was laughing and Logic had the glow Frisbee on his head. I was impressed at Carly’s ability to capture those great moments. Logic, and his friends went off for more drinks as we continued to space out to RRE.
Logic and friends returned, still smiling and enjoying the music. Logic and I talked about me introducing him to Tim, the project that Tim and I are working on, Headtronics, Particle and Mr. Bernie Worrell. There is nothing I love more than talking music with someone who understands it and appreciates it as much or more than I. With a handshake we parted ways, and I turned my focus back to Carly, Spuckes and Murray. For the record; space in everyone’s face. What a riot. We deemed Spuckes “Wook of The Weekend” until a far superior wook graced our presence. Spuckes would have to settle for the silver medal.
With the small side stage becoming active, the Kyle Hollingsworth Band and DJ Logic set up and began to sound check. The night air was cold. Not as cold as the previous night, but cold enough to want someone to hold close…
The late night set began with DJ Logic tastefully scratching away. The instrumentation was excellent and the band, although a little bit jumbled, held it together. As the cheesy vocals kicked in, I lost interest and my focus began to shift. I reminded myself how lucky I was to be able to attend events like Yarmony, and to be in such good company with a top notch guy like Murray, a hilarious guy like Spuckes and a beautiful girl like Carly… In that moment, life was perfect. I could feel Carly's warmth as she hugged me. It was time to retire to camp in an attempt to keep warm.
The whole group laughed and joked as we headed to our respective tents. Daylight would bring an end to our bliss, but the beginning to so much more…
Sunday August 22nd:
We awoke to the sun shinning bright. My head hurt as a consequence of the previous evenings activities. We sat in our chairs and reflected on the weekend as a whole. I looked over at Carly and smiled in hopes that she had enjoyed her time. She returned a smile which reassured me, that she had indeed had a good time. She reached out and grabbed my hand smiling. Murray declared almost immediately that it was time to hit the River. Carly and I made our way over to the vendor/stage area for a shitty breakfast from the same shitty vendor.
As we sat, Nershi and Law passed by and appeared to be a part of the trash/recycling team. They eventually took care of business, and on the very late side of things began their farewell set. There was little to no one sticking around, as the casual exodus had begun.
It appeared as if the Sunday kickball game would not be taking place, so we headed back to camp to pack up. Murray spent most of the day at KK’s BBQ stand near the entrance of the venue. He had established a solid relationship with KK, an older eccentric, right at home kind of lady; and had spent a decent amount of time, money and laziness at her establishment. It was as easy as floating down the river for him. After tearing down the camp and packing up, Carly and I made our way to the front for our first taste of what KK had to offer. Murray set me up with a sausage/hamburger with cheese situation and Carly with a cheese burger. The food was delicious and the help was entertaining if not a complete mind fuck.
Spuckes said his goodbyes and was on his way. I enjoyed his company, and look forward to our next rage. I went for the car and said my goodbyes to Carly, full well knowing that she would be joining Murray and I later that evening in Boulder for the Henhouse Prowlers show. I scooped Murray, who had popsicles in hand and we were on our way with Carly trailing behind. Within the hour I was sitting in Carly’s car, on our way to our destination.
Ma my my…