Talking shop is a performer’s best medicine.
As one group finishes their set, the emcee steps up on stage and introduces the next group. There is a fifteen minute break between bands, enough time for people to stretch, take a walk, find the porta potties, get a burger, stroll the town, pull a hat over their eyes and take a little snooze.
Some of the spectators today are wearing T shirts from past festivals, here and elsewhere, and spend their breaks visiting with their favorite musicians outside the tent before and after each of their performances.
Waiting in the wings to go on stage, this mandolin player practices a few choruses to keep his fingers nimble and his mind alert, rehearsing a song his group will soon be performing. All the groups are good here but we pick our favorites, either by the songs they play, the way they play them, the way they handle the spotlight, the way they make us feel comfortable, or happy, or sad.
When these performers aren’t talking music they talk money, relationships, schedules, aches and pains,all threads in their musician’s coats..
Luckily, we, in the audience, don’t have to know their business, their politics, their issues, or their motivations to have ourselves a good time. Music gives us all a chance to back away from trials and tribulations and kick up our heels.
If we wanted to be propagandized, or depressed ,we would turn on our TV, listen to talk radio, or open tomorrow’s news already written today.
No one comes to a bluegrass festival to have a bad time and we sure don’t pay for bad music.