Day 23: Interstate Tour 2018
The 2018 Indiana Fiddlers Gathering kicked off at 8 pm with The Kountry Kernals as the rain finally gave way to something resembling dryness. A diehard audience had settled in, garbed in rain gear and brightly colored ponchos.
I was surprised to be invited to the prestigious event in 2017, seeing as how I don't play the fiddle, and was doubly surprised when they re-booked me for this year. The audience responded with love when I hit the stage and I laid into a power set that included "Newcastle/Sandy Boys/Hangman's Reel" as a fiddle-tune offering, "That's What You Done To Me" in a blues vein, "Promentory" from "The Last of The Mohicans", "Shady Groove" done extra sassy and an impromptu version of "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield.
The Moment of the set was when I began talking about the Battle of Tippecanoe and my motivation for writing "Tecumseh's Homecoming", a musing upon how the Shawnee leader felt when he came home to find Prophetstown burned to the ground and many of his people dead or injured.
I laid down the mountain dulcimer in the looper pedal, then set the loop and played the melody on the Native American flute in Em. The melody is going to be always somewhat fluid and dynamic, but it will take a few performances for the definition to appear in the lead. I felt like it was appropriate to play it at IFG for the first time, since the incident it was inspired by happened right here. There was a hushed silence as I finished. Then, a staggered applause. After the show, quite a few people came up and told me that it had deeply moved them, some of them actually born and raised in the area. It's not often that I get to make a connection with a place through a song and then share that connection with the people that live there.
The other acts were all fabulous; The New Hoosier Broadcasters, Liz Carroll with Pat Broaders, The Volo Bogtrotters, such an honor to be part of an exquisite line-up of talent! Towards the end of the evening, the rain intruded once again and announced that it wasn't going away for a while. I continued watching the concert through the first half of the last set and then retreated to Imua for a good night's sleep. A full day's excitement would be on the menu for Saturday.