Day 10: July 8, 2017
Let There Be Festival

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This is the day of the Common Ground on the Hill Festival. The day that this whole trip was more or less organized around. I understand that in prior years the festival was a two day affair held between the two Traditions Weeks. That did permit both departing and arriving instructors to participate but I don't know that it made all that much difference in practice. The pictured spread of CDs at the merchandise tents gives some idea of the number of artists at the festival and there is an equally long and equally full table going off the the left of the photo.

I started my musical day with father and son team Brad and Ken Kolodner. The Kolodners were joined for the first few tunes by violinist Rachel Eddy. I moved on before before that set was over in order to catch Bob Rychlik and Jesse Palidofsky on another stage. Rob taught the fujara flute class I heard yesterday. He is from the Czech Republic and maked and plays all sorts of flutes. I next caught part of the Banjos on Fire show at yet another stage. There are four total. I returned to the main stage in time to see Shelley Ensor getting folks up and dancing.

This panel is from a set shared by Dan Collins and Josh Hisle. At least that's the way it was listed. The reality was that Dan and Josh gave up about half of their time to give some exposure to students who had impressed them over the last two weeks. Eve Blackwater was first followed by a fellow whose name I failed to record. Than it was Jim Buckley and a gal introduced only as Jan. She was clearly well known to many in the audience. For the most part, when they weren't showcasing others, Dan and Josh alternated songs but they did do a couple together. Josh and I missed each other at last night's concert so it was here that we first connected in Westminster.

The Ronstadt Brothers were up next on the main stage. That's Petie with the acoustic guitar and Michael G with the electric. Michael's picture is definitely from the "something you don't see everyday" department as he is usually seen with cello in hand. The other individual pictures are of saxophonist Alex Flores and the unknown bassist. The band's regular bassist and drummer didn't make it to Common Ground. The man on bass appeared with multiple performers during the festival and, even though I don't know his name, certainly deserves a close-up.

I caught part of a set called Celtic Afternoon with music from several different performers as well as some of singer songwriter Caleb Stine's set.

Josh Hisle's second appearance of the day was a set shared with bluesman Christopher James. Christopher and a percussionist whose name I didn't catch started things off with a few songs then called up Josh and brother Alex to join them. As a four piece, they seemed to really knock 'em over. When Christopher headed off to get ready for some work on another stage, he left Josh to entertain on his own. Not a problem.

Christopher James had left one stage a little early to get set up as a member of Professor Louie's backing band on another. Note that the unknown bassist is also part of the group.

Dark clouds were moving in as Professor Louie's set neared its end and during the changeover they broke open. With confidence in the rain's quick passing, most simply took shelter under nearby canopies and building overhangs. I waited it out on a covered walkway running beside a nearby building. I didn't get back to the stage in time and missed the introduction of this group. I don't know whether it's a board or a committee or something else but I do know they're responsible for the festival and can vouch for them doing a great job. What they are doing in the picture is watching headliner Guy Davis receive some awards and gifts. As one might expect at an arts and music festival, awards and gifts are not restricted to plaques and certificates.

Guy began with several solo numbers before bringing on Christopher James and Professor Louie to assist. That is an all-star trio for sure.

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