Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Jetsetting and last minute album scrambling

I'm sitting here quietly looking out the window thousands of miles above the eastern Utah desert. We are on our flight home from the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival in Alta, Wyoming and frankly, I'm pooped. But what a great time. This cool festival, situated just below the western face of the Teton range, attracts a nice mix of local mountain dwellers, avid mountain bikers and colorful mountain hippies. It was a nice sized festival with excellent sound and an imposing lineup of bluegrass/newgrass powerpickers. Rather than writing a novel here, I'll just give y'all the highlights. We played our first set on Saturday afternoon following Darol Anger and Mike Marshall. I don't think the crowd had any idea of what they were in for because once Betse broke into the first fiddle tune, they went absolutely nuts. For the rest of the set, the crowd throbbed around the stage dancing up a cloud of dust like Pig Pen in a Peanuts Christmas Special. After the show, we got to meet many nice folks who came to the CD table to buy our stuff and tell us how much they enjoyed it. Later that evening, our brave and beloved Betse raised some serious hell during the all-star, all-male, super pickers finale led by Sam Bush- but that's her story to tell.

We were the first band up on Sunday, and I was thinking that everyone had decided to sleep in due to the lack of an audience about 11:55am. But people started trickling in as we tuned up and when Betse hit the first fiddle tune, the area in front of the stage was suddenly filled. We played a secular set but threw in a fair number of gospel tunes and the crowd really ate it up. Overall I'd say that we made quite an impression. There's lots more to tell, but Betse will tell it better than me since she actually participated and witnessed the story rather than hearing about it second hand.

On the home front, we are working diligently to complete our new album in time for Winfield. Everyone please cross your fingers and toes that we can get it done in 4 weeks...Betse and I are handling the artwork, while Ike works long distance with Dirk Powell and the mastering guys in Nashville to insure that it will sound its best. For those of you that need a Wilders fix, we have two new live shows available for download on our website. Go to the "listen" link and you can click and download to your heart's content. Warning! If you have a dial-up connection, you are going to wait forever because I decide to encode these shows at a higher audio quality. Do yourselves a favor and get a broadband connection if you can. You won't regret it. This will especially help you if you also want to download the new video links that are on the same page. More good news is forthcoming.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Power of Water

(added this pic in response to recent question)
This, folks, is an erhu:

Here's something that has been resonating with me lately. And it has nothing and everything to do with music.

First, does anyone recall me giving props to water at a show any time in the last year or so? Well, I have. Pretty frequently. It probably started from needing to say something on the mic while others were tuning or whatever, but also needing a drink of water. As y'all know, I lose a lot of water in the form of sweat during a show, so I need to replenish. Ever since the first time, I find myself talking about water almost every show. (I said something Friday night, even.) Anyway, I recognize its importance even if I still probably need to drink more every day.

Last fall, Phil took all us Wilders to see this film/documentary called "What the Bleep Do We Know?" -- it's mostly about quantum physics, but also mostly about who we all are and why we are and how we can be... there was a little segment in there that showed photomicrographs of water crystals. The researcher, Masaru Emoto, had pictures of water that had been shown information. Like, "Love". Water responds to ~hado~, or vibrations. It can come in the form of the written word, or spoken, and also through music or images.

Many of the interviewees in the film have written books and I always meant to check some out. But honestly, as life keeps on going, it's easy to pass by and not follow through. You know how it is.

So, when we were in Middlebury, Vermont last month, we had a couple of hours to kill before the show. Everybody went their own way... we were staying in a beautiful inn, right downtown, and I took a walk down the street to window shop. I went into a bookstore and glanced at new releases. There was a book from Emoto, "The True Power of Water". I picked it up and started reading it that night.

Finding this book is a turning point for me. I won't try to summarize it for you. But you can check out the link (in the title) for yourself. I believe in the power of water. I'm going to read Emoto's other books now, and every morning I thank my water before and after I drink it.

You should try it, too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Are there any questions?

Would it surprise many of you to learn that I've grown very bored writing and posting our road stories? I'll bet not, considering that my last post was an exhaustive essay on modern outhouses. In fact, I was just discussing this blog last weekend with one of my great old friends, Bill Rexroad, at the Santa Rosa Tick Festival. I told him that, anymore, the story is pretty much always the same: We check out of our motel in the morning, we drive all day, we arrive at the gig on time (usually), we wait around, we play a great show (usually), the audience likes it a lot (usually), and then we go check into a motel, rinse and repeat. The exciting days of trying to resuscitate The Chief each day are over and I just don't think I have much to write about that would be of interest to anyone anymore.

I was a little surprised when Mr. Rexroad admonished me for my poor attitude toward the blog. He said that people really enjoy reading about what we do, where we are etc. So, out of my sincere respect for Bill AND since I'm home for a few weeks, I'd like to ask you folks who are reading this, what do you want to know? What can I tell you that you don't already know? Is there a story, particularly, that you want to read? Is there anything that I've written about that you'd like more information on?

I'll pay attention to your posts and try to respond accordingly. Thanks for reading.