The Grass is Bluer on the Other Side

Category: By Christian
What a weekend. We packed up the jeep, headed south and busted out to Winfield, Kansas. The trip of the month was the 37th Annual Walnut Valley Festival, which is one of the finest Bluegrass music festivals in all the land. The Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek made their way through Winfield back in the day, so it's historcially legit. Stacy's family has been going since the 3rd festival, though she and I have not been for five years. Funny. That's the same time grad school started in our family.

After a few year's off, we're back. Not a moment too soon. WVF, or "Winfield" as most call it, is a fantastic event. Wall-to-wall music for a handful of days as you camp out and kick it with fun people. This year, our "people" included most of Stacy's mom's side of her family. Music, camping and 4 kids under the age of three. What could be more fun?

There are a lot of things to appreciate about Winfield. The food. Sweet mamma, the food. Smoked turkey leg, homemade ice cream, rib dinner, cherry limeade, cookie. I sampled it all. And now I'm fat.

Not as fat as I would be had I not been tapping my foot and bobbing my head all weekend, mind you. You gotta love live Bluegrass. This ain't no American Idol, that's for sure. You can't hide behind your pretty looks or you swaying hips. Nope. You gotta bring the heat. We'll all enjoy the occasional ballad or slow song. But at some point you had better unleash the beast. Rock that mother on the downbeat and set the strings on fire, and the crowd will show you love.

My favorites on the weekend? David Munnelly Band brought the noise and the funk. Really nice Celtic band, there. The Greencards were my favorite. Two Australians and an Englishman aren't your typical bluegrass pedigree, but who cares? They rocked it. Buy their stuff. I really wanted to like Mountain Heart. Everyone else did. And I liked their CD. But in all fairness, I only got to hear them live for about 30 minutes, so I'm not going to jump out there and act like they are my BFF's.

The one thing I don't get about the weekend? What in tarnation is it about banjo music that makes people think they don't have to wear bras? Seriously people. We can go to a music festival and keep our underwear on.

Renew and Restore

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