Pickathon 2015 - Billy Strings & Don Julin

This one's been a while coming - my final post on Pickathon. I've been putting it off, I think, the way we tend to put off writing meaningful words and telling our loved ones how much we care. It's hard to say goodbye and close out the Pickathon season officially, so I suppose it's time I finally went ahead and did that, since we just had the Pickathon closing party.

Billy Strings & Don Julin played yet another fan-freaking-tastic set in the Galaxy Barn. I hold this barn near and dear to my heart, to be perfectly honest. Why? The very first time we played with our bass player Elwood was in this barn. He played Sherry's bass. We all played Depth Perception. He joined our band after that (Michael the Blind & the Els, we were called at the time). We've had so many good memories in this barn. Watching movies, sleeping on pads on the concrete floor, feasting with Scott & Sherry, weekly band practices for a while, Michael's 40th birthday and an ecstatic rendition of Big White Cloud (by John Cale) with me leading and singing on mandolin, Elwood on drums, Susanna on upright bass, James on fiddle, Stephen on guitar (yes, we like to shake things up and play other instruments).

And then there's Pickathon. The yearly 3-5 days of ecstatic audio and visual absorption, filled with all my regular Pickathon friends. We don't see one another much outside of the festival (save a few choice people, like Elwood, Darka & Miri, Ridhi, and Sky Bird, who's path seems to cross ours at shows quite often and we appreciate the support). People like Ronnie, Shawna, Rachel, Sebastian, the entire film crew (especially Bill with whom I enjoy extended drunken conversations about life inevitably behind the Galaxy barn), Keith the Amazing Chef, and so many others who make the festival about so much more than just the music. And so I return every year, even when none of my friends want to go, and volunteer my time in exchange for being a part of this wonderful music enabling machine.

I guess what I'm getting at, is, the Galaxy Barn, Pendarvis Farm and Pickathon hold a magical place in my heart, filled with music, laughter, bonfires, cider, horses and friendship - everything a human needs. And, of course, Billy Strings flipping me the bird.