There we were, Richmond, perfectly at home at our annual Folk Fest.
It's barely been two weeks since some of us were a tad rattled by the UCI bike race, but the Folk Fest? Pros, I tell you; we're pros. We got this.
Especially on a scandalously gorgeous October evening still drawing us in with the embracing heat of summer but the low humidity of Fall. You can even smell it in the air. It's more mature, less eager to please.
Richmond would've been outside tonight even without the festival kicking off, but tonight's weather felt like payback for all those soggy festival days where we showed up anyway and went home partially sodden for the sake of music. I have a (formerly) cute pair of flats that never recovered.
Researched my roots (Irish band the Alt), marveled at how few people were dancing to Cajun music (Bruce Dalgrepont Cajun band) and heard Shemekia Copeland (in 4" pink heels, no less) live for the first time since a 1998 Jumpin' in July show at the old VMFA sculpture garden.
This girl is a woman now. She brought a new kind of wisdom to "Married to the Blues," a song she'd done 17 years ago.
Admired the Richmond Symphony's new portable theater, on display tonight as the Altria Stage where Shemekia sang. I was told by a knowledgeable source that they paid a half mil for it, plus it comes with its own tractor-trailer because where the hell would you store it?
Gelati Celesti's "Just Ask" flavor for the evening? White chocolate, peanut butter and Oreos. The combination sounds repulsive, more like a late night decision to combine the little bits of everything left in the freezer.
Just no. Chocolate decadence will do just fine after that Sherries' crabcake I just devoured.
What does it sound like when the daughter of a legendary blues guitarist goes to Nashville to make a record? She finds out that country music ain't nothin' but the blues with a twang. Having a crack band behind her doesn't hurt, either. Think Keith Richards trying emulate American blues and these guys were sourcing at the same place.
Passing trains are part of the Folk Festival's charm, evidenced by people applauding when one started across the nearest trestle.
Best millennial assessment of tonight's smorgasbord of music to his two buddies after 60 seconds of watching?
"A little higher quality than at Sticky Rice, hm?"
Damn straight, Skippy. Is this your first rodeo?