Probably going to be a little late getting this out, Sheila and I just returned from the Macon, Mo., old-time country and bluegrass festival put on by Bill Lear and Dan Bowers over the Labor Day weekend.
What a breath of fresh air this was for us. Since Sheila and I were not able to work anything out with the fairboard in LeMars, and therefore not able to be at the fairgrounds in LeMars, the Macon, Missouri, event was a really, really good substitute.
We just plain loved it. For the past 23 years, LeMars included, Sheila and I never had the time to do any performing. Needless to say, as ‘music makers’ and ‘music promoters’ this Macon Festival was a real delight for us.
I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely great the music makers were. Everywhere we went, the main stage, the secondary stage, the jamming stage, the floral hall stage, it was incredibly good constant music coming off each and every one them. And large audiences wherever we went. What a pleasant experience.
No troubles, no worries, no jealousy, no out of control egos. For us, especially after doing a music festival for 44 years, this was a real treat. The two guys that put it on, Dan Bowers and Bill Lear are also terrific musicians. They know what to look for, and they know how to present it. That’s what made our weekend so pleasant.
We enjoyed the music and the camaraderie, the excellent food, the dancers, the jam sessions, the ‘new’ talents like 12-year old William Lawson. This little guy is a master musician. You’ll have to check him out yourself, he will be at our Fremont, Nebraska, Festival at Christensen Field House, Oct. 3-4-5-6. Come early and stay late, it’s going to be a good one, that’s for sure.
Had a little rain at Macon, but that sure didn’t stop the crowd from coming, and it sure didn’t slow down the wonderful talent that was on stage.
Camping with 30-amp hook-ups were absolutely wonderful. The new toilets and bathrooms were super, clean, and showers were free. We didn’t have to have a pocket full of quarters to take a bath. Sometimes those mechanical puzzles don’t even work, but the showers sure worked in Macon.
Mike brought his ‘Philly’ food stand down, served up some delicious food. There were also two other food stands, all offering great food at a decent price. Mike says he will have a “Macon Bacon Super Sandwich” for the festival next year, which will still be Labor Day weekend.
The best weekend of all the celebrations we have in America, because it gives us a full weekend and a Monday to make it all work from a musician participant opinion, and it worked out especially well for the audience. Can’t believe that wonderful audience. They came from Wisconsin, Minnesota, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, and Missouri, for the major ones, but we sure were happy to see our friends from Switzerland coming to see us.
They wanted Sheila and I to perform “Down In The Valley” for them, and indeed we did, super smiles coming from them, and all of our audience friends the whole weekend no matter who was performing. They loved it all. Sheila and I had a grand time getting in the ‘band scramble.’
I lucked out with three fairly young ladies who we called Bob Everhart and his Sweethearts. We didn’t win, but we didn’t care. It’s the ‘fun’ of doing this without all that horrendous ego motivated antagonism that comes with that hard to understand “I’m the best one here” kind of attitude. We didn’t have that at Macon, it just wasn’t there. What a sweet time we had, and we’ll be back next year for sure.
By the time it was ‘gospel’ music, Sheila and I opened our part of the gospel show with a song by our good friend Claude Gray. “The Family Bible” is a remarkable song, and reflects many of our own family experiences, and other folks experiences too. Mark your calendar for the Macon Missouri Festival, it’s the weekend just before Labor Day in 2020.
That reminds me, we have one of the acts that did so well at Macon with us at the Oak Tree in Anita, Iowa, on September 6th. Jacob Austin and his mom and dad David and Liz, super good musicians and super good music all the way from Texas.
Come join us for a good time, we’ll no doubt still be talking about Macon, but what the heck, it was a lot of fun and in today’s world with so much negative verbiage floating around, it was super fun to be in a ‘positive’ world for awhile. So, once again many thanks to Dan Bowers and Bill Lear for the great job they did putting on their ‘first’ festival.
It was truly a remarkable adventure, and we’re sure it will last for a long long time. Get the best seat in the house at our little Oak Tree performance center for our Sept. 6 show, simply call 712-762-4363.