We must have been one of the first through the gate – my time anxieties showing up! A sign of my enthusiasm – I couldn't wait to get to the music and events. As it was our first time at the Clearwater Festival we spent the first hour orientating ourselves to the festival site – very useful as I kept trying to read the map upside down.
The day started overcast, and drizzled slightly. An anxious moment with the thought of rain gear in the car at Peekskill station. Fortunately, that blew over leaving clear skies for a sunny afternoon.
Our first show was the Clearwater Walkabout Chorus who were performing on the Hudson community stage. I then deserted the Mammals, the original reason I went the festival, to see Pete Seeger and Friends on the Rainbow Stage.
Other than a few guest appearances at 2003 Newport Folk Festival, I've never seen Pete perform before, so it was a treat to finally see him. We were some way back but it was a great show. He performed with Holly Near, John Hall, Vance Gilbert, Janis Ian and others. Amongst other songs, I don't remember the set list, he sang a song while swinging a sledgehammer.
If you look carefully, John Hall is looking on anxiously. I think he is thinking:"What do I do if Pete Seeger dies on stage in front of me, how much of that first aid course can I remember?" or " Remind me to never get on the wrong side of Pete, he's doing things with a sledgehammer that I can't and I'm half his age!"
Pete, naturally, got the audience to sing along, and when the friends performed they also chose songs that had catchy/familiar choruses for us to join in.
The best quote of the whole festival:
Musicians can teach politicians that we don't all need to sing the melody
Pete Seeger, Clearwater 2006
It was a great show worth missing the Mammals. Well, only because I knew I would see them twice on Sunday.
After lunch we wandered round a bit more visiting the craft fair and market place. As it warmed up we found a shady spot to be base camp. It was great relaxing under a tree to music and people talking. I fell asleep while listening, I believe, to Dan Bern, who obviously made an impression. I woke up when Janis Ian started rockin'.
What wonderful songs and stories she has. Hearing her made it a higher priority to have her new CD Folk is the New Black, so I bought it at the festival.
I went to join in the Woodie Guthrie sing-along with Hope Machine and Fred Gillen Jr.
To end the day we went on a two hour sail on the Clearwater Sloop. If you are ever at the Festival, this is a must do.
We saw the Mystic Whaler from the sloop.
Best time to be on the water is the end of the day. A perfect end to a wonderful day.
Update: All photos (c)CDavies2006. Unless you are the subject of the picture, do not use without my permission. If you are the subject of a photo, please feel free to use it.