Natchaug Music Newsletter: The Voice of Still Pickin’ Vol. 4 No. 2 5/15/2016
In our first newsletter back in March, we had not yet gotten started with our music season. Now here we are, in full swing. I had told you about the brand new Old Time Music Festival that was coming up in Portland, CT. I hope you had a chance to attend some of it. Still Pickin’ performed there as planned, kicking off their music for the day at a rather early 10:30 a.m. so the crowd was still sparse. However, the day was beautiful, sunny and just right. It was obvious that the promoters put a great deal of work into their preparations for this day and their very first Annual Old Time Music and Arts Festival in their brand new and lovely River Front Park. We congratulate those folks on their work and success.
We drove down to Portland in Jim’s new bright red pickup truck. The promoter had sent us a route to get into their park through the back door, so to speak. That entrance turned out to be long and winding as it wended its way through a scenic and beautiful wilderness along the Connecticut River. Thickets of Japanese Barberry and Honeysuckle, all in very fragrant bloom, abundantly lined both sides of the rudimentary roadway. It was quite an experience and surely a highlight of our visit there, as much fun I’d say as our 75 minute performance. One we will recall for quite some time.
In June we will make our very first appearance at the Gazebo in Andover, CT. That will be on the 18th, a Friday evening at 6:30 pm. We hope to see you there. A nice turn-out would be good so that the Andover Recreation Commission will see that they didn’t make a mistake hiring us! Remember to bring a chair.
We still have a few more Senior Centers to perform at this season. If one is near you, come on out and see us. Our concerts are just one hour and they are free. You will be welcomed there. Check the list for dates in Lebanon, East Hampton, Colchester and Bolton. Of course you are also welcome to come hear our music at any of the nursing homes we’ll be at this season.
We are looking forward to our trek up to Hanson, MA next weekend for the Bluegrass on the Bogs festival. It won’t be our first appearance there, but it will be our first time on their main stage. This is a three-day festival so if you are looking for something fun to do the weekend of May 20-21-22, well there you go. We have another early time slot at 11:00 a.m. so we’ll need to be get on the road and get-r-done. Finding this festival at a place called Camp Kiwanee, can be a challenge. Festival details at www.bluegrassonthebogs.com
A significant event we will be participating in on July 11 in Creaser Park in Coventry, CT will be a benefit for an animal rescue farm in Coventry and I hope you will help by attending our two hour concert. We will be asking you to bring along something as a donation for the rescue farm. It can be money, always welcome, or it can be various kinds of animal feed, like grain, hay and oats, or maybe dog food or cat food. We will also be looking to recruit some special people during this event to become volunteers at the rescue farm. Consider whether you could donate your time on some regular basis to help care for animals at the farm, sharing various chores with other volunteers. Watch for more info in your newspaper during June about this event. And please help out if you possibly can. Even if it is only a bag or two of dog food.
Even though the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival is still a ways off the 2nd weekend in August, I want to mention it as a reminder that there is still time to get discounted tickets. There will be another price increase coming up later on so if you plan to attend, even if it’s just for one day, buying your ticket now will save you some money instead of buying at the gate. Podunk is held at the Hebron Lions Fair Grounds. Details at www.podunkbluegrass.com
A couple of events at Podunk that Jim and I are involved in right now include a songwriting competition and a singing contest. Throughout the winter until May 1st writers submitted their self-penned tunes to our contest. Jim, myself and Amy Orlomoski (of WHUS-FM Bluegrass Café fame) judge each of the entries and select the best half dozen songs to submit to the Podunk Board Officers who will do further judging. The Board’s top three contestants are invited to the August festival where they will perform their songs for another panel of judges. A really nice aspect of this competition, different from what any other festival is offering, is that next year the Band Competition finalists will each perform the winning #1 song from this year. Isn’t that cool? Songwriters love to hear their songs performed by others. Write one, yourself, and you will see what I mean!
The other event we’re working on, the Voice of Podunk Kids, is a singing contest for youngsters ages 7 to 17. The performances and judging happen on August 13 at the festival on their Workshop Stage in the Better Living Building of the Hebron Fair Grounds. We accept solos, duets, trios or quartets. The kids can sing their song a cappella or they can use one accompanying instrument. There is a $5 entry fee with monetary awards going to those who place 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Contestants can choose their performance song from any genre they wish. A panel of three musicians and a radio host do the judicating. We accept only ten entries for this contest and sign-ups are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. The time to sign up is NOW as we have just seven slots remaining. If you know of any children who might like to enter this contest, have them call Myrna quickly at 860-455-9400 to get onto the schedule.
Our best wishes to all of our loyal fans who come out to hear us and we send a big thank you out to all of those special people who hire us; the promoters, producers, entertainment arrangers and activity coordinators. You know who you are. We appreciate all of you. If anyone needs to get off this email list, just send me a note and it will be done.
From the Still Pickin’ Trio, Myrna, Jim & Bob