Friday, April 4, 2008

Music and More

Mrs. Muse and I will be in Dunnellon, Florida this weekend for the annual Will McLean Music Festival. This event, held this year on the banks for the Withlacoochie River, is named after Will McLean, Florida's "Black Hat Troubadour" who, before his death traveled the state preserving and promoting the Florida cultural and environmental heritage in song. The festival features Florida artists, performing songs and telling stories about our State. Our band, The Ashley Gang, will be on stage at 12:30 Saturday -- just in time to aid the digestion of the lunch-hour crowd.

The Florida folk music festival scene is amazingly diverse, colorful, stimulating and educational. Aging hippies, young hippies, well seasoned business people, yuppies, artisans and musicians of all sorts provide something for everyone with an interest in Florida history, it's people, culture and environment. WillFest is the first of the season, soon followed by the Spring Festival at the Barberville Pioneer Settlement in two weeks, the Gamble Rogers Music Festival in St. Augustine in Early May, and then the nation's longest running festival, the Florida Folk Festival at White Springs over Memorial Day weekend.

So this weekend will find us in Dunnellon with both guitar and camera in hand, hoping that the promised thunderstorms hold off just long enough. I'll try to post a few photos of the event on Sunday evening.


Today we are reminded that it is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Those of us in my generation will remember the day well. At 15 years of age I heard the news on a car radio on the return trip home from working on the stage crew of a local dance company in Westchester County, New York, where I grew up. Days like this, when we hear the old familiar voices on radio and TV bring those days back to mind like they had never left. They remind us of how far we have come, socially at least, as a nation -- and then how far we have yet to evolve. Remember today that while we in America are technically "free", that there are millions among us who are still captives of poverty, ignorance, prejudice, and systematic discrimination. Not everyone will have the opportunity to make it to the Mountain Top. It is my fervent hope that the time will come in the country when everyone truly is judged by the content of their character rather than the genetic heritage over which they (we) can never fully have control. I think that starts with each of us individually demonstrating the strength of character to accept individuals are they came into this world, without adding the weight of pre-judgement to their (our) struggle to succeed.

Have a peaceful weekend....

1 comment:

Karen Gladys Henry said...

Classy blog!! I can't come hear you this time-- already have plans, but one of these days we'll come hear your group. Have a great time!!
Karen (ArteZoe)