Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gamble Rogers Folk Festival Benefit Concert -- Good Stuff!

This past Saturday evening, the fine folks who run the Gamble Rogers Folk Music Festival in Saint Augustine each spring were kind enough to put together a show to benefit that incredible event. The Festival honors local musician-hero James Gamble Rogers, who died in 1991 attempting to save a drowning tourist off of Flagler Beach. The benefit featured acts native to Saint Augustine -- some of the finest around -- and was hosted by Gamble's protege, Bob Patterson, who kept us laughing and crying with his tales of Gamble and assorted personal misadventures...


The show was opened by the Morse Family Band -- mom and her five talented kids who combined have that special sonic blend that can only be attributed to DNA. A sweet blend of old-time and gospel tunes, spiced with a bit of bluegrass for good measure. Look for their first recording, which should be available by the end of the year...

The Morse Family Band

Next to take the stage were Jamie DeFrates and Susan Brown -- two of my favorite people on the planet. Original songs sung by voices that soar to impossibly beautiful places and land dead in the center of your heart. Guitar wizardry that compliments the melodies and lyrics perfectly. Their version of Jamie's "Gravity" ends with Susan and Jamie vocally playing off of each other as if Newton discovered the physical concept specifically for them -- and for our enjoyment...

Jamie and Susan

Describing Charlie Robertson and his music is like trying to explain calculus in ten words or less. A complicated man with an intellect as broad as the sky, the use of derivatives might well be necessary to calculate the number of words - meaningful words - Charlie can fit into a song. Dealing with mental health damages and the Dalai Llama's birthday in the same breath. Or a chain saw wielding retired priest. Or the unfortunate and unknown demise of a mutual friend... Charlie is one of Saint Augustine's great gifts to my philosophical experience.


Last, and certainly not least, we were treated to Men Of The House -- a father, his two sons (both classically trained violinists turned hard core fiddlers), and one of those Morse boys on banjo. The guys don't play music -- they attack it with a spirit and passion that is both rough and resounding. Irish bar tunes, foot stomping medleys of celtic fiddle tunes, a sweet Jay Ungar waltz. Speed and caution, foot slamming and tip toes. Broken fiddle bridges and audience rocking speed-burner strumming that left bow hair strewn around the stage like so much straw.  That's what happens when you treat your violin like a rip saw. Cool.

Men Of The House

Great music for a great cause among great friends. Can't ask for much more than that....


I am a lover of children's literature said...

Good stuff indeed!

Apparently, even though I'm sill stuck here in beautiful Canada, it's not Germany that I should want to return to, but it's Florida that I should be hankering togo, if for no other reason than the great music you guys put on.

Oh, well, one of these days, one of these days!

sgroverfl said...

Great pictures! Thanks Paul!
Chris and I are really enjoying "The Vital Muse".