August 9, 2013
Jimmy Carter outside Idaho Falls, ID
A long way from Nashville is so many ways. In the rural parts of the West, cell service is not bad; it is not at all. So if you are using your iPad for mapping ... forget about it. For texting and calling, forget about it! My teenage daughter would go nuts in Northern Montana. SiriusXM has bad spots, too. Fading in and out ... basically unlistenable in the Olympic National Park, Western Washington.
Our communication revolution is not everywhere ... and it was kind of nice to be away for it for a bit. Not for long, but a bit it was freeing!
I heard excellent local radio, too, in northern Idaho and Montana. They talked and played music and did a show. Felt local and was. Missoula, for one, the radio station sounded a live and friendly.
I dare say most have never just set out to explore Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Lots of open spaces, but it was the fresh air, the big sky and the sound of that river in Yellowstone I will remember. Recorded the river on the iPhone. High-tech meets nature.
Part of this trip was checking out the hugely successful Watershed event at the Gorge along the Columbia River. Brian O'Connell runs the best festival and certainly the most beautiful location for a festival anywhere. Google up some pictures ... every artist says it is the most amazing place they play. The vibe is equally unusual. Laid back. Peaceful. Big sky. Great music.
The first time I wasn't sure ... but I like the idea of a DJ in between the acts to keep the mood going ... fills in the time and when necessary, can ramp up the emotion. It was the most up crowd I have seen ... pre-whipped into a frenzy by DJ Silver ... then Brad Paisley.
Watershed was certainly an adventure for the concertgoers ... three days in the desert under that priceless sky. $5 beer. $150 for three days ... The price was right ... the feeling was great. Ah, to be 23 again to enjoy that in the fullest.
Sad at the passing of the King of Music Row! Cowboy Jack Clement. Google him in the news and read the obits ... NY Times, very long good story in USA Today. Without Jack, who knows what would have happened to Rock n Roll or Country? He was a game-changer. Crusty, smart, complicated, kind, generous, great teacher, champion for the music and not the bullshit! He can not be replaced!
God save the King ... I think Jack knew he was loved ... Now Rock n Roll heaven is raising Hell tonight!