Old Settler's Music Festival

Yesterday I went with Amy, Paul, and Daniel to something called the Old Settler's Music Festival. The Old Settler's site describes this 4-day shindig as "Central Texas' signature music event" and notes that it has "acoustic jazz & blues, bluegrass, old-time local favorites & award-winning artists from around the world."

I went to this festival pretty much blind as to what it was going to be, having been told simply it was a "bluegrass festival." You know, I'm not really into country music at all. It's actually one of my least favorite music styles, if not the least favorite. If someone's about to point out that bluegrass isn't country, I'm gonna point out that I'm disinterested enough in all country-esque styles to lump them all together under country. The closest I ever come to listening to a country band is Cowboy Junkies and the closest I get to listening to bluegrass would be "Sweet Home Alabama" (is that even bluegrass?).

But, anyways, I'll pretty much give most things a fair shot at some point, so I agreed to go--even though I hoped there would be more "blues" than "grass." :}

The music festival is listed as based in Austin, but we drove far enough that I'm pretty sure we really weren't in Austin when we got there. It was held outside, in a fenced off open field that looked organized enough to make me think the place was sometimes used for outdoor events even beyond the OSMF. We were just going there for just a day, and we bought tickets before we went in.

Daniel is around two-and-a-half, and he had a great time being carted around in a wagon that Paul had brought. We skirted around some of the perimeter of the booths on the grounds, and to my mind the booths, people, and general atmosphere felt a little like a Grateful Dead concert or Renaissance Faire. There were loose, flowy skirts, a beer stand, temporary & henna tattoos, barbecued food, cowboy hats, colorful t-shirts, smoke-smells that I'm pretty sure weren't tobacco, and lots of friendly people. There was a nice, fairly clear creek that curled around maybe one-third of the grounds. Fish swam in it, as did some people toward the back of the festival area.

We quickly ran into Ed, who invited us to sit with his wife and daughter in the middle of the seated crowd in front of the main stage. This became our "base camp," and while we drifted through the grounds now and again, we all came back there eventually.

I wasn't specifically impressed with the musicians on the stage, but live music will often keep me interested even if I don't like the music itself. However, there was one particular musician named Ruthie Foster that I liked quite a bit. She was actually a little more bluesie, although maybe a little bit more toward a kind of gospel/folk kind of sound. Whatever the case, I bought one of her CDs, and she and her manager/partner Cyd Cassone signed the CD's booklet for me.

Even before going, I figured it wasn't going to be the sort of event that I would want to make a mandatory annual outing, but I was pretty glad I went at least the one time. I'm glad Amy first brought it up in the first place, but I wish Susan had also been able to make it as was the original plan. Still, I had Daniel to keep me busy when I got bored, and I was more than happy to help wear him out so that Paul and Amy could have a more relaxed evening when they got home. I'll try to remember to bring my camera for the next event, so I can post some pics to go along with the entry.

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Read Comments (1)

Amy commented at 1:15 PM on April 20, 2003:

I'm really glad you came with us! It's nice to get a chance to see some of the different things Austin has to offer.

And you have a way with kids, that's for sure - Daniel was thrilled to have you around. :)

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