The Richmond folk festival was the usual great time this past weekend. I am not sure how it happens, but the weather is always perfect during the festival.

All of the music was great. Maybe the most interesting thing I learned was that West Virginia old time fiddler Lester McCumbers, who is 89 years old, has never been to Virginia before coming to the festival this past weekend. He sounded really good, elemental as that style is. His son Billy sang some songs too in a perfect, rough and keening mountain voice, just beautiful.

As for other highlights, Los Texmaniacs played their usual good set, and Bonsoir, Catin, a Cajun band, was really superb. Sometimes I wonder why I listen to anything other than Cajun music. But then there is "Viva Seguin".

Usually this festival is listening oriented, and there is so many different artists to hear that you really need to be there all weekend. But it turns out the best time I had this year was playing tunes. My friend Don Leister is a violin maker in Richmond and he had a booth as a craftsman at the festival which also served as the epicenter for the old time people there.

Since I've been thinking about festivals and will be delivering a paper about one this week at the American Folklore Society meeting in Nashville, I was thinking a lot about the structure and theoretics at this one. But I didn't let thinking get in the way of a good time...


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