Last day already - it goes by so quickly. I went over to the festival grounds at around lunchtime and before going to eat I went to the River Gazebo to see the Blackwell group, now performing under the name Still Friends (remember that for the next festival!). They were superb with Dan Leach's solid guitar play, Japhy's artful horn color and Carrie's "knock you dead" vocals. So exciting to have them back out on the circuit. At lunch (some great BBQ ribs!) I listened to Gabe Valla with a good sound crew on the "Under the Oaks" stage – excellent and much more enjoyable than the sound crew misery on the Amphitheatre the night before. I also caught part of Bill and Eli Perras' set on the Amphitheatre stage and they were belting it out with the assistance of Tony Macaluso on bass. Their sound for that set, the part I saw, seemed fine, but the sound miseries on that stage (as well as the Old Marble Stage) continued throughout the afternoon. It really had an ongoing serious negative effect on the enjoyment of shows in those prime locations. I was scheduled to follow Clyde Walker on the Azalea Stage at 4 p.m., no small task. Clyde did his usual impeccable job with assistance from Ron Litschauer and Stan Geberer. When they finished I was able to corral Ron and keep him on stage with his mandolin to assist me with Steam Train and Banks of the Old St. Johns – thanks Ron!! This was a really fun set, made more so because folks had been coming up to me all afternoon requesting particular songs. So, my set was all requests. Unfortunately, I had more requests than I had time, so I didn't get to all of them. Sorry folks, next time! The sound on the Azalea stage was very good and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Fortunately, by the time the evening program started the sound issues, at least in terms of what was being heard by the audience, had been resolved. The artists on the stage continued to have monitor troubles and complained of being unable to hear each other well. But, it didn't effect their performances as far as I could tell. Magda Hiller opened the night with a wonderful set, including her show stopping duet with young daughter Wyatt on "the chicken song." The act that really got my attention was the Aaron O'Rourke Trio. From Tallahassee, Aaron is a young (20'ish) mountain dulcimer player backed by Mickey Abraham on guitar and mandolin and Mike Snelling on bass. WOW!! Read the trio's bio on the FFF website and see all of the awards and accolades. These guys can PLAY! Stunning. As some of you may know, Bobby Hicks was scheduled to appear on Sunday night, but he has been hospitalized due to severe lower back pain. Please keep him in your prayers. Jim Carrick was called upon to fill in and put on a great show. Then Frank Thomas took the stage with The Roadside Revue and his great, great nephew for a memorable set of songs and stories. And, with Bobby Hicks ill, Frank called upon Jeanne Fitchen to come out and play Bobby's I Am Florida, Need I Say More. A perfect way to lead up to the traditional finale led by Doug Gauss. So, that's another Florida Folk Festival, the 55th straight, complete. I made the judicious decision not to go out playing the campfires so that I could get some sleep and make it to the breakfast this morning. Everyone gathered, ate and said their good byes. This fall edition of the festival was a great success and I'm sure all who attended enjoyed the wonderful weather and the amazing music. Many, many thanks to Elaine McGrath, The staff at Stephen Foster and the Department of Environmental Protection for all the hard work and support! See you there for number 56 in May 2008!