Notes from the Road – Gamble Rogers 2008 Sunday, May 4th – Another good night’s sleep and another beautiful clear day. A bit warmer today and it promises to get down right hot as the sun climbs overhead. But with no hint of rain in the forecast and the comfortable evenings we’ve had it’s hard to complain. The breeze is still blowing so in the shade it’s still really nice. But I can tell the stages are going to get warm. I don’t play until late afternoon so I can afford to be lazy. After finishing up my post for yesterday while I had my coffee and sending it out to all you anxious readers (ok, a wide range from the semi- mildly anxious to couldn’t care less), I cleaned up a little and headed over to the hospitality building for an early lunch. Ran into John William Davis who was busying himself restringing a 1930 Regal slot head parlor guitar. Poor John, not a happy camper. To say that he detests restringing that slot head (which is apparently a little tricky) would be a vast understatement. He finally resolve to replace only every other string thereby cutting his work in half while, hopefully improving the sound – not sure how that worked out, but I wouldn’t have dared suggest any scenario that would have put him in a position to change all six strings! Also spent some time talking to Chuck Hardwicke – like most all of us, Chuck was particularly impressed with the Carolina Chocolate Drops Friday night. But we also agreed that all of the talent booked for the festival was truly first rate top to bottom (including each other, of course!!). Magda Hiller danced through sporting a new short hairdo, very becoming. The food and company were great and before long I looked down and realized that I had to go shower, warm up and get ready to play. The last day, even more than others, don’t leave much opportunity to catch anyone else’s shows, but I did see a little of each of Jamie Defrates & Susan Brown, Frank Thomas, Roadside Revue and The Larry Mangum Trio – all excellent. My show was on the Florida Stage and, unfortunately it faced so that he tent walls blocked all possible air flow so that it was going to be sweltering behind the mic. The good news was that I realized it in time to return to my camper to retrieve my handy, dandy industrial squirrel fan. Recommended to me by my bud Mark Harris (Peters Road Swamp Band) this little jewel creates a silent hurricane of cool refreshing air flow. Saved my life today! I stayed cool and comfy throughout my show. An expectedly small crowd for a late, last day show, but very enthusiastic and appreciative. Plus, with sound by Tom Ellis it was a treat to get to finish up on this Stage – great job Tom, Thanks! I played a couple of new tunes mixed in with some of my familiar material and included, in honor of Gamble, my version of “The Dutchman.” Fun set. I went over, collected my remaining CD’s from the product sales area (pretty good CD sales, particularly with everyone adjusting to the new layout) and headed to the camper saying my goodbyes as I went. As I was breaking down the camper I could hear Bob Patterson’s wrap up show wafting from the main stage. We were on the road by about 5:45 p.m. So, it’s another Gamblefest come and gone. For my money, the new venue is a good fit. I don’t know what the attendance numbers were, but I thought the whole event was particularly well run and came off very smoothly. The volunteer corps was outstanding, taking care of everyone’s needs and keeping everything moving forward and on schedule. I wish I knew all the folks to thank, but I know that Paul Linser, Bob Patterson and Lis Williamson deserve a good portion of the credit – muchas gracias my friends. Can’t wait until next year.