“Oh World, You are Beautiful Without Me”*

Red, White, and Blue

On Friday we packed a bag, threw our Unbelievably-Cranky Kid (UCK) in the car, and headed off to Moab, UT, for the Moab Folk Music Festival. First, though, we dropped the UCK off at her grandparents’ house.

We had been in Moab just a month before for a friend’s wedding, and while there we saw posters for this music festival. We were intrigued, because we love open-air music festivals, but when we saw that the headliner was GREG BROWN!!! we just had to go. We love Greg Brown so much that if he were to so much as crook his little finger in our general direction we’d dump Mallow in order to try to have Greg’s baby (good thing Mallow would treat little Greg or Gregina Jr. the same as Sassa).

The festival was set up so that at night there were concerts in two indoor venues (same artists at alternating venues so everyone could see them if they wished), with the daytime containing concerts at the ball field. Moab is quite a bit south of SLC, so the weather was warm enough to be outside if you dressed well, and we were informed that rain, shine, or snow, the band would play on. We packed sweaters and jackets and hats and gloves and blankets and umbrellas. In our minds we were really going to to see Greg, and the indoor concerts were bonus.

Moab is a 4 hour drive from SLC, through windy mountain roads, and we’d been late in leaving, so we arrived in Moab about an hour and a half later than we wanted. We’d wanted to see Christine Lavin, and we got there half way through her set. The will-call booth was closed, and as I’d bought our tix on-line, we were empty handed when we arrived at the hall. We could hear her singing from the lobby and didn’t have tix in hand, but luckily I was wearing this shirt (and yes, I know that link uses my real name, it’s ok), so the guy at the door just let us right in.

Christine was great, so we listened to the rest of her set. There were no seats, though since we were so late, and we were hungry (or, Klove was hungry as I no longer need to eat) so we left to go forage for food.

This is the part where I break in and talk about how great it was that I was in such a great mood this whole weekend. Klove and I were able to really get closer, have deep conversations, laugh, and have fun again. We haven’t just let go in a long time. The last time we went on a romantic weekend away we ended up in the car accident that let to the Unbloggable…

The next day we slept in and then wandered around Moab for a bit. Now, Moab is a very popular tourist attraction because of its proximity to Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point National Monument, as well as all the slickrock biking, rock climbing, hiking, and 4 wheeling. But strangely enough, their tourist season is in the summer. I say “strangely” because Moab is hotter than hades in the summer, and yet during the spring and autumn the weather is beautiful, the town is deserted, and you’ve got the trails to yourself (mostly, since locals know the secret). Not that I want people to come ruin our sublime springs and falls here.

At Rest

Saturday night we were scheduled to see Ferron. Now, I love Ferron, but had never seen her in person. We were interested in seeing her, but it, again, wasn’t our primary goal. But. BUT. But. She was freaking amazing. She was so personable, so funny, so unpretentious. And that morning she’d done a jam session with Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzmann and apparently it had gone so well she’d invited them to play wiht her that night. I had intended on getting up and seeing that jam session, but was distracted that morning and didn’t. I’m so glad that Ferron is confident enough to share her gig with someone else, because the three of them on stage together was mind blowing! I had the hugest grin on my face and kept screaming and clapping and squeezing Klove. It was audio ecstacy and I transcended. It ended way too soon.

After they left the stage, there was no way the next guy could compare, so we left, too, and wandered back to our hotel room.

The next day was Greg Brown day. But right before him Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzmann played again. Again, I was transfixed. Such amazing sounds! The concert was full, but not packed, and most of the people in attendance were locals (meaning from 6 hours or so in each direction… Utah can’t claim sole ownership of Moab even if we’d like to). There was dancing and kids doing cartwheels. The sky was grey and glowery but it couldn’t keep us down.

Then Greg Brown came on. Now, like I said, we love Greg Brown, but he seemed a little flat and low-key. And then he made comments about how you had to be careful of partying with Ferron and we understood that he was hungover. His stories from the night before had me cracking up. Ferron stole the show even after she’d left!

Still, Greg Brown is amazing even when he’s off, so the day ended with us being in a fantabulous mood and a determination that next year we’ll come back, bring our UCK and as many friends as we can crowd into the city, rent a house, and party hard with the folk singers. We sent in a huge list of people we hope they can get, and I want to tell any of you who know any muscians (coughgirlymancough) that the energy is rocking and Moab is unlike any other place in the world. Everyone should come… as long as I still get good seats and a shot at Ferron.

* Main refrain from a new Karen Savoca song that will be released on a CD next spring. I just can’t get it out of my head. It was so beautiful

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