For our second week at the Full Moon Resort we were actually treated to a full moon and it looked just incredible castings it’s light across the grounds as I headed from the fire circle back to my room in the Morning Star Lodge. The second week of our Fur Peace on the Road workshops was every bit as great as the first week……and that says alot. It was a bit different…..Jorma was the sole teacher and he had a nice class of 10 students. There was no one else at the Full Moon, so we had the place to ourselves. The student count was evenly divided between repeat offenders and first timers. One of our …..we’re so happy to see you again……repeaters was Bob Doherty and it was great to see Bob along with his wife Carol at the Full Moon in Big Indian. Bob liked the just over two hour drive from NYC better then the long trip to Ohio…….but that wasn’t the only thing. He really summarized our Full Moon trip when he said……”I’ve been to the Ranch 25 times and this week has been every bit as special.” We have such a special thing going on at the Fur Peace Ranch and the good news is that we have been able to bring the spirit of Fur Peace with us for these “On the Road” workshops. Several of the students all said the right thing…….”This food is great……not as great as the Fur Peace kitchen, but still great.” Yes, indeed, we like to hear that kind of report and I was glad to relay it to Queen Deb and King Chris.
For the second week, the relentless rains gave us a partial break and it was nice to see and feel the sun. The first day the rains came down so hard on the metal roof in the barn deluxe, where JK was teaching, so we moved the class up into the Performance Space. This worked out great as the room served as a classroom, jam room, practice space and it was where we took the stage for the student performance. The student performance was nothing less then spectacular……there were many special moments. Bob D. got pressed into service several times and did a great job every time!!! Nick had Bob join him on mandolin for a couple old fiddle tunes that were very authentically played……you definitely got that old time feel…..Bob also accompanied Jill on an angelic version of “Don’t Think Twice….” and I too was able to persuade him to add some pretty mandolin to one of my favorite Gram Parsons tunes….”Hickory Wind.” I must give a BIG UP to my friend Collin Rocker who played one of his fine originals…”Soggy Dollar Blues”……at my request. Collin is the fine son of Jon and Lori Rocker and they are one beautiful family. Collin’s playing has been progressing at a nice pace, and his songwriting is keeping right up with the playing. I’m feeling a John Prine vibe and that couldn’t be anything but a good thing. Another “young gun” Eli performed a couple nice pieces….one slow and one fast…both with alot of taste. Another highlight came at the end of the performance…….Vanessa Kaukonen joined me on stage to play one of our perennial favorites…..the great Tim Hardin song…..”Seems Like a Long Time.” Like alot of the songs I play, I’ve been playing that song forever and love it just as much as when I learned it. When the chorus came around most everyone was singing it with us…..very powerful ……and if that wasn’t enough…..Izze was right there sitting with Mom being the great girl she is…..I look into the near future and can hear her throwing in a nice harmony. So……Yes…..the student performance was a great time!!!
We had another treat coming at us later and I’m not just talking about the great pesto coated salmon that was served for dinner that night……At about 8:00 pm we all joined up in the living room / reception area of the Valley View House for a TRUE living room concert with Jorma and a very special guest…..Happy Traum. Now Happy is an old friend of Jorma’s and the two of them played just like you would expect two old friends to play…..considerate, respectful, joyful and with alot of good cheer. JK started things off with a song that never grows old….”That’ll Never Happen No More” and he ended the 90 minute set with an eternal version of “Re-enlistment Blues.” The vibe in the room was relaxed and special…..could it be the ambiance of this 100 year old house or the comfort of having several parlor couches to sit on? Without mics and amps …….and in this wonderful setting…..it was a living room concert to set the standard by. So the laid back 30 miles from Woodstock feel came through as Jorma and Happy traded songs …..sometimes joining in accompaniment ….and at other times just listening with a big smile on their face. Happy is a true American Treasure and it was great to hear him play. A long time ago he played with Bob Dylan and he has a great way of interpreting a Dylan song….in fact the last time he was at the FPR to teach he taught ….”Classic Bob Dylan Songs for Fingerstlye Arrangements”. So….you get the picture. Well, the Captain himself, JORMA, requested that Happy do “Buckets of Rain”……and Happy said he would be happy or should I say glad to play that request, but first ……he had a different Bob song to play…..Well, next came a version of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” that brought wonder to us all. We sure had us a good time at the Valley View House that night and I sure hope that good feeling will be staying with me for a long time to come. After the show all the campers were fired up……more fire!!……and we headed over to the Performance Space for a late night jam session. Much like the week before….we sat in a big circle and everyone took turns picking songs and playing parts and to say it was a whole heap of fun and talent a blazin …….well, that is about right.
So before you know it ……it’s Friday and we’re wrapping up two weeks at the Full Moon Resort. We all say our goodbyes and secret handshakes are exchanged…..I could be sad to say bye……but instead I’m happy to have got to say hi…..we sure had a great time!!! Jorma is still the Road Warrior that he has been for all these years on the road and he takes control of the kon and points it towards Ohio……. Southeast Ohio to be exact …..and we’re off. Twelve hours later ……the Kaukonens are dropping me off in my driveway. I’m tired but still ablaze with the joy of a good road trip with a very special family of friends….. Izze you are the best……a joy to travel with……. and you know what…..the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree!!!! Give Thanks!