A Heavenly Honky-Tonk Weekend

This past weekend’s session has been another great one!!! Bill Kirchen and Steve James were here as instructors and they did a great job. They were both blessed with a great group of students….eager for the lore and lessons that are a part of both Steve’s and Bill’s classes. We were also treated to a perfect weather weekend…..These are the last days of August and they felt like the last days of summer…..nice and cool in the morning, yet sunny and warm during the day….As Mr. Bill would say…..”Not bad, if you don’t mind perfect.” It was nice catching up with some of the students who have at this point become old friends.

Anne McCue and Peter Case came in to do the Saturday night concert and all in attendance were treated to a great night of music. They both have a very unique approach to the music and it was cool. Peter….Mon, oh mon…..what a great writer! His writing is deep and his songs take on the feel of a great short story.

Sunday night we had another really big show. It was one of those spontaneous and magical moments that we are blessed with pretty regularly here at the Ranch. Bill Kirchen and Steve James put on a wonderful show …..just for the students and a couple of our pals. Well….it was our piece of Honky Tonk Heaven up there on the stage of the Fur Peace Station Concert Hall. Steve started things off and then brought out Bill and they traded songs and accompanied each other and they were hitting the high marks…..for sure. Steve’s original “The Change” from his Austin Sessions 88 – 95 CD really wooed and rocked the house and Bill’s fine original, “Rocks into Sand” from the killer “Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods” CD sounded better then ever…..Bill has the ability to bring out the finest selection of tones a guitar can make. It was a real honor for me when Bill asked me to come up and do a couple of numbers with him and Steve……we made our way through “Smokestack Lightnin” and “All Along the Watchtower” and they were just blazin! Both Steve and Bill laid down some fine guitar solos! The Bill and Steve show finished the night with “Milk Cow Blues”. Towards the end of the song Bill put the guitar down and vanished through the stage door….I thought …..”Where is he goin and what is he doin”…..and seconds later he emerged coming through the stage door blowin a trombone….He played that thing really well and after a honk-blowin solo he stepped off the stage and started a parade through the Fur Peace Station with all of us following him in single file…..dancin our way into the night.
When we came to a halt ……outside the front of the Station….Bill lifted the horn up towards the heavens and gave it one more long note…..as the moon looked on with respect and approval. That was the fitting end of a real treat here at the end of a spectacular Sunday.

The Sunday afternoon student performance was pretty amazing as well. I always say that the Sunday afternoon student performance is one of my favorite times during a camp weekend…..and…..I’ll say it again. Lots of fun and lots of talent ……it’s a great afternoon variety show…..and you don’t have to turn on the TV…..it’s live and for real! So…..we had us a fine weekend and we finished off this great Sunday with a camp fire that was……not bad if you don’t mind perfect. The cool night air made the warmth of the fire feel good ……….and just about everyone of the campers were there playing songs and singing harmonies under a clear and star filled night sky. Yes, indeed……………it was just perfect!!!!

Monday morning we had a first time happening at the Ranch…..Bill ducked into the kitchen just as we were putting the finishing touches on breakfast to see if we would want him to go get the brass conch for him to blow the breakfast call on…..of course we said YES and the trombone’s call brought us all together for our last breakfast…….Give Thanks!


Well…..I hope everyone has noticed and liked the great new look of our Fur Peace Ranch web site…..all respect to Kevin, Mike and the gang at Kevin Morgan Studio for doing such a bombastic fantastic job…..the web site looks super!!!  Along with the new look we also have a new 2010 Workshop Schedule…..YES, we have posted the 2010 schedule for classes here at the Fur Peace as well as the “On the Road” workshops.  It’s an impressive lineup of teachers and we are happy to welcome these masters to the Ranch.  You will notice a few TBAs in the schedule and we will be filling those in the coming days.  Applications are rolling in and we hope you’ll find a class or two that will tweek your interest and make you want want to get on  down the road and head to the Fur Peace.