Every October there is a massive free Bluegrass festival called Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. We went last year and I loved it. We mostly went to hear Iris DeMent. I was introduced to her music by my friend Brian. I was immediately taken with her beautiful voice. I’ve liked folk music for the last 20 years or so. My two favorites are Christine Lavin and Nancy Griffith. I just love how their music tells stories instead of repeating the same line over and over again. Iris DeMent does the same thing. I’ve created a radio station on Pandora called Iris DeMent-like Radio. It doesn’t just play her music–but the program picks out music that is in the same style. I think I’ll make another station titled Christine Lavin-like Radio.
Last October Doug and I took a couple of beach blankets and sat in the redwoods in the park along with thousands of others and listened to Iris DeMent. It was one of those magical afternoons. The weather was perfect. The music was great. We couldn’t see her since we were sitting in the grove, but I think that made it even better. And of course, in San Francisco you don’t have to worry about being bashed (well, you don’t have to worry too much!) for being who you are, so Doug and I could happily sit there, holding hands and listening to that beautiful music. She is playing again at the festival next Sunday. I hope that we can make it.