Well here is the short version -
The Mad Ripple Hootenanny has been a staple of my Friday schedule for a while now. I was intimidated to go at first. And then it became almost like church. A meeting place for friends, a cramped sanctuary in a basement of a coffee shop where musicians would pour their hearts out for us, while the water pipes clanked above and the sounds of heavy things moving upstairs served as percussion during heartfelt ballads. It became busier and busier as people took note as the ringleader, Mr. Jim Walsh brought us all together. There was a marriage proposal and there were newborns - and more often than not, people inconspicuously crying when a song touched the core of them. My moment being during an Allison Rae song where tears streamed down my face and I tried my best to keep it together, or at least go unnoticed.
Friendships were forged or became stronger, and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that lives were changed forever. And as I sit here with my morning Red Bull, I am forced to think what Friday nights and Saturday mornings will be like without it.
I don't need to be sad about it right now, even though last night was the last Hoot of the season. Because we were treated to a FOUR HOUR Hoot extravaganza. It started out with a whole lot of promise - Our leader Jim, master storyteller& singer-songwriter extraordinaire Stook, Leslie Ball, my first experience with the utterly amazing Cates, and Strange Friends holding court with attitude in the back of the basement. They made the rounds and served up the glory until about 8:30.
That's when I saw my first glance of Marc Perlman, bassist for the Jayhawks and Golden Smog, among others. I had seen that he was at the Hoot before, so I took note, but I didn't think twice. It wasn't until I glanced upon a tall, curly mop of hair that I really did a double take. Gary Freakin' Louris. My heart skipped a beat. Then I spied with my little eye... Kraig Jarrett Johnson. My brain and my mouth spilled out "Oh my God, oh my God..." for who knows how long. All while noticing that Dan Murphy has also walked his way in also. We were about to have ourselves a little Golden Smog Hoot action at our get-together...
Ha, ha... suckers. It was awesome!