Camping in Canaan

Written by:

Yes sir. I can feel it. Getting close. It’s about that time. I was driving down the delta today. Hitting that delta loop. Past the B & W resort. Past the Willow Berm marina. Smelling that fresh air. Looking at that lazy water.
Pulled into the lighthouse marina. Into member services, where I have business to attend to.

But I ain’t thinking about business, I’m thinking about bluegrass, and old country, and some fine memories, right over there under those trees, and in that clubhouse, and Walters hamburgers, and Pat Calhouns Accordian, and hot spring days, and fall nights.

I’m thinking about George Martin playing “The orphan train” under a pop-up by the road and Alex sharp fiddling along making all those marina people smile while looking semi-amazed that anything that sounds that good just showed up outside their R.V.’s without invitation or reason. Just to make their lives better for a couple of days.

And I’ve been here for about three campouts, a couple of them CBA sponsored. A couple of them band gigs. And all of them good memories, for me.

But this here is just the beginning. How many of these spring and fall campouts?

There was Sonora, with this great Gospel jam with Jim Johnston, and Lloyd Butler, and this wonderful slightly inebriated banjo player from Holland, who played faster than the roadrunner on speed, and left me eating his dust, and finding refuge in the three four cadence of the Tennessee waltz which I destroyed about half way through by forgetting the lyrics and slinking off into the darkness, where I stumbled into a jam with Bill Schniedermen and Pat Calhoun which made me feel as if I’d been transported through the pearly gates, or at least to somewhere in Kentucky where the music sticks to the inside of your mind like a bees foot in a jar of honey.

But that ain’t all…

There was that campout in Colusa where, once again, the amazing
Pat Calhoun was ripping into “Just a little talk with Jesus” and I got so excited that I might have popped a string, except some dour listener made some comment about holy roller music, And I was thinking, I’m not sure how holy this is , but man, was it rolling and my guess is that the good lord wasn’t offended.

And there was Turlock, and the time I decided to sing Christmas Carols, because well, who knows why, and my friend Chef Mike locked himself in his trailer and closed the shutters so I’d go away.
But I sang them anyway, and slept the sleep of the righteous.

And there was Lodi at the grape festival grounds, and this amazing jam with Marcos Alvira and a bunch of young bucks and hot pickers. A hundred miles an hour, baby. Burned enough calories to eat a maple bar on the way home and still fit in my pants.

And I don’t know…

It’s just too good, and it’s getting close, brothers and sisters. Next week at Turlock. The spring campout. Trains singing in the night. Deb Livermores Grilled cheese sandwiches. Dianna Donelly singing Patsy Cline, like well…Patsy Cline. Red Dog Ash singing out in the back lot with a small lamp and glorious songs. And maybe if we’re really lucky, Pat Calhoun reminding us of how much fun it is to be alive.

See you there.

Read about: