Monday, April 27, 2009

Acoustic Cafe

Yellow Bearded Iris

My wildflower buddies and I made another visit to the Acoustic Cafe Amphitheater.

Steve Masterson

Steve very graciously took us on another guided tour. Most of my flower photos didn't turn out well (it was too sunny) - the ones from last year are here.

Mabel and the formerly perfectly fine soaker hose.

Mabel's the new pup on the block, and she's very friendly. She's still at the chewing stage though, and will probably be on vacation during the upcoming festival, so as to save tent ropes and such.

Sadly, the lovable Buster passed away since last year. Lucy is as aloof as ever.


Tadpole walked with us. Her sister (Sarah) joined us briefly, but was skittish of the camera. Katy the calico slept through the whole thing.

Fiery Searcher

On our walk, we spotted a Fiery Searcher, Calosoma scrutator. They're also known as Caterpillar Hunters.

Another view

So brilliant in the sun! If not the most beautiful beetle, he's at least in the top ten. He was large, as beetles go, and very fast.

Take off your shoes

Also new since last year, this exquisite hardwood floor (Ash).

There are some wonderfully worked details. I didn't forget to photograph them, but I did forget to remove the lens hood. (The lens hood is great for reducing flare when you're taking pictures in the sun. When using the flash, it causes horrible shadows. Duh.)

Skull tree

The skull tree. Still wishing I'd thought of that. Now that we have Jasmine the bone-stealing dog, we don't find the number of skulls that we once did. But I'll remember Steve's advice for cleaning such things: stick them in an ant bed. Reeeeally wish I'd known that before the antler incident.

The Acoustic Cafe is all about String music, and this is its museum. (Click for a larger version.)

It includes:
John Hartford's bowler hat,
Sam Bush's whiskey bottle,
Vassar Clements' pipe, and
Duke Bardwell's photos of playing with Elvis.

Now, Steve knows that while my friends and I do enjoy string music, we are pretty much totally ignorant about it. "You may not know his name," he said, speaking of John Hartford, "but you know his song, Gentle on My Mind."

I didn't realize though, til just now when looking up his links, that I did know John Hartford. He was on the PBS special Songs of the Civil War, that I had taped years ago, and watched dozens of times.

Here he is singing my favorite version of my favorite Civil-War-era song, Lorena:


Just lovely.

I looked for another song I remembered from the show, Sweet Honey in the Rock's rendition of Climbing Jacob's Ladder. Couldn't find the video, but I believe this contains the audio:


OK, one more. Another favorite from that show was Hard Times Come Again No More, sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle and their families. I found this somewhat later version by them that I actually like better, and it has the added bonus of Emmylou Harris:


Rufus Wainwright is in both versions. Here's a link to the original, with a much younger Rufus and Martha.

Waiting to greet you at the Acoustic Cafe Amphitheater...


bill / prairie point said...

we have those fiery searchers here too.

robin andrea said...

Looks like such an interesting place. I love that alligator skull. It's so incredibly beautiful. You've posted nice music here, karen.

Lythrum said...

Looks like you guys have been busy. ;)

Rurality said...

Bill, I hadn't ever seen one before, or at least, haven't gotten this good a look before. They are pretty cool.

RA, it is a neat place. Glad you like the music too!

Lythrum, it's been a busy spring. :

countrypeapie said...

We love Acoustic Cafe! I've got some great pics from times past -- I'll dig them out and post them sometime. So nice to hear someone mention Sweet Honey in the Rock. I would have loved to have explored around there with y'all, but I've been in Utah on business. Bulbs are just beginning to peek out from the snow in Deer Valley!

Pamela said...

down home salt of the earth music!

lisa said...

Looks like a really cool place! That bug is beautiful! (Sounds funny to say that :)