Jeff Beck and we had lawn seats. But there were two tickets inside the pavilion down near the stage and a group of two would go down front for a few songs, then trade the tickets with others in the group so everyone would get a chance to see the performance from up close. I was resting comfortably on the lawn with a cold beverage so I passed on the opportunity when my turn came up. I wasn't that impressed with music. There's no doubt that Jeff Beck is a phenomenal guitar player, and he was whipping out some impressive guitar solos on this early summer evening. But it seemed to me to be mostly "flash" and there were no real "songs" or "music". However everyone who returned from the front row was ecstatic about his performance. "Fantastic!" "Best guitar playing I have seen! Ever!" "Great Show!" I experienced a moment of self doubt and the BlogBlock set in. Over the next few days/weeks I struggled with how to write about a concert that I thought was only "so-so" and everyone else loved. Was it simply a matter of where you sat in the audience? Was I not hearing what others were hearing? What difference does it make anyway? It doesn't make a difference, but the fact was, The Block was in.
Over the summer I went to the (what is now "routine") set of music festivals. There was the All Good and the Floyd Fest in July, with great performances by plenty of bands (including Furthur, Levon Helm, Wayne Henderson, George Clinton!?!). Then there was the Hot August Blues Festival with Lyle Lovett and Keb 'Mo . We found a nice new outdoor venue in Loudon County where we saw Jackie Greene and Gov't Mule. There were other concerts scattered between, like Cosmic Charlie in Baker Park in Frederick, Nils Lofgren at the Birchmere, and when we were touring the Southwest in late August we caught Bobby Bare Jr. and a band called Blue Giant in Tucson. I saw tons of really good music over the summer and as the list of shows grew, the Block seemed to become bigger.
As summer turned to fall, people began to make subtle comments. "Why no updates to the blog?" "Are you going to write about this show?" "What the hell is the matter with you?"
So now I'm busting through the Block, especially inspired by my friends and a couple of great music festivals in October. I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up on all of the shows that I saw this summer, but I'm going to start fresh and try to stay on top of it from here on out. I'll write off the summer to too much introspection and not enough impulse writing. The Live Music Blog is back, with a new look and some new energy.
Live music lives on!!