SMALL WORLD TOUR, DAY THREE: THE FESTIVAL FOR THE ENO
Rolled out of our separate beds (I was missing her already) trying not to think about how early it was in Central time, where our body clocks were set, grabbed a light breakfast, and prepared for the 4th of July the way we like to spend it...at the Festival For The Eno. Hurricane Arthur had continued up the coast and left relatively cool weather in its wake. It's usually pushing the upper 90s or the low 100s, so the upper 80s was sounding pretty danged awesome. I decided to wear jeans, boots, and my new shirt from the thrift store to play my sets, rather than shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt, although I did pack a change of lighter clothes for changing into after my sets.
It was about a 45 minute drive to the festival grounds (which beats the heck out of a 9 hour drive from Nashville) and soon we were rolling through the front gate. We said "Good morning" to Forrest the gatekeeper, flashed the All Access Vehicle pass, and heeding his admonishment to "keep it on the dashboard, brother", we slowly rolled through the grounds and around to the Grove Stage. I was greeted there by John the stage manager and the best sound team at the festival, Bo Osborne and Johnny Klein. I knew my opening set was in good hands.
Jamie Anderson showed up almost right away, and gave me a copy of her new book "Drive All Night", (which she signed to me) and reminded me that I was in Chapter 21 "Don't Stand Too Close To The Bird", which is a recounting of her misadventures performing at The Bluebird Café in Nashville...her one and only time. I was looking forward to her mid-day set on the Meadow Stage, but I still had a couple of my own to play before then.
My opening set on the Grove Stage was delayed only slightly by smartypants Gene O'Neill coming down front and asking if it was okay to "approach the star". After we shook hands, I got underway.
I started off with "(I Got My Heart) Broke In", the opening track on my latest CD, and then moved into a singalong of "What's Not To Love". After proclaiming my love for traditional country music, I played "Dickel, Strait & Jones". After that, I played "Inside That Box", and I had just remarked that there was nothing like a good dead grandpa song to get a festival going, when an audience member shouted "Now all you need is a song about dogs and trucks." I said "I've got a dog song." Somebody else shouted "Jesus!", to which I replied "I think I can get Jesus and a dog into one song." Of course I can. I love playing "My Dog Jesus" for folks who have never heard it. (On the other hand, those folks who have heard me a bunch of times and always insist that I play it even if I only get to play 2 or 3 songs need to go buy a download.) I followed "My Dog Jesus" with "Circling The Drain", and then there was some confusion about how much time I had left. The stage manager had taken a walk. I thought I had 11 minutes left, so I added a truck song ("That's What I'm Talkin' About") into my set, figuring I could still play "The One Hundred Letter Word" and "You Done Done It Now". Halfway into the song, the stage manager shows back up and tells me "3 minutes!". I finished up with "The One Hundred Letter Word", and saved "You Done Done It Now" for the second set.