Music Heals the Weary Soul

Oh Hellos, fok rock band

The Oh Hellos, Eclectic Folk Rock Band, performs at the Four Corners Folk Festival

I had an awesome experience at the Four Corners Folk Festival over Labor Day weekend.  Unbelievably that was the first time I camped out at a multi-day music festival.

I came of age in the late 60’s, early 70’s when the music scene was shifting from folk to rock.  My own musical tastes then brought me through rock, to world music and onto to all types of Latin music.  Folk sort of drifted to the back burner of my music radar.

But a few years ago when my son, who is a gifted singer/songwriter, switched gears from leading a funk band to an eclectic, folk rock blend I opened my ears to folk music again.

Not only did I hear some fantastic music at the Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs, but I felt like I had stepped into the way back machine and was experiencing the 60’s summers of love.

The music I heard was a bundle of upbeat, positive, foot-stomping fun.  The musicians spoke and sang from their hearts.  The vocal harmonies were stunning and moving.  I remember one of the musicians said during his performance that he’d been touring the country and he wanted to let everyone know not to believe all the bad news – people across the country are good.

The folks at the festival were also full of joy and good spirits.  We spanned the generations – babies in arms to the over 60 crowd and everything in between.  Everyone was smiling – there was lots of random dancing – new friends were made and old friendships renewed.

For sure I heard great music on stage.  But equally as fun and inspiring were the amazing jam sessions happening at campsites all around the grounds.  I can’t remember the last time I had a smile on my face for 3 days straight.  Even the constant rain and huge downpour on Saturday night couldn’t dampen the high energy, good spirits of the Four Corners Folk Festival.

HotRizeSunday night was the final performance by a bluegrass band who has been around since the 70’s, Hot Rize  They did a bit in the middle of their set in which their alter egos, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, took the stage.  I was laughing so hard my belly hurt.  That whole bit was a huge spoof on country music, musicians and their dress styles, technology and much more.  It was a roaring end to the weekend – though I do think the older folks like it more than the younger one.

We headed home on Monday in a leisurely fashion.  The weekend was a great break from the constant stresses of modern life. The experience made it easier to go home and once again allow the bizarre and chaotic nature of the world to enter my consciousness.  The experience reminded me to remain open to the goodness all around us and to be grateful for my many, many blessings.

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