rocks in rain
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
Wet, wild and wickedly fun, the 26th
Annual Northern Rockies Folk Festival did more than entertain. It seemed to
induce the summer’s first real rainstorm, which lasted for over two hours
The show on Friday featured the Zydeco
Flames, who did their share of getting the crowd out of their seats. The Austin,
Texas, band, the Derailers, finished the evening playing with flair and finesse.
On Saturday, after several enjoyable sets
by the bands CowBlues and Deadline Ridge, the Flames again took the stage.
Playing a mix of rock and Zydeco with old chestnuts like "Hey Pokey Way,"
"Jock-a-Mo" and "Stir It Up," the band forced the party into high gear.
Then the rains came. First, concertgoers
danced as though the rain was because of their joy and for their benefit. One of
the longtime festival organizers Pete Kramer urged folks to get up and dance. It
was the only way not to mind being wet, and he was right.
But it went on a long time and by the time
Saturday night’s headliner Sam Bush— the mandolin master of the world—took the
stage with his amazing band, everyone was just plum soaked.
Blankets, chairs and bags were sodden.
Large umbrellas went up under which swarms of people took refuge. Mud spots
began looking like good old-fashioned Woodstock slide areas. Hair was
But did any of this quell the excitement
and the appreciation for the music?
Not a chance, because the folks in Hailey
just hung in and danced all night. In fact, it was the first time in 26 years
that such inclement weather threatened the festival.
And then, Sam and the band brought about
some kind of supernatural occurrence while singing a medley of gospel tunes,
including The Staples Singers’, "I’ll Take You There."
En masse the crowd and the band sang:
"I know a place
Ain't nobody cryin'
Ain't nobody worried
Ain't no smilin' faces
Lyin' to the races
Help me, come on, come on
Somebody, help me now
I'll take you there."
And then came a large rolling thunder
above. The audience and band looked up, laughed right back in the sky’s face and
sang all the louder.