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Campfire Fiddle

(Fish Fry, Maplewood)

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Rich said he didn't want to play his guitar, said he didn't like playing around campfires, that it made him nervous, that he'd had too much to drink. That was really the only disappointing thing about the fish fry: not hearing Rich play. And it was his campfire, his house, fish he'd hooked that were being fried. It would've been great to hear Rich play.

But there was no shortage of music. After the sun went down, impromptu versions of everything from old country & western tunes to bluegrass to the Rolling Stones to Sam Cooke materialized as a guitar got passed from one guy to the next. It turned into kind of a brief history of American music, with an old Willie Nelson CD playing faintly in the background all the while.

One guy had brought a guitar, a mandolin, a harmonica and a violin. He didn't play all of them simultaneously, but he played all of them well. He'd just gotten back from some kind of musical pilgrimage, he said, that had sent him down south, into Arkansas.

Later Liz and I went to catch a live band, but it was lacking something for me; I don't know what it was.

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