Steve at Telluride #6: Rowan My Sweet Baby’s Arms
I’ve always used Peter Rowan’s hair at the festival as my gardening barometer for spring. If he’s sporting the hanging goose-fringe, I plant another crop of pole beans in June. If he’s wearing the snow-cloud flyaway, I don’t sow my lettuce until mid-July.
Hey, can you keep a secret? I think it may be time for Planet Bluegrass to ease Rowan away from his yearly mainstage set. I admit that this is an opinion that could get me waterboarded in the Town Park Campground, but a wise man once wrote about the walls of time, and although Pete’s gotten a slot here every year that I can remember, his sets are feeling less, well, crucial each year. Now, this is not some sort of ageist send-Pete-out-to-pasture sentiment; I mean, he still sounds good—he’s a P-Ro!—and only an imbecile would deny his significance, particularly as a conduit from Bluegrass Boy traditionalism to edgier progressive forms. It’s not that I exactly mind hearing the umpteenth version of “Panama Red” and “Land of the Navajo,” including Pete’s yodel-icious breakdown. Pete did bring a nice combo with him today, including Viktor Krauss on bass, but overall, his set moved, I’m sorry to say, slower than a Mark Trail adventure.
So I made a bee-line for the corn dog vendor. Legend has is that Johnny Cash, while here at the festival years ago, ate one of these corn dogs and declared it the best he’d ever had. Therefore, I am about to eat Johnny Cash’s all-time favorite corn dog, and you don’t get to do that every day.
By the way, the weather has been incredible today. Lots of warm sun with light breezes and big puffy white clouds. Feelin’ pretty lucky.