I think I would be an excellent blogger from Wakarusa 2012. I have been to 5 Wakarusa festivals — 4 when it was still outside of Lawrence, Ks, and once at Mulberrry Mtn, Ar. I love the vibe and scale of Wakarusa. From the bands I saw at Wakarusa for the first time that became favorites (like the cheap a$$ funk of JJ Grey and Mofro, the world of the John Butler Trio or Ben Harper, the twang of Ryan Bingham, or the spectacle of the Flaming Lips), to the old favorites who never disappoint (Neko Case, Wilco, Cracker, Gov’t Mule, Alejandro Escovedo, Son Volt, Old 97’s and North Mississippi Allstars, and the Black Crowes), the music is always stellar. The musical surprises are a treat: Luther Dickinson sitting in with Mofro and Shannon McNally, Tom Morello surprised he has an audience in Kansas, Rose Hill Drive roaring like the Who, or Back Door Slam gushing about my hero, John Hiatt. I’ve been at Wakarusa when it was so hot, Cross Canadian Ragweed rolled their cooler of iced down beer to stage center, and when it was so wet, a floatie was in order and an invasion of mud people followed. But my favorite memory is without a doubt my first Wakarusa. I attended with my then 14 year old son. It was his first show with me, and we checked out lots of new bands. He was pretty wide-eyed at the whole event, but we there for Wilco. We made sure we were as close as you could get for the band’s headlining set that evening. And it was that evening, I watched him figure out why his dad was also going see live music. Wilco played their butts off to a large adoring crowd! Our pictures from that night are on the Wakarusa website — my fresh faced boy and me as close to the band as you could get without being a VIP.
So why should I be your blogger? I love the Wakarusa festival, and take great joy in exploring and discovering. I think I could write a decent blog, capturing some of the essence of the event. And finally, I think I can offer two bloggers for the price of one. Although he’s twenty and going to school in Colorado these days, I have no doubt my son would want to go to his sixth Wakarusa too. MRF