Sunday, October 14, 2012

Confederate Station

Yesterday was a really busy day.  We took the dogs to Jekyll Island's driftwood beach in the morning.  In the afternoon, we went to a craft fair at St. Simon's Island.   I usually don't enjoy craft fairs, but the artists at this one were amazing.  I studied the booths of the photographers there, of which there were many, selling everything from 5x7 photos to large reproductions on canvas.

And then, last night, we went to see "Confederate Station", a bluegrass and country band, along with a small group from the marina.

Many of you know that I'm a big music fan.  I love all kinds of music, from Steppenwolf to Dan Fogelberg to Willie Nelson to Justin Beiber.   HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!   OK, just kidding on Beiber.

When Pam and I ran our bookstore and coffee house in upstate New York, we built a stage and had music every Friday night.  We had a ball with it.  The variety of talent was very good.  And to me, it didn't matter if the performer was... um... shaky, it only mattered that everyone was having a good time.  Well, last night, everyone was having a good time.

I wasn't sure what to expect when we pulled into the long dirt driveway.  The parking lot was full.  Would we be greeted by a rowdy band of rednecks who didn't cotton to Yankees?  Would there be beer bottles flying around the room, with the band playing behind a fence of chicken wire?  Nope.  First of all, there was no alcohol being served.  I was a little disappointed at first, but then figured it was for the best.  The room was large, with a good sized stage at one end and tables and chairs in front.  The band would play a one hour  set, and then break for dinner, and then a second set.  yep[, that's right, they served dinner.

Confederate Station is my kind of band.  A large band of eleven members, all but one senior-type citizens, with one lead guitar, one bass, four (yes, four) rhythm guitars, a woman on a tambourine, a guy on a harmonica, a mandolin player, a fiddle player, and a saxophonist.   One of the rhythm guitar players sometimes played lead, and sometimes switched to a banjo.  He was really good.   His name is Jackson.  He's eleven.

They played a mix of old time bluegrass (with heavy Christian messages) and country.  They'd highlight different members of the group, allowing each to showcase his talent.  The showstopper  of course, was Jackson.  He played a banjo solo called "Kicking Mule".  I didn't bring my camera with me last night,  and so this isn't Jackson playing, but here is a sample of what we enjoyed.

The last half hour was tough for Jackson.  He laid his head down on his guitar while playing, or rested it on the wall behind him.  I thought he might fall asleep in the middle of the set.

The cover charge?  None.  Zero.  Free.  The food was $10 for BBQ pork, corn, beans, bread, and chocolate cake for dessert.  Beverages were sweetened or unsweetened tea, or water.  And it was all goo-ood.

One of the band members came over to chat while we were in the food line.  He was sort of the MC.   Nice guy.  He asked about us all living on boats.  He then asked where we were from.  And then later, during the set, he said in a heavy southern drawl, jokingly, "We'all have folks here from upstate New York, those aggressors from the North.  Both sides in the Civil War suffered heavy losses, and there were many orphans from both the north and the south.  Many of these young'uns were put on trains and sent out west to find homes, there was so many of 'em.  We're now going to play Orphan Train."

Again, not Confederate Station, but here's the song for you.

Then the MC introduced his pastor who came up all the way from Jacksonville and invited him up to play a couple of tunes.  He was a big, imposing man.  Before he played, he apologized to the crowed because "he was really tired from watching his wife plow all day."  The crowd laughed.  He looked surprised.

"What?  I bought my wife a really good hand plow, the best in the whole state."

More laughter.

"And I fixed 'er up.  I put a headlight on it so she could plow at night too."

Brought down the house.

There was more jokes and good natured ribbing all during the performance.

"Are you gonna finish that story?  I've got Sunday school at 9 AM."

There was a 92 year old man there who got up and danced in front of the band, obviously enjoying himself.  I think his name is Marvin.  Before we knew it, Lee Ann from our group was up there dancing with him.

Later, the MC brought up four women from the audience to sing with the band.  He pointed to Lee Ann.  "C'mon up here.  I seen you mouthin' the words to every song we've done."  She's on the left.

The woman on the right is a mute.  She's singing with sign language.  (Thanks for the cell phone pics, John!)

Confederate Station plays the second Saturday of each month.  Pam and I certainly intend to go again in November.  I couldn't stop smiling and tapping my feet.  You can't get a better deal for $20 for two.  And it was like our coffee house all over again, on steroids.

And again, this helps answer the question of why Drift Away stays put so often.  It's fun to explore and to get absorbed into the local scene.


  1. I've been trying to find a reason not to like you Dave (just jealous...). You live on a boat, love the beach, like people, put off big jobs for another day, watch old tv shows and movies, married to a good looking and smarter woman than you, and love the mountains. If you were better looking you'd be my twin! LOL! Now you had to go and really do it! You like all kinds of music!!! (Please say no to rap, that isn't music!!!) Of course I'd be your YOUNGER brother of 53. Well keep toiling at the grind stone and keeping us land lubbers entertained. And don't forget to feed the dogs....

  2. No, don't like rap at all. Not too fond of most opera, although there are some pieces I love, like this one - Sarah Brightman - Nessun Dorma Live -

    I don't care much for the new techno music. Not that I listen to it to know much about it. :) Give me old time rock and roll anyday.

  3. I have a number of Sarah Brightman CD's also. LOL!!!