Shut Up And Play Yer’ Guitar


I’ve been here at the Kerrville Folk Festival for two days and I just now realize that my guitar hasn’t left its case. If I were anywhere else, people would consider that a blessing. But not here.

The pressure on me has been building. If you have a guitar and can as much as tune it, joining in on the song circle is considered mandatory. I tried to get out of it once by claiming that I didn’t know any songs by heart. They told me to just play a song by Journey.

Truth be told, I’m out of practice. Coming here, I feel like a ball player who’s shown up for spring training having done nothing all winter but sit in a Barca lounger, surviving the off-season on beer and nachos while watching re-runs of Pawn Stars on the History Channel.

The first night, Mama Char asked me to play a song for her. “No” is a word that never quite comes to mind when you are talking to Mama Char. So I bungled through Jimmy Buffett’s “Cowboy In The Jungle”. I think I invented a few new chords along the way. She smiled and thanked me.

Mama Char has a heart as big as Donald Trump’s bank account, and the vault is always wide open. That’s the secret behind her enchanting nature, why anybody around here would do anything for her.

I just hope she doesn’t ask me to give fire dancing a try.

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