Eric 2010/05/08 11:11am

Merlefest was hopping this year. Attendance was high and it felt like we were part of an event, not merely a festival. When you get booked at Merlefest, they keep you moving. We rolled in at one in the morning on Thursday and played a 9 a.m. show for a local elementary school. The students were so sweet and loved the music. I could tell that Merlefest had done a lot with outreach programs, because the students were very knowledgeable about the instruments. We played a short set on the Cabin Stage later in the day and were well-received. We did a set at the Walker Center on Friday at noon to a large and enthusiastic audience, among them Dierks Bentley. He later praised our harmonies on stage during his show with the Traveling McCourys. Thanks, Dierks! I had met him back in 2001 before he had a record deal. I am glad he's doing so well and keeping his hand in bluegrass while enjoying a strong country career. I felt like our Walker show was our best of the weekend. We played on the Creekside Stage later in the day and went over well, but I didn't feel like we locked in as well as we did during our other shows. We came away from the weekend feeling very positive. Merlefest was on our radar for so many years and we never could crack the lineup. To book it two years in a row shows the progress we've made.

We were home for a few days before playing last night in our hometown of Ellenburg Depot, NY. It's always a good time for us with quite a few family members in the audience. I was surprised how many people were there from out of town. As the years go by, I recognize less and less people from Ellenburg in the crowd. Sadly, a lot of folks have "Gone Home." A few times a year, I'll take a drive 'around the square,' the bus ride we took as kids -- up Bull Run Road, turn right on Clinton Mills where the farm is, turn the big curve heading down the Canaan Hill makes me sad. That bus was full of farm kids. Very few of the farms are operating and those farm boys have mostly moved on. I can't freeze time. I don't know why I do it to myself, but I do. I guess I just like to feel the flood of memories. I don't want to ever forget.