October 2012

There is a chill in the air, the gridiron warriors are nursing their wounds and celebrating the victories, kids are already making their Xmas lists and preparing costumes for Halloween. The school year is well under way and summer is just a memory. Soon the blaze orange will be airing on the line to rid it of any mustiness from storage and the deer will be in rut. Seems like summer rushed by at the speed of a prairie fire. Hot and dry, it was consumed by days of activity and each day led to the next so quickly it seemed that it was gone before it was started.

The Chippewa Valley and western Wisconsin was alive with a great wealth of musical entertainment. Blues On The Chippewa expanded to three nights and two days of regional and national artists making their music and entertaining a record number of attendees. Tuesday Night Blues swelled the benches of the Owen Park band shell nearly every week from Memorial to Labor Day with folks that were delighted by the talented offerings of the musicians, who were so happy to have the opportunity to present their creations and lyrical renderings for the throngs that found their way to that magical setting, in the shade, under the trees, next to the Chippewa River. It has been a wonderful experience watching that crowd drift in off the street and filter through those trees to gather, once again, in the festive, midweek setting. I can still smell the barbecue, burgers and brats at these festivals we are blessed with here. The blessing has come in the overwhelming appreciation expressed by not only those who attended, but also by the performers in their great appreciation for being included, and hopes that they will be again. It was a really good summer.

Unfortunately it was pretty disastrous for many farmers. The drought that trashed so many crops continues, and when agriculture suffers we all end up paying the bill. As we proceed toward the harvest we will be hearing more about that. With gas at $4 a gallon and grocery prices rising rapidly, be sure to count your blessings and help your community when and where you can. We are all in this together. Rugged individualism sounds pretty macho, but history has proven that in times of crisis it is a sense and effort of community that solves problems and provides more of an ability to survive hard times.

Some things to look forward to will be showing up at ChippewaValleyBlues.com on the events calendar on the home page. Be sure to check it often to find out where your favorite bands are playing. This calendar changes often, so check back often. One event you will want to put on your calendar is the 3rd Annual production of “Stage Fright” the recreation of The Band’s movie “The Last Waltz”. Organized as a fundraiser for “Feed My People, this concert is performed on Thanksgiving night by 30 or more of the area’s best musicians portraying the awesome array of talent that was gathered for the original over 2 nights. This is a must see event! The venue has not been announced for sure as of this writing, but I have been assured that most of the performers have been lined up and rehearsal has begun. I will keep you updated at both the website and on Facebook.

The website has been undergoing some changes lately. We have added a survey section and feedback can be provided. There are also new links for membership, mailing lists and even sponsor information for Tuesday Night Blues. There are links to many of the bands (and there scheduled events) at the Chippewa Valley Blues Society website www.chippewavalleyblues.com/ and/or the Tuesday Night Blues Facebook page www.facebook.com/tnblues for more info. Don’t forget to tune in to WHYS 96.3 Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. for Snapshot’s blues show.

Thanks for lending me an ear! We’ll be seein’ ya around.