Friday, March 4, 2011

Fisher Poets 2011

Rich, Veronica, Pat, Ron, & Jon
Well, it rocked.  I can say that.  It was great.  Amazing.  You should have been there.  But, if you weren't, no worries.  With any luck, I should be able to post some vids of the occasion.  I hope.

But, allow me to recap first.  It was almost as intense as a fishing opener!  Somehow, with the same amount of sleep, too.  None!  One guy mentioned he'd have to go out fishing just to get some shut eye!

I started off with my flight out of Anchorage delayed about 2 hours then arrived Portland about 7 am on Thursday. The whole plane groaned in unison as we broke through the clouds of Oregon on approach.  All of us were expecting to see green, as far as the eye could see.  What did we get instead?  White. Snow.  Looked just like Alaska.

I was worried  when I got into my rental car, some cute red thing, the radio said practically all of Portland was closed.  School was cancelled, all the city buses had to don chains and could not go faster than 25 MPH, and were all, therefore, late.  This college was closed, that one was delayed.  I think even lunch was cancelled.  I was nervous, I mean, I can drive in snow like the any other Alaskan, but in a new city?  Its intimidating.  Alaska doesn't even have a freeway!  Not one in the whole state.

So I put out, white knuckled before I even left the garage.  And what to I find?  Nothing!  Not a thing.  Sure, it was snowing, a little, but it wasn't even sticking to the pavement!  And, on the grass, there was maybe, maybe an inch.  I guess I shouldn't complain, I think others coming down from Washington did get into some hairy sitchs with the white stuff.  But, not me.  Anyway, I did get lost though.  Then met up with my pal Kris, who I know from my Ohio State Day in the early 90's.  I think that was about the last time we saw each other, too.

After that...........IKEA! What a treat!  We don't have that in AK either.  And they won't ship to us.  I had to use extreme willpower and not buy everything, I still had to pack it back home.  With that, I headed west to Astoria.  After stopping at a few discount grocery stores, another thing we don't have up here! Wine for 4 bucks!

Anyway, Fisher Poets was great!  I was on at the Astoria Event Center Friday night on stage, lights a blaring, in front of a crowd of several hundred people and was also broad casted live on the radio.  No pressure there.  I kept thinking "don't f*#k up, don't f*#k up.....and don't say f*#k!"  I was also interviewed on the radio after my performance.  All the acts were great.  One of my favorites was the Cowboy's Trans-vocational act.  A cowboy gone fisherman, too funny. Then,  I finished out the evening listening to Ray Troll's band at the Voodoo Room.

Ron McDaniel,who's turned "trans-vocational"
Half cowboy/ half fisherman

This just in.  Due to technological difficulties, I'm not currently able to post vid to this blog, but, I have my people on it (AKA, my guy).  Hopefully, it will be up this weekend. Now back to the regularly scheduled blog, already in progress.

Saturday was even better.  I had this amazing breakfast at the Columbia then went to a songwriter's workshop.  I'm not a songwriter, but figured, what the hay.  Turns out, it was amazing!  There was a panel of musicians, guitar in hand, to give advice on songwriting and perform a few of their own.  Allen Estes, from Souls of the Sea,  a band from Gloucester was the first to sing.   And, man alive, were his songs moving.  I don't know if it was because it was the first time I heard them, or if it was because he was sitting about 6 feet in front of me, but his songs had a punch!  I was fighting back the tears.  Of course, they were all about Gloucester men lost at sea, not a happy subject by any means.   Jon Campbell was next, another east coaster, followed by Gordon Bok, also from the east coast.  A few others pipped in, too.  Like Mary Garvey, an amazing  songwriter, a true natural with a great voice, too. They were all great.

Saturday's performance went much smoother for me.  I was way less nervous since I'd had a few open mic's under my belt and an impromptu story hour on stage that afternoon.  Plus, I was at the super cool Voodoo Room, a small, intimate joint. I read a few poems, the one I posted last night and another one called "The Halibut Diaries".  Again, the vid should be up soon.

I think though that Sunday was my favorite.  It was open mic at the Event Center and it was just fun!  Great music, everyone was on stage together, everyone was relaxed, mostly because we were all spent from the weekend.  But, all in all, it was an amazing time.  Not only because it was basically my first time on stage but because of all the collective talent.  There were many great poems and songs, to be posted soon.  But, I think for me the thing that made it most special was the camaraderie, the sense of community.  Being with so many like minded folk, fishermen, and on top of that, fishermen who write and sing, well, it was like coming home!

The Voodoo Room

Cowboy N Moe Bowstern

Pat Dixon & Jon Campbell

Tune in over the weekend and hopefully my technical staff will have the videos ready to go!

Catch ya on the flip side


Patrick Dixon said...

Jen, it was great to meet you at FP, and you sum it up well! Looking forward to having you there as a regular! I always feel the same way about it. If there's a downside, it's that the weekend goes by way too fast!

Jen Pickett said...

Thanks Pat! It was great meeting you, too. I'm already counting down the days until next year's FPG! In the mean time, there is always Cordova's In 'Em Fisher Folks Fest in May. Maybe I'll see you there!