10 observations about the National Folk Festival

  1. Watching the talented Neil Adam patiently and enthusiastically teach DADGAD guitar tuning.
  2. Witnessing Sydney group Wheelers and Dealers overcome some frustrating sound problems to get the Folk Alliance Concert off to a rousing start.
  3. Seeing the Hairy Fairy (the Merry Muse’s Bill Arnett) make a little girl’s day by shaking her hand and sharing some words of wisdom.
  4. Hearing the patter of rain on the Budawang roof after Andy Copeman of the Western Australian Miles To Go Band finished performing his song Send Her Down Hughie.
  5. Hearing Gibb Todd sing the late Alex Campbell’s anti-war song I’ve Been On The Road So Long, which still resounded with relevance despite having been written some sixty years ago.
  6. Appreciating the enthusiasm and vitality of Mike Jackson as he shared stories from his musical journey and played all sorts of amazing instruments.
  7. Listening to the words and music of Jeanette Wormald as she shared her love of the Mallee, in her delightful and enlightening presentation Horizons and Heartlands.
  8. Travelling in song with the four Pigram Brothers as their Saltwater music filled the cavernous Budawang.
  9. Sighting a lone statue of a khaki-clad Australian Prime Minister, before the Festival had got underway, next to an Amnesty sign that read: Use your freedom – Defend human rights.
  10. Observing lead guitarist James Nash of The Waybacks methodically set up all his guitar amplification paraphernalia and then begin to play with extraordinary speed, grace and precision.