Living in a tourist area, many towns have free concerts once a week. Last night was the kick off of the "Music by the River" series in the town of Tomahawk. I had mentioned it to my husband days ago, he didn't seem all that interested. He would much rather spend the evening gathering firewood, than driving to go listen to music. Especially since it was going to be a rain free evening. On Tuesday night, we had a discussion that went something like:
Me- Are we going to go?
DH-Not sure, how are you going to feel?
Me-I would like to go, but you know how I change my mind. Depends on how my work day goes.
Both- Lets wait tip tomorrow to make our decision. We'll need to see how our day goes.
The band that was playing was Warren Nelson and his Outfits. Warren Nelson is a great songwriter and the power behind the beginnings of Big Top Chautauqua up in Bayfield, WI. He got himself in some big legal trouble, and has been out of commission for awhile. He's got a new band, and back in business. We have seen the Big Top Chautauqua orchestra quite a few times, and really enjoy the music. Warren has a way of putting history to music, and getting all those words in while he sings. He is also a phenomenal guitar player. So, we had this discussion knowing the music would be great.
After work, I really did not feel like going anywhere, so I took my time getting home. It was also a very pleasant day weather wise, I figured DH would rather be in the woods. I pulled up in front of the house, and DH came running out the front door.
DH-Are you ready?
Me-Are we going?
DH-Yea, free food
Me-Not sure I want to go, I'm pretty tired
DH-Thought you wanted to go-free food. WJJQ has their listener appreciation night!
One thing about my husband-if there is free food-he is willing to go just about anywhere! So, I told him he need to get the chairs, and he as going to be driving. While I went in to change and get ready to go, he was already in the van.
We arrived in Tomahawk about 25 minutes later. One thing about giving out food- lots of people show up. Not surprisingly, there was a nice crowd by the time we arrived. We had to park a few blocks away, since we arrived so late, there were very short lines for the food.
I have to say, I was quite impressed with our free dinner. Brats, chips and pop, Standard picnic food up here, done very well. Growing up in Chicago, I have not been a big fan of Brats, they are growing on me. Last night, there were some that had sauerkraut with them, Have to say they were very yummy!
At 6pm, the band started. The hiatus of Warren Nelson, has not hurt him a bit, he may have even improved. Unlike some bands, where you just go to listen to music, Warren knows how to blend the jokes, music and stories to make a SHOW. Not everyone can do that. The first half he did a lot of his newer stuff, toward the end of the first half, I found myself so RELAXED I started to dose off.
The second half, he did more of the older stuff he wrote and did with Big Top. I had moved over to a picnic table (my brother in law had joined us, we only brought two chairs) and was working on my doodling (I am taking an online course in doodling and lettering).
The band was doing a song from the "Riders in the Wind" show up at Big Top. Here I am sitting at the picnic table, doodling away, and all of a sudden, felt like I was in Heaven! The sun was setting over the river, the temperature was in the low 70"s, very few mosquitos or insects were out, and here I was out on this beautiful summer evening, listening to some of the BEST music I have ever heard! You can tell the band was in the zone-one of those magic moments when you know it is not just playing an instrument, rather the music has become part of the soul. At that point, all of life's trials and tribulations-all the problems of the day-had all dissolved into this one magic part of time.
The music continued for about 30 minuted over time. A large number of us stayed. The night showed us that Warren Nelson is back, despite all his troubles, as well or better than I had remembered. The addition of his son playing banjo and Otis from Otis and the Alligators on harmonica, round out this awesome group. I would definitely travel to see them again!http://www.warrennelson.com
If ever in Tomahawk, WI on a Wednesday night during the summer, take the time to go to the Music on the River series. There are different groups every week, if this is the caliber of music we will here, it is well worth making Tomahawk your destination spot.