Well I actually didn’t attend the Peach Festival, but I was very interested in the attendance since I think if Northeast Pennsylvania proves it can sustain such a thing they might come back year after year. My friend Alec went all three days. He is not a fan of Zac Brown (but I am) but took Zac’s pic form e anyway. Also he got to meet everyone and saw all their set lists.
He said Robert Randolph was the best of the entire weekend, BUT Sunday was also the most sparsely attended. WTF people? It’s ROBERT RANDOLPH and the FAMILY BAND for Gods sake! Alec also said that Tedeschi Trucks saved Saturday.
And he is pretty blasé when it comes to Warren Haynes, who played with practically every band there.
The one thing he was really sorry he missed was, when Zac Brown was on one stage, the Joan-Osborne band Trigger Happy, was playing on the other stage. I actually opened for Joan Osborne back in the 90’s when she was touring behind the “Relish” album, at the North Star Bar in Philly. Also got mugged the same night (not by Joan Osborne…in fact the kid can’t have been more than 9 or 10).
Then there’s the Philadelphia Folk Festival (known as “Fest”). It's usually either a mud fest or dust fest, this year was definitely MUD.
These aren’t my pictures either, I didn’t take too many, probably a reaction to the 80’s and 90’s when I would come back with 15 rolls of film. I was only there Saturday & Sunday, so I missed Mary Chapin Carpenter, and the Red Clay Ramblers, since I left after the Mississippi blues workshop.
Little Feat was AWESOME.
John Hiatt was pretty damn good too, even did a new song for us. I really like when they do that.
Steve Earle, maybe it was the sun in my eyes, I just wasn’t bowled over. And HE’s the main reason I went.
And Lucinda Williams, well, I’ve heard too many stories about her and the kind of person she is to really be able to like her on stage. But she did do “Changed the Locks” which is one of my all time favorite songs.
This is a picture by my dear friend Vince Salandra, whom I’ve known since my second Fest in 1986. He’s an awesome photographer and pretty hot for an Italian guy, to boot!
My LAST PSA for the NPOs of Northeastern Pennsylvania was one I had been wanted to do from jump. Marley’s Mission grew out of a horrible event into a wonderful organization that helps children who are the victims of abuse, using what they call “equine therapy,” meaning they use the cues and actions of horses to help the children break down barriers (check out www.marleysmission.com). It’s amazing and when I was there they actually led me through a mock-session that was deeply affecting. I never felt one way or the other about horses, I mean, I knew they could hurt if they stepped on you, and we used to live next to horses I would occasionally feed corn stalks to, but otherwise, I could take ‘em or leave ‘em. Well, turns out horses are among the most empathetic creatures on God’s earth, and it’s uncanny how they pick up on the emotions of the kids, their parents, any ol’ body.
I felt like I couldn’t really get the feel of the place without actually seeing the horses interact with kids, but of course I couldn’t do that – even if they were willing, their parents wouldn’t be, and the whole nature of therapy prevents it anyhow. That’s why they walked me through a pseudo-session. I filmed the environs, the outdoor pasture, the indoor ring with the toys, the Equine Therapist (she was awesome) and the two horses. They’re so placid and peaceful. I also wanted to get the founder/director, April Loposky, who had been so eloquent at the Take Back the Night Rally, to say a few words. Plus she looks great on video.
This time I had actually brought a tripod, so back in the edit suite there was plenty to choose from. As I said previously I really like to see something moving when I shoot video, which is why I had the Equine Therapist entering the ring at the beginning. Of course the ponies chose that moment to become statues, but I reminded myself, it’s only 30 seconds. I took a lot of the pictures off the website, including the one at the end that makes me cry every time, the horse nuzzling the little girl. They really are empathetic. I particularly love the scene where I had set the camera in the corner of the indoor ring on the tripod, and one of the horses comes up and sticks his big nose right into the lens. Makes me laugh every time, although I was worried it might look a little scary.
Back in April the Women’s Resource Center located in Scranton sponsored their annual “Take Back the Night” march through downtown Scranton. Creates a safe space for survivors of sexual assault, and is held on college campuses all over the country. I was working on a documentary for my Video Production class so I filmed almost all of it. We started out at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, marched down to the University of Scranton, where several hundred students joined us, then proceeded to Courthouse Square, all the while shouting “Scranton, unite! Take back the night!””
When everyone arrived at the square, a bunch of extremely attractive and talented kids sang a song about something, then the speeches began (as night fell). Lucky for me this was a public place so I didn’t have to get anyone to sign those pesky permission forms.
Patrick O’Malley, one of the Lackawanna County commissioners, spoke about his own sister who was a victim of domestic violence and subsequently lost her life. It was quite powerful. Anna Faramelli of the Women's Resource Center encouraged people to speak out against violence, and urged us to take a stand against any statements, music and movies that glorify it. We heard from April Loposky, who is the founder and director of another nonprofit called Marley’s Mission, which got its start when her 5-year-old-daughter was assaulted in her own bedroom by a stranger. You could have heard a pin drop. I guess she’s told the story so many times she doesn’t get emotional anymore, but geez, the rest of us did.
The documentary was part of a class project and as a result not much of the video I shot made it into the actual finished product. But, not wanting Marywood University’s equipment (and my woman-hours) to go to waste, I had the brilliant idea to edit it down and present it to the Womens Resource Center as a sort of thank-you for letting me film the whole thing. They wanted three minutes; I gave ‘em six. And yes, it’s months later, but it only took me a few hours to edit.