Sun - Aug 28, 2005 : 08:29 pm
LDS Fest 2005 - Simply Sublime
People connect on different levels in this life, and I just had an
experience of supreme connection on the musical level. I felt like I
was experiencing something somewhat supreme... But I'll talk about that
Yesterday was the LDS Music Fest 2005, and EnZign was lucky enough to
be part of it again. It was such a sweet experience. We heard many
different artists, and many different types of music. Some of the
highlights for me were the following: (In no particular order)
Tom (don't remember last name) the incredi-bassist
Sam Payne scatting to Border Crossing
Jason Black and his absolutely amazing piano-flex-playing
Where to begin is a fruitless thought, so I'll just type.
Last year, the afternoon session was okay. There were highlights, but
the real musicians got to play in the evening session... (yes, I was
delusional, but that's what I thought). I thought the same was going to
be this year.... Oooooh was I wrong.
Some of the best musicians played in the afternoon show. Jason Black
played some of his original songs, and they were *very* well executed,
however - the real apex for Jason was when he played The Entertainer
while he was backwards, upside-down, inside-out, on his head, and I
wouldn't be surprised if he would have started playing it with his
eyeballs. Simply amazing.
Then there was Matt Whitney and his song "He Left". Despite the
controversy, can I say - what a simply beautiful, beautiful illustration
about one of almost all of our shortcomes. Few are they who can go
throughout this life without judging amiss intentionally or
unintentionally. Thank you, Matt. All of your songs touch in places
that usually need it, but rarely are.
Then there was Tom the amazi-bassist. This man makes bass-playing
something related to angels singing. I was absolutely amazed at the
level of musicianship of this man. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Dorshan (not to be confused with Dorshan Millhouse) was also a
highlight of the afternoon session that was every bit as good as the
best shows of the evening showcase. She had a wonderful voice, and sang
beautiful songs. Thank you for coming hundreds of miles to share your
talent with us, Dorshan.
I know I'm forgetting quite a few people, but those are the ones that
stood out of the afternoon showcase.
The evening showcase was a flurry of "Gosh I hope this works" and "Man,
I hope my body doesn't break" type moments at the beginning. You see, I
was the recording engineer for the evening show, and I finally got
things working during Eric Herman's show... And what a show it was.
If I ever can afford to have him come to a party of one of my children,
I will not hesitate an instant. He is wonderful. He had probably 20
children dancing, and having an absolute ball in the audience. My
personal favorite was "Elephants" with all the children in the audience
correcting him at every turn. What a musical magician.
Crinna Hill was twice the band I've ever heard them be tonight. Austin
was three times the drummer. He was t-i-g-h-t. Great vocals, great
songs (some of them, I hadn't heard before). It was a great show.
Border Crossing was simply perfect, as usual. The sound of their two
guitars filled as if there was an orchestra behind them. Perfect
harmonies, fun songs, serious songs, seemingly perfect comradary between
the two of them came through true and clear. Then Sam Payne entered the
picture and started scatting to the tune. Man, what a treat. What a
EnZign..... Let the truth be told, we've had problems with this fest
both years we've played. Beneath a chuckle, I will tell you that last
year's power outage at the beginning of our new song didn't hold a
candle against this years problems. First, two songs into the set Cory
breaks a rather important string and can't do anything about it because
his guitar is tuned uniquely, so he can't borrow anyone else's. The
lighting was so dark, that Scott couldn't read his music and according
to him (although I'm not sure I believe it) he was messing up pretty
much every song. Other than that, we played perfectly. Bruce was dead
on, and I have to say I played surprisingly well last night, too. Oh, I
almost missed the fact that I thought I was recording our show in its
entirety, but upon completion, and assuming my post at the sound desk, I
realized I had forgotten a rather important step in the recording
process, and ended up not recording a single note of EnZign. As I shake
my head I just have to laugh. Although cursed we seem to be at the Fest,
I'd play there till my dying day if given the opportunity.
Then...... wow... The Sam Payne Project fires up, and I'm just thrilled
to be alive. I make sure I'm recording them as good as possible as I'm
wowed over and over again.
The percussionist was beyond anything I've seen. He played a set he
built that resembled a "cocktail set" and he played like was making a
million bucks doing it (and he probably does). They played for just
over an hour and a half, and it's just remarkable. I have the whole
thing recorded, and am anxious to get working on mixing / editing it.
Oh yeah.. The highlight of my night was when Sam Payne starts talking,
in the middle of his show, about how he met me two years earlier when I
arrived at the show with my mohawk. What an entertainer. What an
And then it ended? Oooooh no. Not by many, many, many miles.
Previous years, I've gone home at this point, and now regret it sorely.
I simply can't believe I thought the fests ended at this point.
With my wife's blessing, I proceeded with Scott and Bruce to spend the
next 5 hours at Dave Edward's beautiful home with some of the most
beautiful people I've ever met.
I arrived and was the 2nd person to do so. Tom the wonder-bassist and
his lovely wife were there along with Dave. We talked a little about
EnZign and laughed at the fact that I was on an energy-drink high. That
was really cool, but the real party started when others started showing
Within about 30 minutes, the whole living room was full of some of the
best musicians and best people I've ever met. We proceeded to let some
of them play and the rest of us just basked in the glory of music.
I know I'll leave out at least half of the night, but in general, the
night was passed listening to amazing music, amazing voices, amazing
guitars, laughing at quick-witted jokes, talking about musical
experiences, and making friends with people who I would have otherwise
only known as "people who performed at the fest".
Jennifer Handy sang as I'm sure angels do in heaven. She sang with a
passion that could be seen by a blind man and felt by the devil himself.
Simply and truly beyond words what this lady did. She sang twice, and
at the end of both songs, I was in tears. Thank you, Jennifer for
sharing such beauty with me.
Dorshan sang "Nebraska" and hit the same chords. Her voice and guitar
are sure to touch many hearts. What a cool girl, too. She made us
laugh, and allowed us to get close as friends, and musicians. Wonderful
Eric Herman sang a tune that had us all rolling. It was about monsters
in a room... Oh... There's no point in trying to explain it. Those who
were there know what I'm talking about. Man.. What hilariousness.
Later on, Eric sang a song written by Steve of Border Crossing which
brought streams of tears to my eyes. It was about "Coming Home", and is
amazing. What made it more amazing was looking at Steve while Eric
performed his song. Yeah... That's what it's all about. Wow...
Another thing that simply amazed me was Pat Arp's ability to "noodle"
(not to be confused with Cat Fish Noodling) with his guitar. When the
morning was young and the after-show party was just gearing up, Matt
leaned over and told me that I was in for a treat by Pat's ability to
follow any song with his guitar. He would play along with almost every
song with overtones and harmonies of his own ON THE FLY. It was
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. When I couldn't stand it any more, I practically
screamed "Are you guys witnessing this? Is this man not amazing you
all!?" Yes.... I was a little too shrill about it, but I couldn't
believe what I was seeing, and had to acknowledge that I wasn't crazy
and hallucinating the whole thing. Turns out... I wasn't. Pat Arp is
Then, to end the night.... Oh wait.. Before I begin that, I gotta get
me some bongos. About half-way through the evening, Matt went over to
Morey and grabbed his bongos - probably because he saw me pounding on my
legs until they almost bled. That was a cool experience... Playing
bongos to some of the songs others were playing.... Now... Back to the
To end the night, Pat Arp and Sam Payne started improvising the blues...
with guitar, vocals and harmonica. I started in on Dorshan's guitar box
and a nearby chair (the bongos had since left with their owner) and
midst almost every musician there adding what they could to the mix, we
sang the blues for about 15 minutes straight. Sam scatted, Dorshan was
singing right along.... and I - was in heaven. Midst friends, gods,
masters of manipulating the Spirit of God through music....
I was in heaven. Thanks to everyone who made my life a brighter place
through their friendship and music.
This is a day / night / morning I'll never forget.