Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sunday Concert: Truthful Lies

Kathryn Windham
(Photo from NSF site)

Bil Lepp likes to brag about his lying. The boy has made off with the top prize for lying in multiple storytelling contests. I can aver that his lies are admirable whoppers.

Bill Harley nearly flushed himself in fourth grade and earned a trip to the office on the very last day of school.

Rev. Robert Jones has made an old sermon illustration into a ballad. You remember the preacher in the flood who turned down three rescue attempts while "trusting in the Lord".

Donald Davis does the quintessential Donald Davis impression. His stories are nearly perfect. I love them despite the fact that his delivery style is relentlessly presentational.

Barbara McBride-Smith had us rolling on the pavement under the bigtop as she gave the exquisite details of how properly to prepare for a mammogram.

John McCutheon with his guitar, banjo, autuharp, and hammered dulcimer, and songs and stories - talking and singing of his friends, Pete Seeger, Mike Seger, Mary Travers and his new wife Carmen Deedy - kept us laughing and weeping and singing till past midnight.

But the queen is 91-year-old Kathryn Windham. No artifice here. From the heart and absolutely true on any level that matters. You know Aunt Bette, and her Daddy, and her Sister, and her stingy uncle by the time she's through. And you know and love the teller and her molten words.

Sheila and I will leave the hotel again in five minutes for the final performance of the day. It is hard to choose. Maybe we'll listen to the "Williams Tell" -- that's Willy Claflin, Bil Lepp, and Bill Harley, together in the "Library Tent".

If you ever get the chance to visit the National Storytelling Festival take it. The first full weekend in October, 37 years running. Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Here's one story song we heard at the Midnight Caberet last night.

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