Red Lodge was a beautiful sight. I pulled onto the main drag with no sense of direction as to where I was headed. A kind woman directed me to Lions Park. There, under the gazebo, guitar in tow, stood four singer songwriters; two very green, two very seasoned. I listened to what they had to say and was moved by their heart felt ballads for lost loved ones.
Down the road at the Pollard was another round of talent, this time in the count of three; neither green nor seasoned but solid with every minute. This set was a lot more light hearted, fun and free. I laughed as I sat on the corner stool at the wet bar in the back.
Next, the all girl writers boasting their talents at the diner I was to collect energy and the start of a buzz. Crowded to capacity I didn't get to hear much but what I did I loved.
After dinner, the air felt cool as rain promised just a few kisses. I was glad I brought my rain jacket to evade what was to be the only small pour of the evening. Sippa IPA flowed freely as friends & acquaintances, all song lovers, gathered to hear. Nashville songwriters lined the stage, each perched perfectly to surprise me with their talent I may have never known was theirs. The words flowed and I knew most, if not all of them. The songs I heard on XM radio growing up, on family trips or just around the house; these were straight from the people who wrote them. "Bring on the Rain," by Helen Darling and, "I Can Love You Better Than That," by Kostas Lazarides were just two of many that stood out; these were just a couple I had memorized by heart. The evening progressed song after song, recognition after recognition and where it was due. Red Lodge, Montana had some magic in it's mountainous air that evening, even more than the usual.
The tires were flat once the concert had finished but hitching a ride was easy. Everyone was family now. A short jaunt led to a hole in the wall, a true dive called Snow Creek Saloon where local talents and the true connoisseurs came out of the crowds. A long list boasted names of Montana & Wyoming songwriters along with behind the scenes talents that had aided in putting on the festivities. That, and the newer songwriters that had started out my day. The night faded into music, the crowd spun around me like the surroundings of a carousel, although I never spun too fast.
Twelve hours had commenced since I first opened my ears to the stories that would be shared throughout the day. I went to bed overflowing with inspiration and a new perspective that I will cherish for all my endeavors.
This was the final day of the Red Lodge Songwriters Fest and I was glad I got to be a part of it.
'Till next time,