Old Songs Festival – Altamont, NY

What can we say about this festival?  We love it here.  The audience is always great and they were especially hearty this year because it rained every 10 minutes or so.  We three Worms convened in Kingston and crossed the border into America.  We had to do some paperwork in the US Customs office and shared a waiting room with The Tragically Hip – the other pride of Kingston.  They were too star-struck to talk to us.  Yep, pretty sure that was it.

We got to our hotel to chill for a while before heading out to the festival site.  Trevor tried plugging something in to his wall and flames came shooting out of the socket.  Bring on the comedy.  We made our trek to the festival and said hello to some people we recognized from their folk singer trading cards – a tremendously unpopular business we tried in the 90s.

We were last up on Friday night for the mainstage and it rained quite a bit.  The crowd stuck around though and they were awesome.  A great feature of this festival is the sign language interpreter on the side of the stage.  Jake is awesome and he’s been doing it for a long time now.  We were able to stump him with the Gaelic Song in our first Old Songs visit many years ago.  We decided this year that the sign for Charlie Sheen is to make circles with your index finger around your ear.  It’s catching on.  It was a very fun set and then it was back to the hotel to plug more stuff in.

Saturday and Sunday saw us at various stages doing various things.  At festivals, we get a chance to be in workshops which are smaller stage shows with a bunch of other acts based on one theme.  We often get put into comedy songs for some reason.  We did one such workshop and then the rest of our four side stage events were just us.  We don’t play well with others apparently!  And it was a no repeat weekend so we ended up singing a lot of our songs.  Chris did a fun show for kids with his Small Potatoes stuff and we closed our part of the festival with an informal little concert that mostly consisted of a Q and A.  It was fun.  We did a couple of songs but we mostly just chatted with the audience.  Good times.

We had been looking forward to returning to Old Songs for quite a while and we were so happy that it was just as great as always.  Many thanks to the Spence family for bringing us in and to the great audience and to the Canadian Customs officer who knew who we were when we came back across the border on Sunday night.  At least he wasn’t shy about it, like The Hip.

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