Sometimes, you have to leave home with a hunger to grow and develop. And then you return home, and blow everyone away.
Welcome home, Brian Wolff. Hungry to grow as a musician, you moved from Binghamton to Austin. Austin, Texas, has a thriving music scene and Brian has grown in a way he never could have if he had remained in Binghamton, New York.
Yesterday was Blues on the Bridge (coincidentally, on the second anniversary of our flooding from Tropical Storm Lee).
Blues on the Bridge is Binghamton's annual outdoor music party. There is no admission, but we (and many others) support the festival through buying T-Shirts or raffle tickets. It is a true community effort. There are usually around 13 bands, mostly local, and all high quality. There are two stages so there isn't much wait time between bands.
Although beer is sold, the atmosphere is definitely family friendly and music lyrics are kept "PG". The vibe is mellow (like we used to say back in the 60's) and there is a low key police presence - just enough to keep things - well, mellow.
Unlike September 8, 2011 when we were in the midst of torrential rains from Tropical Storm Lee, we enjoyed weather in the high 60's yesterday. By the time the music stopped (at 10pm due to a city noise curfew) it was getting pretty chilly.
We were welcomed by the Blues Brothers - sort of. (Looks like they were too busy singing.)
Crowds enjoyed the sunny weather. (The stage is down by the traffic light and a bit hard to see). There is a bridge, not visible in the photo, but the festival has grown so much it is no longer safe to actually set up on the Washington Street bridge.
Binghamton Mayor Ryan performed at Blues one last time (2nd from left) with the headline group Rooster and the Roadhouse Horns. He isn't running again, so I wonder if our new mayor will have any musical talent.
At one point, the organizer of the concert yelled out at the crowd "they say that Binghamton is one of the most depressed cities in our country. Look around you! Does anyone seem depressed?"
I wish it was as simple as that. But it isn't. Still, we have one heck of a music party every September, and it makes me happy to live in this area. (Check back in February, though, to see how I feel then.)
Does your area have a popular music festival?