Monday, June 19, 2017

It is now mid-June, actually it is the day after father's day and we are just about 6 weeks away from Soulfest. For those who are not familiar with the event, Soulfest is a music festival that occurs every August in Gilford, New Hampshire at the Gunstock Mountain Resort. This year marks the festival's 25th anniversary and many artists who I totally enjoy will be performing there. Now Soulfest is a Christian festival and a great deal of the artists participating are of the type that the usual church goer would hear on such radio outlets as the K-Love system. Personally I have absolutely no interest in seeing those groups. I'm just not interested in what is commonly called praise and worship music, on the other hand though there is a fair amount of solo and band artists that really get my creative juices flowing. Let me give you a quick rundown of who it is that I am driving 6 hours to see. Honestly these are people that over the years I have come to regard as friends and colleagues and I truly respect the art that they are creating. Folks such as Courtney Reid, Rachel Taylor, Jim Trick, Dan Russell, Michael Pritzl of The Violet Burning & Jars Of Clay. Then there is Derri Daugherty & Steve Hindalong of The Choir, add to that Big Kettle Drum, Christopher Williams and P.W. Gopal, I'm sure that I have missed some but I don't have a full list in front of me right now. Besides the music the festival features a variety of speakers on a multitude of topics and then there is the scenery which is nothing short of breathtaking. One of the stages is called the Mountain Top Stage and is is just that. The stage is the front porch of the ski patrol shack, it is accessible by a 20 minute ski lift ride or an hour hike and serves as the festival's acoustic stage. For me the best stage is called the Mercy Street Stage, it is inside the ski chalet and is just a great room to hear excellent music. I had the privilege of acting as MC at this stage for a number of years. There are camping facilities available but at my age I tend to prefer a nice cool hotel room with a television at the end of the day to wind down with. This year the festival runs from August 3rd through the 5th with a special kickoff gig on August 2nd featuring Rachel Taylor, Dan Russell, The Violet Burning & Jars Of Clay. The web site for the event is The web site gives a full rundown on who is playing when and on what stage. It also provides links to the individual artist and speakers web sites as well as recommendations at to where to stay.

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