Mountain Fair really marks a season shift in Carbondale. This year, summer was late in coming to the table, and the weeks since the Fair have been full, warm, and active! For LET THEM ROAR, late summer began with Compassion Fest. What a wonderful concept to unite around for films, workshops and one of our special “I See My Light” shows. Our presentation came on the heels of talks given by talented and motivated Roaring Fork Valley residents and students; people who believe that we are the change we seek and are brave enough to live it. We felt right at home with so many people inspired by a desire for the betterment of life for all. We debuted a program that included a project spearheaded by Rosa Sabido called “Sanctuary Stories”: a series of short films that combine photographs with the voices of each of the women telling parts of their complex and human stories.
Immediately after Compassion Fest, some of us piled into our awesome band van for Song School (located at the most magical Planet Bluegrass in Lyons) where we immersed ourselves in the creation and delivery of songs. Song School is amazing. We can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who likes the idea of deep personal exploration with the guidance of true masters on the banks of the St. Vrain River. The unanimously consented highlight was the opportunity to meet, sing with and learn from the one and only Ysaye Barnwell formerly of Sweet Honey in the Rock. She taught us about tradition and finding our authentic way through it, and we had at least three opportunities to sing with her as an entire student body. That’s a choir 300 strong! Another special experience was a late night song circle called together by our friend Wyatt Espalin with a sing along focus. Listening is wonderful, but participation takes it all to the next level! We made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and felt a bit of the buzz of what we are becoming reflected in the faces and words of some of our heros.
The weekend after Song School was Lyons Folks Fest, and long time friend and mentor Rebecca Folsom invited us to join her in a beautiful set on The Wildflower Stage. That Saturday was off the charts as we also went to a rally protesting concentration camps on the border and family separation organized by Ingrid Latorre in Boulder in the morning, and an event for Jeanette Vizguerra in Denver that evening. It’s such a pleasure to get to meet the communities supporting each of these women and feel the feedback loop of inspiration.
Photos: Top: Mateo brings his magic to Rebeccah Folsom. Middle and Bottom photo credit Jonathan DeCamps: One of the other bands rocks Jeanette’s Denver event Sophia and Olivia lead a song at the March for Ingrid in Boulder
Photos: Nolan Bunck . Night, Day, and a windblown LTR onstage at the KBUT Kampout
At the end of August, we hit the road again for the KBUT Kampout and Creede Headwaters Festival. Gunnison was heading into Autumn, for sure, and Olivia woke on Saturday morning with a coat of frost on her sleeping bag. Our midday set was punctuated by the strong winds of changing seasons. A special memory is watching from the stage as that same sleeping bag came tumbling across the parking lot, a quarter mile from camp! The KBUT hosts were the best of everything and we are so delighted to have fans and community in The Gunnison Valley.
The road to Creede was new for all of us! Getting to drive around this state, finding new roads, and retracing favorite ones is something we all love. We were surprised and amazed by Spring Creek Falls where we learned about Black Swifts and were so delighted to get to play “Let Not the River Divide Us” from the headwaters of the Rio Grande. Some concern was shared that our message might not land well in a more conservative area, but we resolved to share from our hearts and the show was a huge success! A cloud of ravens erupted and passed over during “I’ll Fly Away” and tears were openly shed. Lots of lovely people came to visit us at our merch table after the show and a lot of hugs were exchanged. We were so warmly cared for and would recommend the Snowshoe Lodge, a rumored favorite of John Wayne’s. We’ll return at the first opportunity.
On the first of this month, we had an opportunity to play for the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist congregation. We shared an abbreviated version of our “I See My Light” multimedia show and raised more than $2000.00! Our Library Series was also a big success all summer and we realized that we belong in the places where people go to learn and to deeply connect with their values and inspiration. If you know of a place like that where you think we should play, we would love to hear about it!
Stay tuned for journals like this one, videos, personal perspectives from each of us and more, every month.