The Brown Brothers brass sprung open the checkbook to send this intrepid reporter on a road trip into the mountains of northwest Massachusetts, to see a music and arts festival, and to scour the landscape for local foodstuffs.
2 days in, and I can gladly report that the experience has been a fantastic one. The fresh air has been invigorating – the people convivial, and the sights and sounds sensational.
I find that when we leave our comforts and routine that we find inspiration.
Wilco, the Jeff Tweedy led outfit from Chicago, IL is the force behind the Solid Sound Festival, 3 days of music and art spread across the majestic glory of one of our great cultural institutions – MASS MoCA.
The band curates the festival with love and intelligence – a few highlights for me: The Mike Watt Trio – I caught the last 20 or so minutes of their set – joined by Wilco’s powerhouse guitarist Nels Cline – hypnotic, powerful and groovy. This is Southern California goodness at its goodest.
And the Prince, Bonnie Prince Billy – playing a lovely set – a sextet dripping in gentleness – part acoustic, part plugged-in, all beauty. The BPB team handed out lyric sheets for their set – and encouraged the crowd to singalong with them – a plea to celebrate the togetherness of the moment.
But creativity – my takeaway from this event was creativity – the ability to let your mind go and to follow your muse, heck to find your muse. To move out of our workaday existences and to stretch ourselves. Why? because that feels good – and it grows us – in more ways than we can imagine.
I hope that this essay has inspired ya – or at the least didn’t sicken y’all. I will be back in the saddle today for the last day of the festival, and look forward to reporting back here soon.
Keep those cards and letters coming people – your words mean everything to me.
– Blotto West, somewhere in the mountains, late May 2022