Saturday morning, hard clear blue skies, we do indeed rise at 7:30 a.m., load up, are treated to a hearty eggs and espresso based breakfast at Evangeline’s, more thanks upon thanks. The Yukon powers over hills and county lines to Nevada City, a picture postcard Gold Rush town gracefully tucked into wooded ridges, rows of beautifully preserved 19th century buildings. We pull off a pretty solid ungodly hour live show in the radio KVMR studio, with erudite host Larry. KVMR has played us generously since our first CD and are a big part of our Sacto adjacent family. Long may they enlighten the airwaves.
We power north on the 99 through Functional Country, earthen dams, water pumps, giant power line, dry olive orchards with metal square barns. This passes, and we find gentle rurality, sight Shasta towering white through haze in the distance. We are in the Land Of Interesting Topography, lava based. Is Shasta volcanic?
Yes it is. According to Wikimassbrain.com, it’s actually four separate volcanos merged together. We exit the 5 amidst tall trees and mountain ridges. We’re playing a wedding. About once a year we play a wedding if, and only if, the bride and groom and their families pass our stringent screening exam. The Shasterians excelled with honor and distinction. Not surprisingly, the groom is a geologist (another fated Hawks geology encounter). We like rocks, and rock gardens.
All signs point to a memorable evening. The wedding tables and home made huppa are bathed in the beautiful light of a meadow surrounded by tall trees, with Mt. Shasta’s snow packed whiteness beaming down in the near background. Tables are named after rock classifications and we’re seated at the igneous table. The centerpiece? You guessed it: rocks. The soundman is a mellow young dude mit ponytail in three piece flannel suit, the stage was built by the groom, kegs of beer and roasted carrots are waiting. Sound check, long restful hang in the meadow, and the coolest wedding party in our memory filters in. Cool as in mellow, unpretentious, totally relaxed, dare we say very very happy? The groom’s dad is a classic Louisiana man from deep in Cajun country, the bride Michelle’s family has lived a half mile from the meadow her entire life. This is a zone sheltered from the uprooted angst of our Too Young Republic. We eat, we play music, we mingle with the families as the bride and groom take the stage for their own family and friends bluegrass band, damn, they’re pretty good. We do a few more songs, depart into the night, partied out. Was that work?
I was sorry to miss you at Evangeline’s (but not sorry to enjoy Crooked Still in the Fike’s yard!). Tuned into Larry’s show two tunes before he put on a Hawk’s cut and what a cool surprise as he faded you in, live in the studio. Nice touch. And nice sound, especially give the hour of the day. Encouraging to see that geologists can find brides. I’m off to watch material harden.
Wedding sounded great, but I would have predicted that the Hawks would be seated at the metaphoric or even sedentary table, rather than the ingenious one.