DH is president of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society. We have a convention once a year. This past week was our 28th annual convention! It's so much more than the music. It's hard to explain. We had 1400 people there from around the world. There are a handful of us that have been to every one of them but we've also had so many people that come when they can, some every few years, some back after 10 years being unable to attend. I was told that if there was no music we'd have a ton of people anyway, but that's not true. The real draw is the fingerstyle guitar. We have 4 days of nonstop music, 3 stages, 2 workshop rooms, 3 vendor areas plus people playing guitars everywhere in the hotel. There are at least 70 performers that teach classes and play their own music.
Because DH is organizing it, he can have his own set! This was his Mark Pritcher and Friends set on Friday morning. It's actually the only set I watched during the whole show.
I couldn't do the registration without my gang of helpers!! They come from as far as Texas, Georgia, Florida and Ontario! They've helped us for many years and can do the job there as well as I can! I am in total debt to these friends!!
I don't get to listen to the music during the week but I get front row seating Saturday evening and I take my camera to try to get a flavor of the week as the performers come and go onstage.
Last year they presented us with Scotty Moore's guitar. The one he played on around the world. It got lost inbetween but then found and has alot of miles on it. The other claim to fame about the guitar is that he used it when he played with Elvis.
The condition that we got when DH was presented with the guitar was that it be used. So, during the week a couple of the guys go around and listen to the young players, looking for the one that is good enough to play the guitar Saturday evening. I was there when he told Josh Needs that it was his time. Of course, he didn't have a clue what this was about til we explained it. Josh only found out about us about 6 months ago, from youtube!! He investigated us and they contacted us and we told them if they came we'd put them up at the hotel. He and his parents flew over from Australia! He's 15 and is at the beginning of a career doing what he loves. He played a song he composed. It truly was a huge honor for him. His parents say they will have an article in the paper about it when they get home!
He found out he was going to play that evening and had his wife drive up from Alabama with his favorite guitar because he was excited about playing and felt that he needed this guitar for it!
The highlight group this time consisted of Meagan Taylor, center, who is Chet's great niece. She picked up the guitar after he stopped and wishes she had asked him some music questions. He was always just Uncle Chester to her. Now she plays like him. On the right is Jason Coleman whose grandfather was Floyd Cramer. They did some music from back then, don't remember titles, but it was like hearing the original again. On the left is Ben Hall. He's making his way into the music business as well. He actually toured with the last Louvin Brother a year ago before he died. So he is making his way. We first knew Ben about 7? years ago when he won the guitar door prize. He came up to get his guitar and asked if he could play. Yeah, right, this young kid.....but Mark said, sure. He blew everyone away. That's when we knew we were seeing the beginning of something special. This guy can play guitar but, even better, he's a crooner. He's the whole real deal.
And so it goes. I picked just one picture of the last song they always do with a bunch of guys on stage. I hope you can see the excitement they have when they all take turns taking a break and just having fun out there.
So Chris is one of my helpers. She's up in the picture of my helpers. She's in the middle of the back row. She has an embroidery machine that's awesome! She also has a Tin Lizzie to machine quilt the quilts. She made a quilt for us to raffle that I forgot to photograph but was awesome. She decided to spoil me and made me a throw with these pictures she embroidered. How cool is that?!
This afternoon I get to go through the boxes we brought back, organize them for storage and figure out my shopping list for next year so that I don't have to wonder what we'll need in supplies to put on CAAS 2013!!
Then by Wednesday I am loaded up and heading for Asheville to have my booth at the Southern Highland Craft show. I don't have alot of extra work to do this time in the evenings. I am planning to sleep!!
Until next week. Weave on as I just think about what I'd like to be weaving at the moment!!