I just reared back and soaked in every note and every word of their singing. It was so clear and honest sounding, no Hollywood put-on, no fake wiggling. It was better to me than the loud squalling and bawling you’ve got to do to make yourself heard in the old mobbed saloons. And, instead of getting you all riled up mentally, morally and sexually – no, it done something a lot better, something that’s harder to do, something you need ten times more. It cleared your head up, that’s what it done, caused you to fall back and let your draggy bones rest and your muscles go limber like a cat’s. - “The Telegram That Never Came” from “Bound for Glory”
I’ve been to many music festivals. Even though I was only able to spend one day in Okemah for Woodyfest, I can say that it’s quite likely the most musician-centric festival I’ve seen. The crowds were small on Thursday, but the focus was definitely on music. Not on trying out the latest home video game unit, or sideshows or any other crap. It was music. From buskers on the street to open mic at Lou’s Rocky Road, and afternoon sets at Brick Street Cafe. Music was everywhere, as were hardcore music lovers from little kids to elderly folk.
One of the smartest festival-planning moves I’ve ever seen: all the daytime sets were inside. Because it was 100 degrees. Perfect! Since the earlier acts tend to attract smaller crowds anyway, it was an idea set-up. I got into town later than expected, and spent more time roaming downtown (buskers, statue pilgrimage, visiting my brick on the new Grammy Museum monument, eating tacos), so I didn’t catch as much music at Brick Street as I would have liked. By the time I made it there, I was wobbly from the heat and adrenaline.
Since Brick Street not only offered free live music, but also wifi for the reporters (and free lunch! Which I unfortunately missed.). I did triple-duty: music, work, and hydration.