I've been a bad blogger. A very bad blogger.
The last time I contributed a post to this space, people were talking about Michael Vick and dogfighting, and that was so ... last August.
But I'm ready to blog my heart out once again, and so I wanted to tell you about the Evergreen Music Festival that my wife Gail and I attended on .... uh, I forget. Last summer.
This event is hosted every year by Ken and Bonnie Swanson, and that is precisely the right word. They host.
As barbecue is dished out from a row of long tables on one part of the lawn and kids and dogs chase each other around the Swansons' eight acres, a charmingly eclectic procession of musicians clomps up the wooden steps to a homemade stage.
Like bluegrass musician/singer Heather Berry, who sounds a little like Allison Krause. And Worm Patterson, who fronted his band wearing a white undershirt. And Jump the Tracks, a group of Longwood College students who transformed themselves from a heavy metal band into a bluegrass ensemble. And the house band, Deja Moo -- featuring, of all people, Ken and Bonnie Swanson.
The music went on until sundown. People brought folding chairs or sat on the grass -- except for Cheryl Lynn, one of the Swansons' long-time friends, who reclined in an overstuffed chair that had been dragged out there for her.
Deja Moo played blues, bluegrass, jug band music, country and "Twist and Shout." As evening fell, the surrounding crickets turned into backup singers.
If it hadn't been for the guy collecting money out by the main road through Evergreen, it would have seemed like a private party. But then again, all the money went to charity.
It all reminded me of stories I've heard about the Colonial days in Virginia, when there was nothing much to do on a weekend but gather all the relatives and neighbors at some central place and play music.
So remember this event next year, and give yourself a little time to find Evergreen. Then, once you do, give yourself the rest of the day. As a present.