A Good Blooming Time

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The flyer, done by Kat Maddock

Living on the banks of The Mississippi River, or anywhere in its deltas, comes with a certain understanding; a mutual trust and treason, where we will always end up fighting the high water marks. Naturally, in regions with such annually impending struggles, the inhabitants will have learned to cope with the turbulent times by holding onto the sweet things in life, and cherishing the good times for what they are.

The "sweet things" can be many to any individual, but to the masses there are usually some pretty commonly occurring options. Aside from love and happiness, music is surely the most popular of these; probably more-so being that both rely heavily on music itself to express most accurately, the true nature of their existences.

Music has been doing such for thousands of years now. Imagine how happy the first who-ever-the-hell to stretch a string of gut and pluck it was when they heard it make a sound. And now we have computers, and amplifiers, and pedals, and control boards and synthesizers. But even through all of the new technology in music, and engineering, and construction (and then all the subsequent failures and successes due to them) people have still carried on, leaning on what they can, filling the hole with anything and hoping they start to feel the difference soon. In any case, music is always the best thing to use in filling those all too empty spaces we find in ourselves.

Here in Southeast Missouri we have a lengthy history and tradition of people and life, but, I venture to say, not an abundance of art. Or to rephrase: Not an abundance of art that meets the eyes or ears of other people in the area. Luckily for all those wishing to experience a display of "homegrown" music, of everyday people rising up the challenge of fixing the holes, there is a gathering planned that is open to all.

On the weekend of June 25-26, at a beautiful plot of land off Highway 25, just North of Bloomfield, there is being held a music festival. The BloomHeavy HammockRide is being arranged in honor of Dr. Robert H. Skelton, former SEMO faculty member and progenitor of the very land where the event is to take place. Dr. Skelton, a direct descendent of the Cherokee nation that walked the Trail of Tears, lived a life dedicated to the study of the past. To honor his name, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Stars and Stripes Museum of Bloomfield.

The festival has over 13 bands playing all genres of music on a single stage from noon on Friday until well past twilight on Saturday. There will be everything from bluegrass and punk-country, to funky-blues and hard rock. The entertainment will represent a large section of the Mississippi River as well, featuring bands from St. Louis to Oxford, Mississippi and many places in between.

Camping is available and encouraged. Vendors will be selling food and drinks. No pets, fireworks, glass bottles, or knuckle-heads. The event is wide open to the public and people of all ages. Tickets are $15 for the weekend, which includes the camping. For band information, directions, and tickets you can e-mail bloomheavyhammockride@gmail.com.

Now is the time to take note of the sweet things, and to hold on to them while they're around. If you live in the area and love music, then the HammockRide is a must-see cultural event for you. Come support local and regional musicians as they lay down their hearts and continue this long, long tradition of the human condition.

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