Sunday rolled around and one feels a bit of weariness set in, but also something else. A feeling that one could do this every day maybe- that life could be a music festival and we can just roll like this forever. Ah, that is my idea of heaven.
The main stage fired up early but I did not, choosing to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast burrito at our site / booth. A lazy Sunday morning is one of the great luxuries of life and I chose to soak myself in that luxurious feeling. Yoga got things started with scores of Worms powering up on the main concert field in a led session. Local bluegrassers Mama’s Marmalade laid out a perfect set to get your day going, and were followed by the Sunday morning tradition of the Wormtown kids set.
Tradition followed with Rev Tor Band bringing the electricity to the stage in their normal post kids set slot. Tor has become a fixture of Wormtown nearly as much as the photo cut outs, or the gatherings at the river. His band is super comfortable on stage and Tor leads them and us through a great set. Straying from tradition however is the presence of Max Creek in the slot after the Rev Tor Band, and the long standing love and friendship between the two bands was evident. There wasn’t a hard break between the bands as every single other slot transition has had for the previous days; rather the music slowly morphed from the Rev Tor Band to Max Creek as one band became the other. I didn’t witness it with my eyes, but the continuous recording showed me that there are no seams here. This is another beautiful thought, perhaps everything can be seamless as we transition through our days and our life, gently morphing ourselves and our spirits from one part of our life to another. I was happy that my recorder made it for the back half of Tor’s set and diligently saved for us the entire’ day’s worth of music from there on our at the main stage.
Every year the Strangecreek Campout features Max Creek in the Saturday night main stage finale. Many times Wormtown does the same, but this year Max Creek cracked the afternoon with a three hour set that had their fans Creekin it up in the daylight. Taking the baton from the Rev Tor band Max Creek laid into a lengthy set that featured classics from their half century catalog (Windows, Big Boat) and newer songs and tasty covers that have only found their way into the Creek sets in the last year (covers by Low Cut Connie and Courtney Barnett are notable in their inclusion and relative obscurity of these artists to your average jam festival fans.)
Murawski songs “The Field” and “Heartbeat” are among my favorite songs- both in the Max Creek originals song list and just in general – and it was great to hear them. Over the course of their hours long set every single member of the band took the lead vocal mic including percussionist Jay Stanley who led us “Into the Ocean” and Bill Carbone helping us to commune with “The Bees.” This variety of material and singers keeps the band interesting, interested, and everyone on their toes.
I Want You to Know
(>) Yes We Can Can (Allen Toussaint cover)
The Shape I’m In (The Band cover)
Rio (Low Cut Connie cover)
(>) Gone at Last
(>) Mozambique (Bob Dylan cover)
Before You Gotta Go (Courtney Barnett cover) (>)
Into the Ocean
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (Paul Simon cover) (>)
Up next on the main stage was so far as I know the premier of Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads. The band includes Mystic Bowie who was a member of the Tom Tom Club and the material was mostly Talking Heads material done in a reggae fashion, but also cuts from the Tom Tom Club and other reggae classics by the likes of Third World and not surprisingly even a Grateful Dead track.
The vibe is super positive in Bowie’s show, and the band was able to deftly deliver the concept: reggae takes on this songbook. The result is easily digestible and includes enough cleverness to keep you focused for the entirety of the show. It was a great late Sunday afternoon set.
The finale of a full weekend’s worth of music was the premier of the band Cool Cool Cool Sunday evening. The majority (or perhaps entirety) of this band has visited this stage before as the majority of the band Turkuaz who were a Worm favorite over the years. The band meandered through a variety of material with a revolving of lead singers. They referenced their recent touring with Talking Heads legends Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew.
This resulted in a fascinating anomaly- two bands performing the same song: Crosseyed and Painless- in adjacent sets done in completely different ways. A nod from Cool Cool Cool backward in time to Mystic Bowie and a nice call out in recognition of a shared admiration for this songbook. The music carried us along to the conclusion of the festival, a beautiful four days in the fields and woods of Greenfield MA that acted as a wonderful capper to an amazing 2023 festival season for many.
The comraderie that we feel, the community that we build, and the warm that is shared will carry us all through a long New England winter until Strangecreek welcomes us back to our festival family. As we drove away the short distance back to our homestead we are both sated and tired, but fully filled with all that we felt, heard, and learned in a great weekend celebrating our lives. Until next time, Worms.
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