Telluride Report: Chickens

“Chicken & Egg” is the title on my new CD. A few weeks ago a friend discovered a visual artist named Tim O’Brien who has a painting named “Chicken and the Egg.” Very cool. View the painting at www.drawger.com/tonka/?article_id=10230.

My summer issue of “Goldenseal” arrived last Tuesday. It’s a magazine dedicated to West Virginia folk life, and the cover picture is a rooster with “Chickens!” in large type above it.

Arriving backstage at Telluride, I noticed the dressing rooms were decorated with pictures of, you guessed it, chickens!

And while driving through Montrose on the way back from Telluride yesterday, we passed a Mexican takeout place called “Pollo Azado” (roast chicken in Spanish). Of course standing outside, beckoning to customers, was a guy dressed in a chicken suit. Of course it was June 21st, the longest day of the year, so there was more room than any other day for chicken sightings.

So maybe the chicken does come before the egg. Then again, I start most days out with a fried egg and almost never eat chicken in flesh form before or during breakfast. But are you seeing more chickens out there folks? There’s a recent trend where city folks are starting to keep chickens again. There are chickens in the new CD’s photography, mostly because they were there at my neighbor’s place, and willing models. Let me know what you’re seeing out there.

Telluride wrap up: Imelda Mae was killer. The Dublin girl sang her rockabilly heart out, and her band was smoking. I particularly liked her drummer who reminded me of old style TV show house band guys who can play anything. Other highlights included the David Rawlings Machine, Vasen, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the Punch Brothers. Mumford and Sons and Brandi Carlisle were new to me and very good. So was Lyle Lovett of course. I got my first look at the amazing tabla drumming of Zakir Hussain. Wow! He often played a percussive and melodic twin to Bela Fleck’s banjo on Saturday night. On the house band set, I particularly enjoyed a new composition from Edgar Meyer. After four days in Telluride, I always have a dry throat and a tired body. It’s good to be down about 3 thousand feet lower here in Denver at my sister Mollie’s house. Kit and I head home tomorrow.

I have some time off now until July 2nd when I’m playing the Grand Ole Opry. You can listen online at www.wsmonline.com.

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by R & T