Tag Archives: charles kochel

ByrdFest and a conversation with Jimmy Tebeau

Driving to Byrdfest is like meandering through God’s canvas, a jaw dropping experience amid the scenic Ozark Highlands.

The campout concert will again be hosted by Byrd’s Adventure Center. If you want adventure, between tunes, this is the place. Kayak, Raft, Canoe, Fish, Hike, Mountain Bike, Rock Climb, 4×4 and more. No shortage of outdoor adventure in this part of the country.

Byrdfest

Reserve your campsite early, because when you arrive the activity from experienced festival goers is dizzying and you’ll be somewhat confused about whether to jump right in or find and set up camp. Waterfront primitive sites, wooded seclusion, and RV/camper hookups are available. Restrooms and showers are also on site, making roughing it modern convenience.

Energy and encouragement reign at Byrdfest. People show-up, rain or shine, for a combination of music and like-minded folk. Handshakes and burdens are checked at the gate for hugs and smiles. Flying disc and early season sunburn are the only worries.

Extended family is what it’s all about. The cult following of all things good unite at Byrd’s Adventure Center deep in the Ozark Mountains, April 21 – 23 for 2 days of campsite concert experience.

Organize camp and seamlessly delve in the flow. The picturesque Mulberry River deepens aesthetics. Sounds of trickling water mix well with laughter and rhythmic Djembe. Riverside banjos and mandolins gently echo throughout the hills.

Sensory symphonies can be soul jolting. Smells of campfires surrounded by conversations from old friends and new dot your environment. Take a deep breath and be mindful of everything around you, and inside of you. You’re here, you’re safe, and you’re grinning ear to ear.

Entering the gates of musical Eden, sights, like twirling fire, acro-yoga, stilt walkers, and Hoop Dance compliment the heady bands.

Once again, Grateful Dead Experience: The Schwag will headline Friday and Saturday evenings. The four-piece ensemble are dedicated to carrying on the vibe and music of the legendary Grateful Dead.

I caught up with my friend Jimmy Tebeau this week at The Schwag’s home base in St. Louis, the old Brown Shoe Company. The building fits the Schwag’s cultural preservation of all things beautiful.

“I knew I wanted to be a musician early in life and create a different type of energy. In 1989, I was at the Grateful Dead concert in Alpine Valley. The energy and power of what a musician can do with music and interact with the crowd.”

This powerful experience led him to study Jazz and Music Theory in college and he earned an Associate in Arts degree in 1994. He founded Camp Zoe in Salem, MO – a 400-acre festival site/campground, the source of Campsite Concerts.

Jimmy has played with the best: String Cheese Incident, Vince Welnick, Chuck Berry, Butch Trucks, Devon Allman, Papa Mali, Future Man to name a few. He founded The Schwag in 1991 and toured the country with The Jerry Garcia Band for 4 years starting in 2009.

“When Jerry died, I wondered, Is it over? Is anyone else going to be able to do this?”

Jimmy immersed himself in understanding 3 chord, 9 minute intervals creating different waves of energy.

“Sometimes it’s not what we do, it’s what we didn’t do.” This is the magic of Jimmy Tebeau and The Schwag.

In parting, Jimmy Tebeau says,

“Be kind to your fellow man and watch out for each other. I paused and asked Jimmy what the one thing he’d want his fans to know about him. His answer, “I appreciate you. It’s not us and them, it’s we, no barrier.”

The walls are coming down April 21, at Byrdfest. The venue is not complete, but booked so far:

  • Old Shoe is a five-piece Americana Roots Rock band based out of Chicago, Illinois. Made up of talented songwriters from across the country.
  • Pink Floyd Tribute: Floyd Animals tend to put you in a state of daze.

And our very own pride of the Ozarks,

  • Mountain Sprout, articulating life of dry counties, turkey buzzards, and river floats.

Freelance dancing from people of all ages and race are welcomed with kind words free of judgement. Disc throwing experts teaching kids the art of frisbee, and culinary campfire chefs are always generous to the occasional passerby.

Familiar faces, sounds, smells, and sights might lead closed minded to ponder what’s really going on here. Love, this is all. A whole lot of love.

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Heroes Crying.

An institution that should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corrupton, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.

–Joseph Pulitzer, May 10, 1883, in an editorial upon becoming publisher of the New York World (reproduced on a bronze plaque on the Times Tower, New York City)

Delving into my 3rd publication about Hunter S. Thompson, I continue to find shocking similarities, but more of whom I replicate on the inside than the outburst of pure insanity. I have not the courage nor the ability to articulate transparency of thoughts, like Mr. Thompson, a brilliant rogue, observing beatniks and blasting political servants.

And if I’m ever to be worth anything I honestly think it will have to be in the realm of fiction (which is) the only way I can live with my imagination, point of view, instincts, and all those other intangilbes that make people nervous in my journalism.–HS Thompson

Elders may relate more to the death of Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977), and some, more jagged in culture, Jimmy Hendrix (1942 – 1970.) I can relate, but only because of my deep roots, in Memphis, Tennessee, do I somewhat understand Elvis. And my home, in upper Fernwood, Topanga Canyon, viewed horizontally, across the gorge, framing Jimmy Hendrix home, on the ‘hot side’ of the Santa Monica Range. From the locals, I’d listen to, peers of Elvis and Hendrix, tell stories of their brilliance, blowing my mind.

But my generation, Gen X, the icon is Kurt Donald Cobain (1967 – 1994.) He defined our generation with legendary acoustic performances, sharing what many of us felt, on the inside, but didn’t know how to get it out. Only through music, his music.

Many of us are not sure exactly why, but when Phillip Seymour Hoffman died, a part of us died with him.

a part of me died

Relating to a multitude of his characters, intimacy reigned supreme, both light and dark.

So many of us affected by suicide, a climatic life event that’s not only disappointing but also humbling to the point of pondering why wasn’t I enough to live for.

travel (ck backpack spain)Charles Kochel writes. Sometimes found wandering the Ozark Mountain streams.

A novice mandolin rookie, but learning just the same. A terrible gardener continuing to try his best to grow healthy food for his family.

His moderate fly fishing skills he considers asana, but only he makes much sense of it, and this is ok.

Mindfulness is sanity.

 

Revolution Equality

We are in the midst of revolution.

The world has turned the corner in a long-time battle for Equality. People are dying, families ripped apart from biased acts of terrorism, reactions, and revenge. Is this all necessary? Has it always been right under our nose and the veil is now slowly being pulled away, exposing right and wrong? Do we sacrifice lives: black lives, law enforcement, military, and our unfamiliar neighbors across the great salt pond? Is it all worth it? Maybe.

Revolution is revolt, a Latin term meaning “Turn Around.” Repent means the same, to turn away from sin. We are fighting righteous battles of morality.

Equal

Fundamental social change for equality is happening, now. It’s not a matter of if, but when social equality becomes reality or we fight and the winner prevails to rule a world full of love or full of hate.

Women vote, People with black skin ride in the front of the bus, homosexuals marry, medical marijuana is prescribed, Muslims pray, and walls of containment have literally fallen.

It’s different. Natural characteristics of the human race are uncomfortable with change. No, it’s not the norm – not what you’re used to. Not yet. We will progress or regress from here. This is why Revolution Equality is at climax.

An issue of this magnitude will not be still, we will move forward, backward, up, and down – each individual will make a decision to react or be proactive, to accept or deny, to open arms or protect individual belief. The collective population of our world will determine the next chapter.

My friends – black people, my Goddesses – women, my brothers sharing skin color like mine – white man, courageous gays, mindful Muslims, beautiful Buddhist, celebrating Hindi . . . the list goes on – good people – all of them, no matter judgement. People – more than skin deep and practicing beliefs. More than you and me. Coming together, for better or worse will determine our quality of life and the lives of future generations.

It seems so simple to choose good over evil. Ignorance is bliss and oblivious to everything else. It’s not that we must come together and prevail good over evil. It is what it is, and what will happen, will happen. It’s how we handle everything. Mindfulness of our own inner thoughts and feelings, what happens around us, and what we will do next. It’s how we love and accept others not in our immediate circles of beliefs and vanity.

A certain frame of mind, understanding our revolution is acceptance and all about the Golden Rule – “Treat others like you want to be treated.” Lack of tolerance is what we are fighting, “An eye for an eye.”

whitestown

It wasn’t long ago, say 35 years, when I invited two of my best friends to swim at a local club pool. They were turned away because the color of their skin. My family dropped our membership. It was my first encounter with prejudice inequality.

We did not affect the club, they needed not our money. But it did affect my friends. Two young black males seeing a young white kid confused, and taking action to speak to his family and the family doing the right thing. No, we did not end bigotry, but we gained friends for life.

It’s society revolting against one another. Small pods of civil war and unrest around the world. So, choose a side and support good or support evil. It’s not religion, race, or ethnic boundaries. We are fighting a war on inequality, hate, and ignorance.

Most people I know stand beside me in my beliefs of acceptance. I’m realizing my own ignorance of assumption, something I work on every day – to not assume anything. I had no idea the number of people with such hate in their heart and soul, to the point of taking another’s life and their own. I’m not hurt, as much as feeling stupid for perceiving the world as a better place than it really is. Chapter 10 has begun and it will unfold quickly. Good luck world, I’m rooting on you to do the right thing. Peace. Love. Equality.

travel (ck backpack spain)

Charles Kochel fly-fishes, a lot. He also writes, bunches. He’s a terrible gardener, but seems to like it just the same.

Sometimes he can be found longboarding farmer’s markets or throwing disc amongst friends in open spaces. His dog, Prana, is named from Sanskrit meaning “life-force.”

He wishes he played mandolin better, but enjoys it just the same.