Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pickathon: Frank Fairfield "Sleeper"

No that's not the name of the tune. That's the name we dubbed Frank. This 23 year old kid was- in a move of shear genius- slotted right before Bonnie 'Prince' Billy at the WoodStage on the Saturday of this year's Pickathon festival at Pendarvis Farm just outside of Portland, Ore. Quickly, let me say Thank You to any and all who helped put on this festival!! What a treat. We are coming back with more numbers and for a longer stay next year. I hope it remains so moderately priced and special for years to come. Alright, back to Frank. So everyone is setting up early to get good seats for Will Oldham and the Cairo Gang (Awesome set by the way, but I stopped filming to further enjoy....) and has no idea who Frank Fairfield is until he drops all jaws and silences the crowd after saying "I'm gonna play some American songs fer ya'." In the first video (follow to youtube) you can here me saying "This kid's a sleeper," and "He's got an old soul my friend," by the end I yelled down to him "God Bless you Frank." My beautiful and always two steps ahead girlfriend Adrienne bought me his LP the following morning and I caught up with Frank near the main stage for a signing of it and a chat about his version of "Deep Elem Blues," not to mention his performing schedule in the Los Angeles area where we both reside.  Frank is currently touring Europe and bringing his renditions of classic tunes undoubtedly to bars, pubs, theatres, and pick-up jams everywhere he goes. We caught him three times at the festival and were really treated to find him, Blind Boy Paxton, and some other unknown members from other Pickathon groups in the Workshop Barn pickin' on our way out. A crowd of three turned into about 25 and Adrienne and I started a twirling stompdance session that really blew the performers away after starting with no audience and just playing for the fun of it. What a festival. Enjoy the footage and I apologize for the laughter and shaking in advance...

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