A Montana music festival in fire season. A veritable sea of campers under an apocalyptic grey sky. In the acrid smoke and heat and with wide brimmed straw hats it was actually difficult to look straight up. But when you managed it there was the blue sky, serene, still enveloping us.
In the words of Joni Mitchell, "...we were looking for some Sweet Inspiration!"
With the full moon rising, red from the fire sky & The Mavericks playing Neil Young's homage to a different season's beautiful Harvest Moon, you would have to be pretty dead inside not to be uplifted.
And my personal moment came when their lead singer and band leader, Raul Malo, played Guantanamera.
As a South Florida native who grew up in the 60s my affection for this song feels palpable. I wonder what happened to Leilani who played it for me on her guitar sitting cross legged on my kitchen floor. She told me about Jose Marti, the much loved poet revolutionary whom both sides claim. Who stood up against slavery and for Cuban independence from Spain.
"My poems are soft green
My poems are also flaming crimson
My poems are like a wounded fawn seeking refuge in the forest
With the poor people of this earth, I want to share my fate
The streams of the mountain pleases me more than the sea. "
Pete Seeger's translation.
Raul Malo's crystal voice rang this out in a Montana hayfield.
Not sure it ever gets better than this.