Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


The Shay Vaca

Hey, y’all! I’m back.

My man and I went to Paola, Kansas to the 22nd annual Roots Music Festival (and BBQ cook off) and we had a great time. I didn’t even know there was a Roots Festival, much less twenty-two of them!

We put our chairs next to a guy named Greg who was from Paola. He had two daughters there with him that he stayed in contact with all during both days. He also had a pair of older children who weren’t there. One in college, the other at a new job. He advised us that our chairs were safe if we wanted to leave them over night, so we did!

Going to the Fesitval was my man’s idea. Tower of Power was playing, and with them so close, he didn’t want to miss it. I had a great time, even though I’m not as into music as he is.

We heard a couple of new-to-us groups we really enjoyed. One was a group of three girls (there were guys in their band, but the girls were the stars) called Carter’s Chord.

I loved hearing these sisters and their country music. (Their parents were in Waylon Jennings band for years and years.) The youngest played keyboard, the middle played a guitar that looked as big as she was, and the oldest didn’t play anything. They all sing and write music, and they were fantastic! (I might have to buy their CD!)

Another group we really enjoyed was Tyler Bryant and Shakedown. Tyler is a young man with a great sound and a really slick presentation. He didn’t play country (for which G-Man was very grateful!) and his group was fantastic.

This is from Wikipedia:

Tyler got his first guitar at the age of 6.[5] When he was 11, he sold the dirtbike his parents had just given to him for Christmas and bought his first electric guitar, a red Epiphone Les Paul from Hollybond’s Music Store in Paris, TX. While still in elementary school, he met Roosevelt Twitty, a 63 year-old bluesman from Paris, Texas.[6] Mr. Twitty taught Tyler how to play the blues.[3] At 13, Tyler and Mr. Twitty started playing shows around Texas. This was the age that Tyler also started writing songs.

I might have to stuff one or two of his CDs into my man’s stocking this Christmas. LOL.

What struck me hardest while I listened to these kids perform was the dedication it takes to get where they are. They’re young! (Tyler just turned 20 last February. I didn’t hear the girls’ ages, but they looked very young. twenties and early thirties, maybe.

These people know what they want! They’ve worked hard to get where they are and do a wonderful job. (Catch them if you get the chance.)

And finally, we heard Tower of Power. They performed at 10:00 Saturday night, and even though we’d been able to see everyone else from our perch under a tree (it was hot out there!) we couldn’t even see the screen because of the people standing in front of us.

Good thing is, when we stood against the tree (we didn’t want to be in anyone else’s way) we had the best seat–er stand–in the place.

Tower of Power has been in existence since 1968. They have a lot of brass in the group and put on a show not to be missed. When they set up for the show, I noticed there were enough drums to fill my living room. It made us wonder of there were a pair of drummers, but only one man sat there.

And, if you’ll pardon the pun, he did a bang-up job!

The only bad part? During Tower of Power, a couple of men in front of us started dancing. (Their women just kind of smiled.) These guys must have had a little too much to drink, because they were without rhythm. They kind of flailed their elbows and shook their hienies and shuffled their feet.

I tried not to laugh, but it was too funny! And these guys didn’t care.

Of course, we didn’t only listen to music. The concerts were held in the downtown city park. There were a bunch of venders selling (even henna and spray on tattoos) and several open stores around the square.

I’ll try to share what I found with you tomorrow. I was thrilled!

So what did you do this summer that put a smile on your face? I hope you’ll share.