I wrapped myself in my dad’s old flannel shirt and spent Saturday night with my two favorite Katherine(ryn)s and 18 excellent musical groups.
Due to COVID-19, Flannel Fest organizers livestreamed the event this year, which meant I could watch from my living room here in Appleton, Wisconsin, while my sister Kathy tuned in from Milwaukee and my daughter Katherine from L.A.
Together in that weird, distant-but-still-sweet way, we listened to four hours of from-the-heart music and text-chatted among ourselves. (It ocurred to me, as I sat alone in my living room and enjoyed set after set of soul-satisfying tunes, that, for someone who doesn’t necessarily consider concerts social events, but rather opportunities to really digest the music and lyrics, the livestream format isn’t the worst thing in the world). I do crave live music, though, and I can’t wait for it to come back to us.
I also understand that musicians and all artists need feedback and support and I ferverently hope they are all finding ways to stay creative among the 2020’s challenges.
This concert raised funds for the Keep Wisconsin Warm Cool Fund, which works to keep the struggling Wisconsin families warm through the winter. By the end of the evening, donations reached $14,000 for that worthy cause.
Imagine your livlihood brought to a complete standstill by a global pandemic — no concerts, no tours, no travel to promote your work — and still you generously lend your talent to a fundraiser like this. Amazing.
One of the groups, Towne, sang about being “In the In between.” and it feels like that’s where we all are right now. So, I’m especially grateful to the organizers and participants of Flannel Fest for bringing us a taste of all we’ve been missing and all we look forward to experiencing again soon.
If you missed Flannel Fest this year, you can still watch the whole concert here.
And, you can always check out each of the participating artists and download their work. Add them to your playlists. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll find some familiar artists here, like Hillary Reynolds and Trevor Jarvis who play in their excellent bluegrass band Slocoast. Also, if you look carefully at the pictures below, you might spot a Grammy nomination or two.
I screen shotted most of the acts and I loved them all so I’m just going to post them all. You’ll see some familiar faces and I encourage you to check them all out because almost all of them have new music available and music is so good for your soul.