The middle of April in Middle Tennesse is always a time of new things. New hopes and dreams are replenished and as the temperatures slowly start to rise after the winter doldrums, new thoughts and plans about paddling inevitably begin to emerge.
Such was especially the case April 13 when the good folks at Paddle Adventures Unlimited hosted the Cumberland River Paddlefest. As the weekend approached we were all hoping for sunny skies and warm temperatures.
We weren’t disappointed. In fact, attendance was at an all time high of 412 participants coming out to celebrate paddling and kick off another season of the great outdoors. Numerous vendors were displaying their wares, happily discussing who they are and what they do to all the folks ready to get their paddles in the water.
A bunch of outfitters and individuals brought their canoes, kayaks and paddle boards, enthusiastically offering newcomers and veterans alike advice and lessons on handling the various silent sports crafts sitting on shore.
It was a very special day for me. Not only because I proudly was one of the many sponsors of the event (and The One Match Band played paddle songs in such an idyllic setting) and not only because it was so much fun to see so many people of so many different walks of life loosening up their stiff winter muscles with a paddle in their hands, but it was especially endearing to see so many kids canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. They were everywhere and having a ball.
Seeing youngsters skimming around the surface of a lake instead of surfing the internet, playing video games or texting their friends across the room not only puts a smile on my face, but gives me hope that the next generation of paddlers will be strong in number and will be there to keep the rivers running and the waters clean long after I take my final paddle to the other shore.
As I feel like I just now am able to come up for a breath of air, it is hard to believe that it was only a week ago that the One Match Band was playing to a standing room only overflowing crowd at Canoecopia in Madison, WI.
It was an excursion that exceeded all my expectations and I’m constantly reminded at how an event like this takes not just a team but an entire village to pull it off. Of course, there are the wonderfully talented, fun and supportive musicians, Tim Buppert, John Foster and Steph Gertken. Then out in the audience is Rick Skoog helping with computer tech set up to play “Me And Molly” live to a slide show. Shy-Anne Hovorka helped by adding her sweet vocals to two songs as a guest. Brian Cerney set up his extensive video gear to capture the concert footage. And each concert had a group of volunteer “roadies” helping to set up and break down stage equipment and man the merchandise table. Each concert welcomed at least 6 people (+ Gracie, my lovely wife) to give of their time to make it all happen. I was constantly in awe of the efforts and am still deeply grateful to all of them. And, of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without an enthusiastic audience. Playing to a full house is much more fun than to an emtpy room!
Here are a few pics of the event:
First this is a photo-shopped pic taken by facebook friend Dennis Panczenko of the One Match Band on the Canoecopia “stage”:
Second is a great pic (thank you Lynda Childs) of the prettier part of the stage with Shy-Anne Hovorka and Steph Gertken.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kevin Callan showing up in his cow costume (complete with an udder) to play “More Cowbell”:
As you can see it was fun, crazy and creatively fulfilling. Most of all, I am in awe of the fact that we, the band, the team and the audience all gathered together because we love the idea of coupling music with our passion for paddling and the great outdoors. And for that I’m more than deeply grateful. I am truly humbled. Thank you for being there with us.
Be it so witnessed that these distinguished paddlers and/or lovers of the outdoors and/or music aficionados (who are only exceeded by their excellent taste in music!) by virtue of their unrelenting support and enthusiasm have been heretofore inducted in the 2013 PaddleSongs Hall of Fame. May they receive all the perks and accolades they deserve!
Thank you one and all for being part of the dream. -Jerry
John M. Allen
Mary Murphy Miller
Mary Jean Blaisdell
Pete (Jackfish) Swiggum
Bill Hansen of Sawbill Canoe Outfitters
Nathalie Lavine of the Country Music Hall of Fame
Randi Michaels Block
Mark and Evea Stevens
Lili Colby of MTI Adventurewear
Lynn O’Kane of Voyageur North Outfitters
Ruthanne James Fenske
Sue and Andy Ahrendt of Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters
William V Pyle
JoAnn M. Abbott
Poutine La Masoneaux
Amy Payne Fekas
Kevin F Hagan
Michael D King
Every year I notice a lot of folks participating in New Year’s Day paddles. I love to hear about them as they are happening on streams, lakes and even oceans all over the world. There truly are many kindred spirits out there that live to have a paddle in their hands and water under their boats.
I can’t wait until New Years day myself. There’s a scenic little river paddle – the Harpeth River – about 45 minutes out of town (NashvIlle, TN) called the Narrows of the Harpeth which has a unique horseshoe bend in it. You can put in on the left end of the horseshoe, paddle about 7 miles and take out on the right end and walk a 1/2 mile trail back to your vehicle to load back up. No shuttles or pick ups to plan. That’s especially nice for a day solo trip.
But in my impatience for a New Years Day paddle, I upped it to New Years Eve. It is now my little tradition and in that tradition I realized there couldn’t be a better way to reflect on the rapids we’ve been through and excitedly anticipate the ones ahead.
Funny how we can find life/paddling analogies so easily.
The attached pic here is my canoe resting happily on a Harpeth River gravel bar New Year’s Eve.
I hope your 2012 rapids were Class I and if not, they were exciting and you got through them with the open side up. I hope your 2013 rapids will guide you the directions you seek. And next New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day I hope “you look back in wonder and know that your heart and your paddle were true and deep”.
All the best, Jerry
Most of you that know me would proclaim I’m way too ancient to have groupies, and I heartily agree. Well, kind of. And it must be reluctantly said that as a songwriter to loves to perform but doesn’t do it as much as I’d like to, having a “groupie” has only been a sort of wishful thinking since the day I first picked up a guitar and started playing folk songs.
But today the wonderful folks up at Tuscarora Lodge and Canoe Outfitters on the Gunflint Trail in the Boundary Waters just made it possible for me: they simply like me and my songs enough to want to hear them again.
What an honor. Check out their blog post called “Jerry’s Groupies”.
With friends like Tuscarora Lodge, I’m set. Thanks Andy and Sue!
If you get a chance, go to their new Facebook page and give them a “like”.
Thanks so much to Laurie Ann March and Outdoor Adventure Canada.com for their awesome recent review of the “True and Deep” CD. In case you didn’t know, Laurie is an outdoors cook extraordinaire herself (when she isn’t running or drinking coffee) with some great camp cookbooks, “A Fork In the Road”. Check her out.
Meanwhile, you can find the short but very sweet review here: Outdoor Adventure Canada review of “True and Deep
Hey Minnesota Friends, I’m leaving in the morning for points north for some “paddlin’ & pickin’”. If you’re in the Grand Marais/Tofte or Ely area, come by for some fun music. Here is my schedule between canoe trips:
July 20 – Grand Marais, MN – 5:00 pm Guest appearance on The Roadhouse, WTIP North Shore Community Radio (please listen in where ever you are).
July 20 – Grand Marais, MN – 7:30 pm Concert appearance at “What’s Upstairs At Betsy Bowen’s” 301 1st Avenue West, Grand Marais, MN 55604 (218) 387-1992
July 21 – Grand Marais, MN on the Gunflint Trail – 7:30 pm 3rd Annual Unplugged Concert at Tuscarora Lodge Dining Hall. Everyone is welcome!
July 25 – Tofte, MN – 7:00 pm Campfire jam session at Sawbill Outfitters and Campground
August 3 – Ely, MN – 7:30 pm House concert at Lucky Boy Farm
Hope to see you there,
We have just returned from an amazing 3 week adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia. Although we didn’t get any wilderness paddling in, we did get to dip a couple of local paddles while there. This 5 minute video tells all. (Shaky camera for first 30 seconds, hang in there). Hope you enjoy it!
The CBS affiliate in Nashville is very supportive of the songwriting community and regularly airs a program called “Words And Music” in which they bring in local pro songwriters to play and tell the stories behind the songs. Today I got to go on the program with Victoria Banks.
Since I have been on the show before and played my Tim McGraw songs, I decided it would be fun to play some paddle songs. Victoria and I did a duet on “Leave No Trace” and I also did “Camp Coffee”. On one of the breaks the program aired part of the “Camp Coffee” video as well.
It was a lot of fun and, of course, Victoria was amazing as usual. The program is sponsored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
It was a great time and it was fun singing songs from the “True And Deep” CD for a change.
Bryan Hansen is a photographer, writer, and a sea-kayaking instructor. He hold a Wilderness First Responder certification and an American Canoe Association Kayaking Instructor certification. His articles and pictures have appeared in several paddling magazines. He has canoed and kayaked in the Boundary Waters, the Great Lakes, as far away as Norway and in many other places. Bryan also sits on the board for Wilderness Classroom, and he owns North Shore Expeditions. He lives in Grand Marais, MN.
I recently caught up with Bryan and he published a very nice article on the “True And Deep” CD as well as a fun and challenging interview. Check it out on his very cool website paddlinglight.com.