This year Ausgrass was based at Borambola, roughly 20 km East of Wagga Wagga. The size of the venue perfectly matched the number of people attending.
I had a gig Friday night, so I missed the opening and most of Saturday as I didn't arrive until 6:00 pm. As soon as I got in the door, Phil Rourke spotted me and came over. A short introduction first. I first noticed Phil when he popped up in the Jerry Douglas Bulletin Board and he seemed to be a bit of a live wire. Phil quickly organised the members of the Bulletin Board to record a track and release a CD of the members with all proceeds to go to Josh Graves. The members got their act together and the CD was released. I was most impressed with Phil and his organisational skills. I made contact with him and discovered that he is a multi-instrumentalist with quite a good voice. We had a good chat at the back of the hall as we watched the Saturday night concert. During the concert, Bryan De Gruchy came past, so I introduced Bryan to Phil. Phil had had a play of my De Gruchy earlier and was very impressed. I know after the concert Phil played a flat top and a resonator that Bryan had brought along. I can see at least one order going in :) When Phil came back we tracked down Quenton Fraser and spent until 3:00 am jamming.
Garry Brown couldn't get out of a gig, so I guess Harrietville will be the next chance I get to catch up with him. Ray Marshall was in good form I'm glad to report.
I got up late Sunday morning and had a bit of a look around Wagga Wagga. I'm surprised how big it is. Arrived around 1:00 pm at the convention site just in time to say goodbye to Phil. Phil said he had "Chores to do". Oh well, it was great to catch up with him.
I performed as the second last act of the farewell concert on Sunday. I performed "Blues for Vickie", "How Great Thou Art", "Walkin' Blues", "The Suit" and "You Are My Sunshine". You know performing solo with just a a resonator to play on Dobro style is quite an achievement for me. 5 years ago I didn't even know what one was and now I can see how far I've progressed. I still have heaps more to learn and I'll improve, step by step.
I made the trip on the BMW 1200CI and boy was it cold, both getting there and getting home. I really must spend a few dollars on the car and get the transmission looked at.