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Folk Tales #1Booking: US/InternationalBooking/GeneralBooking/FloridaSpaceFolk Tales #3

As Good As It Gets

August 29, 1999, Great River Folk Festival, LaCrosse, WI

Linda M. Knudsen, WebspinnerThe sun is in my eyes and I can barely see the performer. The breeze off the Mississippi River carries a hint of autumn. The sound rolls from the amps across the flea infested grass where the audience lounges, and hits me, and I sit up, and I listen. Spider John Koerner straddles the edge of his chair and leans foreward and begins to stomp time with one foot, the 12-string epiphone and harp silent. His voice at once draws you in and transports you to another time. You are at the campfire, bending with each phrase he turns, on The Old Chisholm Trail. This is real American roots music, sung the way it's suppose to sound, with passion, and punch, and grit. It's a cowboy song!! I know it--I learned the watered down version in grade-school. It didn't sound like this. For about three and a half minutes, this is the cow-puncher telling the tale. You can see him. Then the song ends, and the singer draws his long legs back and sits so still. And I am breathless.