Fall Back Fest (Part I) This is a long read, so please be patient and see it through to the end...I don’t know if there’s a payoff, but... A friendly acquaintance of mine throws a little invitation-only music festival on his rural property every year on the day before we set our clocks back one hour; it’s had varying degrees of success in the four years he’s hosted it, but has been something I’ve looked forward to—especially for the last two years. This is truly a DIY festival...the first two years, he had power problems—he overloaded his circuit and threw breakers in the middle of sets...it’s also BYO—chairs, food, beverage, etc. He set up a few gas grills for folks to make brats, burgers and hotdogs, and we communally brought sides and condiments. Somebody accused him of throwing this festival just so he’d never have to buy mustard, since the leftovers get left with him. He’s a bachelor, so there may be some truth to that statement. A huge bonfire off to one edge of the property adds a bit more ambience... In 2018, he invited me to put together a band and play a set. I volunteered my daughter to play a small acoustic set between two of the electric bands. He assured me he’d fixed the electrical power issues (and he had). My daughter’s set went off pretty well; it was one of the largest crowds she’d played to in her personal performing “history” (around 150-175 people). She did a couple of songs solo (acoustic and vocals), one ukulele & vocals tune, one song with an electric slide player accompaniment and a final song of her and I—she on acoustic and me on harmonica...half of her set was originals she’d written herself! I put together a band from the Panther City Syndicate—our own little “Wrecking Crew” of players we know and/or have played with over the years. I invited a bassist/vocalist and a guitarist I’d worked with for a couple of other projects in times past, and my usual drummer, who I’ve played with for almost 20 years. We put together a set list I wasn’t completely happy with—a mixture of originals (which made me happy) and covers (mixed emotions). We were playing to the strengths of each musician in the group. The bassist was/is the most talented and capable of all of us, especially on vocals, but he chose music that I (generally) haven’t played before and (probably) won’t play again, unless he and I formed a band, which wouldn’t work long-term. So we rehearsed a half-dozen times (something else I generally don’t do) and were set to set the stage on fire. Maybe some Higher Power didn’t want us to set the stage on fire, because in the middle of our 4th song (12-song set), I felt a raindrop on my arm. I glanced at the other guitarist, who looked at the sky and started shaking his head...we cut the last verse off the song, said thank you and rushed to strip our equipment (and the PA, which belonged to the Host of the Festival) off the stage, just in time for the heavens to open up and drench us completely...thankfully, no equipment was damaged Half of my band, plus my daughter’s accompanist reconvened at my house for coffee and a half-acoustic/half-electric jam as the storm raged on through the night.