>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This past weekend, Tim and I invited a bunch of our songwriter friends to join us for a weekend in the U.P. for a getaway mixed with a songwriters workshop. Along for the ride were Ryan Elliott and James McMahon of The Form, Chrissy Dzioba of Blonde On Blonde and The Whiskeybelles, Lisa Ridgely, Jason Fields and of course, Tim and I. What a great group of folks and what a beautiful weekend!
First off, I do have to talk about the weather because it was one of those rare Silver City weekends in July when it really is perfect. Not too hot, not too cold and barely any bugs to speak of. For being right on Lake Superior, we totally lucked out! Both nights we sat on the shore and watched the stars and lightning storms way off across the lake. Natures fireworks.
Most of us arrived on Friday evening when we sat in our backyard for a fire and picked our song-writing assignments for the weekend. First we threw out ideas for songs and I wrote them all down on scraps of paper. Next we put our names in a hat and drew partners. We had lots of song ideas, more than we had pairs so each group drew three song ideas and we were charged with using some or all of the ideas in a song.
The next day we dragged ourselves up and out of the house at an incredible noon-thirty. I think this is fairly impressive given that we stayed up til after three. We are musicians after all. We thrive at night!
We then hiked to the Lake of The Clouds Escarpment where we were greeted by a spectacular view. A very inspirational setting to start our songs. We took along two "Little Martin" back packing guitars that we all shared. After a few hours we hiked back down and went to the house for "lunch". We were pleasantly surprised to find that James, the final addition to our group, had arrived and was waiting for us. Now we were complete.
Next we hiked to Greenwoods Falls also know as Bonanza Falls. We crossed the river to the shady side so we could spread out in our groups to finalize our songs. We nestled ourselves in along the banks of the Big Iron River. Even though the water was low, it was still a trick to get across. I think we all got wet feet (some of us more than others!), but it was warm and didn't really seem to matter.
I wasn't sure what to expect from the group. I knew that even if no one wrote a song, it would still be a good exercise to expand our ways of approaching song-writing. I was so proud of everyone when each group came to the fire the that night with a completed song! If I'm right, I think everyone was able to incorporate all three of their song ideas. Bonus!
I can't wait to do this again and next time add a few extra days! I haven't laughed so much in one weekend in a long time. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a truly charmed weekend!
Click on the above photo above to go to our Flickr page to see more photos of the weekend.