by Charlie Hansen
My grandmother had an expression, “hot as Irish love in dog days” and I guess this would describe the temperatures in Florida at this point in the year. I never really understood what this meant until the last couple of weeks, but I think I’ve finally realized what she was talking about.
We complained all winter that the weather was uncommonly cool and the sun rarely peeked its head out for fear that the north wind would blow it into the next county. Well, guess what, the worm has turned and what was extremely cold all winter has now turned into something akin to the fires of hell.
Through all this we managed to cram in a bit of music and took a trip down to PEI Day at Fort DeSoto. Im sure Hernando DeSoto, the fort's namesake, would have been proud of the assembled throng of native, transplanted, wannabe and never-saw-the Island “Islanders” that graced these hallowed grounds. On this day every year everyone is an “Islander.” They talk like Islanders, walk like Islanders and some of them even have a drink or two from an adult beverage smuggled in past the surveillance of park rangers.
All in all a large crowd enjoyed the heat and sunshine of a wonderful Florida day. Lots of entertainment was available for all those who cared to listen while others sat under the palms and visited with old and new friends. Did I mention that some of them even had a drink or two.
The music part of the month was a trip down to Skipper’s Smokehouse to see the Trinity River Band once again. This is generally a young band made up of The Harris Family, dad Mike on guitar, mom Lisa on bass and the kids Sarah on mandolin and most of the band’s lead vocals, Josh on banjo, dobro and mandola/octave mandolin, and youngest, Brianna on fiddle and harmony.
I’ve seen this band a number of times over the last few years and every time I see them they get better. Brianna has become a full member and can take her place as well as any of the rest. Sarah’s vocals get better each time out and her mandolin playing is stronger as well. Josh is the guy that drives it as far as I can see. An excellent mature youngster on all his instruments as well as lending a bit of comedy to the routine. They are very much at home on the stage and have a friendliness about them that carries on off the stage. The night we were there they went out in the crowd and talked to every person there.
They would be a valuable asset to any festival. Perhaps, not yet a headliner but they would enhance any lineup.
Until next time when I’m home in the frozen north don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass and listen to Bluegrass Island Sundays at 9 pm on CFCY 95.1 FM in Charlottetown and on the web at cfcy.fm.