Class in Session: The Carlsbad Music Festival and Village Walk

What could get my lazy butt on a bike to ride into the neighboring village?  Music, of course.  Music and the thought of sitting comfortably in a wine bar enjoying said music and that’s what the Carlsbad Music Festival and Village Walk was offering, so I was all for it.

I’ve been reminded that it’s been a while since I wrote anything, so I took this as a sign and an assignment.

posterI can’t remember how the notice came across my screen, but it did a few days ago, that  Carlsbad Village would be hosting a walking music fest.  The thought of wandering through the village brought back fond memories of living at the edge of it and meandering through it on a daily basis.  That was my first stop when I moved to SoCal. What a great place to land.

I had to go to this.  I checked out the schedule of who was playing when and where and came across these words “A call to musicians” which immediately peaked my interest.   Turns out they were so confident of the success of the upcoming event that they’ve already scheduled it for the weekend of my birthday in September.

Without asking the boyz I immediately started filling in the blanks…”Band name”…”Three Sometimes More” and so it went until I hit the “Submit” button. I’m just that sure we’re supposed to play there.  Will be interesting to see if Three Sometimes More makes the cut and I convinced Justin ( to apply as a solo artist as well.  For a white, Berklee trained button-up, he sure can play like a Conquistador.

mapI printed out their schedule then carefully followed each link to give a listen to each artist’s sound.  I found it really frustrating when the link brought me a page that was only the first in a long list of breadcrumb like pages you had to follow to get to the one where you could actually hear their music (note to self, add links to hear my music to the website home page), but I did give each one a listen then highlighted the name of the band, time and location on the schedule.

I was so prepared~  My friend and neighbor Wallace even fixed the flat on my bike, so I was ready to ride on in via the new bike path..  The only trick (for my brain) was that I thought I knew where Magee Park was, so I was on the wrong side of the village to start and missed the first act.  Bummer, but I did see Ana, ali gilmore blog - csarlsbad music - red fox tailsRyan and mini Ryan on the way there who said The Red Fox Tails sounded great.  I can say I thought their CD sales case was very cool.  That was the first thing I noticed.  It was laying on the side of the stage (Gazebo) way out of the view and reach of the listeners.  I have a brain that loves to revamp things as I see them; change those curtains out for leaf embedded blinds, add an accent wall and in this moment it was;  add a table on the audience side of the stage for band members to set at after their turn up, so they can easily sell their swag and autograph the merchandise for  the nice folks…

Gift Machine

Gift Machine

The first three on my list were at this location, so I settled in at the back where I could get some clear footage when I noticed the front tire on my bike wasn’t rock hard like it was an hour before when I’d set out on the ride.  Definitely losing air.  I stuck around long enough to get in a couple songs from The Gift Machine (who reminded me of a cross between The Stars and something…can’t quite put my finger on it).  Then I raced back home as fast as my chubby little legs would carry me, swapped the bike for the car and headed straight back.

Ali Gilmore Blogs - Wu man - chinese lute

Wu Man

I arrived just in time to catch the last two songs of Wu Man, an incredibly disciplined Chinese lute virtuoso.  As you can imagine, she is soft spoken, but watching her play you feel her passion for music and the far off place it takes her.

After Wu I met up with friends at the Cantina, went over the list and rendezvous points.  I then made my way into the heart of the village where I heard sounds that reminded me a bit of Guster and something from the 80’s.  A lot of sampling going on, which was an actual deterrent from the great sounds they had all their own.  Even with that said this was the band I listened to for the longest and even followed to their second session.  They’re called Eyelid Kid.  There are a few clips of them in the video footage.  Have a listen and share what you think of their sound on the AG Music Page on Facebook.

Jug-bandBefore that, there are a couple more groups to cover.  After Eyelid we moseyed over to the Old Train Station just in time to hear the G Burns Jug band. I didn’t see a jug, but there was a washboard, a fiddle, a guitarist and some great harmonies.  This was the first group I heard play mic-less that day and even with the noise interference from being outdoors and next to the tracks, they were just awesome.  Pure, clean sound that just resonates well and makes you tap your foot and sway your hips.  Next time I’d love to hear them in an more intimate venue.  I’ll bet their sounds would fill the room from wall to wall, every nook and cranny.

Time to move to our last and  hopefully best act.  I was looking especially forward to this because it was in a local wine bar that I really enjoy.  Great atmosphere.  They were just setting up when we got there.  Unfortunately they were sticking to the rule that you walk up to the counter and order your food/drink by the one, overworked Irish-musicserver behind the register.  They also seemed to be hosting a private party in the back which made for even worse conditions.  The poor couple in the 2 top in front of kept getting bumped and overshadowed by newcomers trying to get a good view of the trio Gallowglass Collective.  They played traditional Scottish-Irish tunes and talked a bit between the songs.  The acoustics in the room were outstanding, but I could get over the irritations of the constant bumping of elbows n hips and the endless line to get a nice glass of wine to savor the experience.  Hopefully if they return they’ll given a larger venue to perform in.  Maybe the local Irish pub?

All in all it was a great experience.  One that I’m ashamed to say I was unaware was even going on this past decade or so.  Well, yeah I’ve been a bit preoccupied, but still~  Makes you think.  When we say “There are little or no opportunities out there.’  Have even really looked?  Next time I am totally bringing the Nikon.