Bill Staines Concert at Bubolz

Jody called our attention to the Bill Staines concert last night, sponsored by the Green Apple Folk Music Society. We've listened enthusiastically to Bill's songs on "Simply Folk" for years ("Roseville Fair" has been a particular favorite), and then we heard him in concert last August at the Shawano Folk Music festival. Since then, we've put a bunch of his songs on our iPod and can't stop listening to them and singing along. So we knew we had to go!

As a venue, the nature center at Bubolz is great for audiences but less so for performers. Someone told us that Bill gives a concert there annually, so it can't have been a surprise to him that he'd have no green room or anything comparable. So he sat at a table in one room offering CDs and a few cassettes for about half an hour before the concert. The 15-20 minute opening act gave him a chance to catch his breath, and then he started singing. During intermission he was back to the table, and following the concert as well.

There's a gracious, gentle spirit about the man, and he surely loves what he does. The audience of about 100 people responded warmly to his songs, singing along quietly until prompted -- and then enthusiastically! We could feel in the audience (and felt ourselves) a warm affection for the man and his music, and for the sentiments and values represented in them.

Seems he mostly drives himself to his concerts – no road crew, no driver, no tour bus. Just a Jeep Cherokee with a back full of CDs. At 70,000 miles a year for more than 20 years, he has accumulated more than a million miles behind the wheel.