- The Lemonade Stand #9 by Braeden Lewis July 7, 2023
(This story is an excerpt from Braeden’s book “Banjos in Babylon”, available here: https://
My first music fest after Covid was quite a rush. It seemed so surreal as we rolled in, set up camp, and began to pick. Two tunes in, we had a herd of admirers listening in awe. And it was only midnight!
We landed the next song with a flourish, and an adorable little grandma wobbled up to me. “You know”, she said, searching for words, “I’ve never really cared for music much…but, I like what you do!” “Um, thanks ma’am,” I said, gloating over her back-handed compliment. “You bet sonny!” She rasped, winking. Was she flirting with me? Befuddled, I turned to my bass player. “So, uh, hey, you got another tune?” But he was oblivious, involved in deep conversation with the youngest girl in the audience, a spry looking 60-something.
Then, all of a sudden, like a beast from the depths, we heard it. It was a sound hard to define, coming from the edge of the camp. Like a cross between a tuba and the moan of a dying wildebeest, it assailed our ears with a droning somewhere between C and C flat. My bass player looked like a man who had just seen a ghost. “Didgeridoo!” he rasped. I grabbed his arm and shook him. “You know what to do, soldier!” I bellowed. “Circle in!”
With the determination of passengers leaping from a burning bus, we herded the jam into a tight circle. It was the only way. Eyes wide, the jammers followed in shock. They knew that huddling in was the time-honored defense against the sudden appearance of a jams’ most feared natural predator: the didgeridoo.
Half trombone, half flute and half sea monster, the didgeridoo has been stalking its prey since time began. Our jam pressed close like gazelles sensing the presence of a cheetah. The didgeridoo circled in the shadows, just out of reach of the flickering Coleman lanterns. I sang at the top of my lungs, calling every song I could remember, and then I was finished. “OK boys, here we go!!!” I roared, waving my banjo in the air like a bayonet and kicking the air. “Let’s take her out!” And with a last triumphant twang, the song was done.
The didgeridoo sputtered in confusion, belched once more, and was silent. A cricket began in the distance.
We heard the didgeridoo snort and paw the ground in frustration, and then gallop off into the night. We erupted in cheers and high fives, happy as rescued coal miners.
Well I’ll be, folks still jam… I mused, drifting into slumberland.
And didgeridoos still stalk their prey!
By Braeden Lewis, www.jamalong.org
About The Lemonade Stand
Remember Lockdown Lemonade? It was a regular blog post that members of the FAR-West community used to talk about how they were making lemonade out of lemons during the pandemic lockdown. Check out the old Lockdown Lemonade posts here.
“Lockdown Lemonade” is reconstituted lemonade, now known as The Lemonade Stand. We want to hear from YOU! Send your 300-word or less blog post about your experiences out in the world of folk music, how you’re transitioning, what’s new, what’s old, what’s confusing, what’s mysterious! Curated by FAR-West president, Susie Glaze, it will be available on the FAR-West website monthly.
Send your blog to email@example.com