Steve addresses the assembled crowd on the occasion of the
Old-Time Musicians' Gathering
Labor Day Weekend, 2014
at Lake Genero Park
ONE score and ZERO years ago Ross West brought forth upon this site a new festival conceived in anarchy and dedicated to the proposition that old-time music is better than it sounds - although they sound the same, all tunes are NOT created equal!
Now we are engaged in a great commemoration and ask ourselves whether this festival or any such festival so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are gathered here on a corner of this site, we have come to dedicate a portion of our time here as a fitting tribute with the hope that this music might live.
It is NOT altogether fitting and proper that we should be doing this, for in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot commemorate this hallowed ground. Those obsessed musicians who show up here year after year after year playing the same tunes over and over and over again 15 times through for 20 years have already consecrated it far beyond our poor power to add or detract!
The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but if we can go on playing tunes 25 times through perhaps they will never forget the music that goes on here!
So, it remains for US, the equally obsessed, to be here dedicated to the great task that lay before US; that for these honored tunes we take increased devotion to the cause to which they who came before us have given their full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that a tune played 35 times in a row is NOT played in vain; that this festival under Geoff, Sarah, and Ambrose shall have its new birth of anarchy; and that old-time music, a music of the PEOPLE, played by the PEOPLE and for the people IS better than it sounds and SHALL NOT perish from the earth.
-- Steve Kessler - August 30th, 2014
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