Shortly before taking the 2011 Newport Folkfest stage with Emmylou and the Red Dirt Boys to close out the festival, we were told that Pete Seeger was going to sit in at the end of our set. Bryan Owings and myself huddled together with him and in his gentle, faltering voice he talked us through his arrangement of “Turn, Turn, Turn”, which was to be his encore.
As Emmylou’s set wound down, her tech appeared off stage-right waving this handwritten sign (the bottom of a Magic Hat Brewery flat) to alert us that Pete could walk on any time:
Pete eventually did come out, bringing with him just about every artist that the organizers could locate backstage including (in more civil times) The Civil Wars:
Immediately after the encore, I ran to find the handwritten sign on stage left and managed to get Pete to sign it before he and his wife left the backstage area. It now sits in a corner of my studio as a reminder of the truly remarkable opportunity we were afforded to perform with this American musical legend, an opportunity which I know is not taken for granted by any of my friends and colleagues who were there that day.
Wishing this colorful and determined character all the peace in the universe on his next journey. Thank you, Pete…cx