Sierra Surf Music Camp 2013 No. 1: What a Difference a Year Makes

Last year was the inaugural Sierra Surf Music Camp.  As we dropped into the Bear River Valley from Emigrant Gap, we drove through snow flurries, rain, and bit of hail.  The thermometer in the Prius measured the outside temperature at 36.  Campers huddled around the fireplace in the lodge.  Flannel shirts, long pants, and sweat shirts were absolutely necessities.

What a difference a year and one week make!  No snow flurries.  No rain.  No hail.  Just bright sun.  The temperature registered in the Prius while dropping into the Bear River Valley?  86 -- 50 degrees difference!  Good thing that we packed shorts sandals, and tee shirts.

Last year was coffee and red wine weather; this year -- bottled water and Downtown Brown.  Of course, as set in my ways as I am, augmenting the bottled water and Downtown Brown are coffee and red wine.

As veteran campers, we used the afternoon as an opportunity to catch up with prior acquaintances, unpack, unwind, and walk around the Donner Mine Camp.  Less excitement.  Less novelty.  No readily noticeable changes except for the instructor line-up.  Missing:  Paul Johnson -- a founding father of surf music -- and Ferenc Dobronyi -- the longstanding leading light of the San Francisco surf scene.  New:  Dave Wronski -- the best surf guitarist in the known world -- and Dan Snyder -- an active torchbearer for the San Francisco surf scene.

With a year under our belts, we were here for a new experience, to be immersed in and relax with the music that we enjoy hearing and playing, and to see if any budding guitarist, bassist, drummer, or band would bloom this year.  We were looking forward to another adventure.

The question for the first day was how the instructors would shuffle the deck of players to create bands for Saturday’s night performance.  Would they break up the Sneaky Tikis?  Would they spawn another band of youngsters?  Who would be under Dave Wronski’s tutelage?  What did the instructors have up their collective sleeves to equal or surpass the success of the inaugural camp?

News -- and tacos -- at 7:00.

Leave a comment

Add comment