So, almost every year I go to a Storytelling Festival, it’s sort of a tradition with my siblings and myself, has been for years. It’s sort of like a bluegrass festival with tents and concessions and people walking around enjoying the event, except beneath the tents are people telling stories instead of playing music, well there still is quite a bit of music woven into many of the stories. Intrigued? Scared? Yeah, well I really enjoy these stories told by such uniquely different and compelling personalities from all different walks of life and cultural backgrounds. This year, for instance there was a “Story Musicologist”, a Cuban-Southern (a wonderful mix of Cuban and the Southern U.S.), a Japanese folk storyteller, multiple librarians, among many others. Two of my favorites of this year were Rex Ellis and Bill Harley. Rex Ellis is a great teacher, I’m always able to glean History from him – enjoying the process, through songs and heart-felt story. Bill Harley was a grammy award winner this year for “Best Spoken Word Album For Children (albums consisting of predominantly spoken word versus music or song) for his Blah Blah Blah: Stories About Clams, Swamp Monsters, Pirates & Dogs.” He does quite a bit of stuff for the kids that is fun and entertaining, through which he tries to shed a bit of light on parents for the kids as well as teaching the parents what the kids are thinking. I’ve enjoyed recently a bit more of his non-children stories as a good mix as well. You can check out video of him telling a story that he has also put out as a children’s book – HERE. He told a story on Saturday of his love for the song “Build Me Up Buttercup”, by the Foundations. He taught the entire audience most of the back-up vocals as he sang through the song. It was a bit of fun to be part of a crowd of probably a couple hundred people singing the synchopated vocals to his teenage radio fantasy. He also reminded us that the Foundations had yet another hit to their credit, the beloved “Baby, Now That I Found You”, I’ll try to post both songs when I get a chance, as they are both quite fun. If you want to hear more of Bill, try listening to “Zanzibar”, it’s always a crowd pleaser.