New Riders Of The Purple Sage, 08/23/08
Turkey Trot Acres, Candor, NY
In late July I called my two brothers to see what NRPS shows we could all go to in the month of August. Starting with The Gathering Of The Vibes August 2nd, there were NRPS each weekend (Friday/Saturday) up to August 23rd. Six shows. We decided on going to the Vibes, The Stone Pony and The Mighty High. Then we said either the Bear’s Picnic or Turkey Trot. I had to get some more dental work done and it worked out best to do it the Bear’s Picnic weekend, so at that time we decided we were going to Turkey Trot Acres. A new place for us to see the band.
"There Is Always A Good Time At Turkey Trot"
That is what it says on their website.
My brother Brian drove down from Vermont on Thursday, staying with my other brother Chris about 15 minutes away. I went up there and we drank and ate and had a good time. Friday I worked with Brian and we did some tree work, paying for his trip down. Friday night was more partying – getting ready for the big night at Turkey Trot!
Saturday morning we got on the road about 11:30. The sun was out and the day was nice. Traveling in Brian’s VW camper was a treat. It is nice to be able to stand up and stretch out without having to pull over, or change drivers on the fly. No problems on the drive up there, just the way I like it. We only made two wrong turns, one of which I think was my fault, arriving at Turkey Trot Acres around 3:30.
We pulled up right beside the guide shack and parked. There were only a few cars there and the NRPS bus. We got out and walked up to the main building. The check in table was our first stop where we met the hosts – Sherry and Pete Clare. When my brother called for tickets he spoke with Pete and said Pete sounded more excited then we were. My brother could tell they were good folks.
Now we are meeting them in person and what you heard on the phone was what you got in person. Two warm people and music fans too! They were so welcoming to us. We spent a few minutes talking to them, Pete proudly showing us the new hunting magazine that was in his mailbox that day – and he and his dog were on the cover. Good stuff! He then asked if we would like a table right in front of Buddy’s pedal steel for dinner. Sure, that sounds real good. He then told us to walk around and check the place out. What we saw was the ideal place to hear some music.
The main building was a log cabin nestled close to a thick line of trees. The cabin was L- shaped with covered porches. The main room where the music took place was a long room with open windows on each side and a porch to one side with picnic tables. The end of the room had the soundboard set up and to the side was the bar, which had a half dozen beers on tap and wine and soda. Picnic tables were on each side of the room with a wide hall in the middle for dancing. The whole place was decked out with concert posters, album covers, and other cool memorable stuff. Directly behind the music room was the room where the food was served, and beside that was the kitchen and bathrooms. Next to that was the living room and a few other rooms. The end of the building was where the food was being smoked. Basically one was going to see the NRPS play at Sherry and Pete’s home. One got to use a real bathroom that smelled nice and was clean, get food cooked right there in their kitchen, get to sit on their couch. You get the idea. A perfect place to hear some music. Outside they had a few picnic tables and three tables – the ticket table, NRPS merchandise and a wine tasting table. The wine was from Watkins Glen area and was very good. The band then performed a sound check so we went down to the car to hang out before dinner having a few beers with our neighbors – one of who was a taper. Always good to have a taper at a show! So far so good.
During this time we also met a few of folks that were working there and they all were so nice. They all kept telling us we were in for a treat. What I had seen so far seemed to support this. After a few beers we went inside to get some food. They sold tickets for dinner and the show and also just the show. Seemed like they had a good crowd of folks that came to eat. 150 tickets total were for sale, so this would be a comfortable, cozy show out in the woods of New York.
The food. All cooked right there – in the kitchen and smoke room. Here is what I went for: smoked brisket, pulled pork, bread, macaroni salad, cole slaw, rice and beans, sliced fresh-cut garden tomatoes, and some shrimp. There was also other food there to eat, but that is what I remember. Everything was right on the money. I would make sure to thank everyone that I saw with an apron on, because they served some tasty stuff. For once I ate just the right amount, not enough to knock me out for a few hours. Sherry, Pete and the others made sure everyone had as much to eat as they could handle. Again, super great hosts! We went outside after dinner and hung out, enjoying some cold beer in the sunshine. Down to the camper to indulge a bit after a big meal and before some kick ass music.
While down there Scrow came out and regaled the crowd with some music. Because the mail building had big open windows you could hear the music outside. Nice. Scrow ended his set and not long after the NRPS came out to a nice sized crowd. Some sitting, some ready to dance and some outside – everyone with a smile on their face ready for some good music.
They came out and got going with Panama Red, a good start to the evening. I like this song even more now, knowing this was the last song my mom heard the night before she went into a coma and later passed away. Closing her show, opening mine. A full circle. David Nelson then put on his reading glasses, so here comes a new song. Where I Come From. I have to say that song didn’t do much for me the first few times I heard it, but tonight it clicked big time for me. It seems that they have really come a long way with the new songs. They seem to be getting tighter and looser at the same time. Like they are really starting to get a complete feel for each song and how it goes and where it can go. The woodshedding they have been doing is paying off. I Don’t Know You, and then a sweetly sung Peggy-O by David Nelson. He always does this song justice. The next song was the turning point for me. Groupie. Up until then it was a very good show, during this song and after it would go from very good to great. Folks were up and dancing during this one. The reading glasses come back out and we are cranking down the tracks. Ghost Train Blues. I love the quick pounding drums that start this song off. I also love the jams on this one, most likely my favorite song of the new ones. Robert Hunter and David Nelson can write a great song! After this we got two Ronnie songs in a row, Olivia Rose and Whatcha Gonna Do. Good going Ronnie! Garden Of Eden, The Last Time, Garden Of Eden was next and they got out there good. The bass and the b-bender were locked in for a heavy groove during this one. One of the things helping this music along was the great sound in this building. There was great separation and space and the music was loud and crisp. Scrow did a great job tonight! Falzarano then rocked the set to a close with a rocking and rolling Instant Armadillo Blues. They whipped the crowd into a frenzied state, dancing going on full steam. And then a set break, some more beers, and out to look at the stars that were filling the clear sky. No light pollution here. Beautiful stuff.
During the break Pete told me his favorite concerts were the early 1970s double bills with the NRPS and Commander Cody. No surprise that they now host these two bands once a year up at Turkey Trot. Making a DVD of each band. Always nice to see show put on by someone that is really a fan of the music. He was looking forward to the second set, now that most of his work was done.
Big Six opened up the second set, another new song by David Nelson and Robert Hunter. I will have to hear it a few more times, to get a feel for it, but the first impression was a good one. Then another weed smoking song, Henry, that Ronnie sang great. Blues Barrel rolled along and was well received by the crowd. They all seemed to really like the new songs, as has been the case at all the recent shows. Rainbow and Rockin’ With Nona were both top notch. Contract is a song I could hear every show and not get tired of it. Louisiana Lady got folks up and dancing again, those that were sitting were tapping their feet on the floor and their hands on the table tops. When the NRPS are steam-rolling along it’s hard not to move some body parts. Johnny then regaled us with Higher, a song that he wrote. I hope this one, along with Olivia Rose and Any Naked Eye make the final cut for the new album. One more new song, Down The Middle, sung by Nelson. Then a great two song jam of Friend Of The Devil into Glendale Train. The connecting jam is a great one – I Know You Rider-ish. Seems like they could drop right in on the turn of a dime if they wanted to. Right when you think they might, they start the slide into Glendale Train. As Bob Weir used to say, just like a Swiss watch! And that folks was it. The band walked off to loud applause, coming back out for an encore – a deadication to the hostess, Sherry. 15 Days Under The Hood. After all the great music we already heard, this was icing on the cake. They took this one out there and got the crescendo going towards the end, bringing the song and the crowd back down to earth. What a ride by the New Riders!
And that was the Turkey Trot experience. A one of a kind party!
Sherry and Pete were kind enough to let us stay there in the camper. Even nicer was that they invited us to stay and have another bite to eat. After some food, a few drinks were enjoyed out on the front porch. Maybe more then a few, as I didn’t get to bed until 4:00 in the morning. It was a perfect end to a great day.
Thanks so much to Sherry, Pete and their family and friends and of course the New Riders Of The Purple Sage. Together, they provided a perfect place for a party and did it right!
I am already looking forward to going back to Turkey Trot Acres!
"There Is Always A Good Time At Turkey Trot"
That is what it says on their website.
Well, maybe they should change the above to read:
"There Is Always A GREAT Time At Turkey Trot"
Here is the Turkey Trot website if you want to see some pictures of the place.
Very enjoyable and descriptive review. Was the crowd mainly greybeards or were there some youngsters in attendance?
a good mix of ages, but maybe more of an older crowd? I'm real bad with guessing ages.
my youngest brother is 23. and there were others there that could have been around his age or maybe even a little younger, but I would say an older crowd in general. like most NRPS shows I have seen.
Nice review John and nice to meet you and your brothers, I guess that explains why you all have simiiar beards. Needless to say I was surprised by the number of people who traveled from far to come to the show,which is 35 minutes from my home.
As a last minute decision to go I am glad to have made it. I don't believe there was as many people as last year, but still a great time. Some of the faces are starting to become familiar. It sounded like the band had been up there to write some songs.
For me this was a perfect end to a long summer break from school. I traveled and went to a bunch of shows, then on 8/6 I had shoulder surgery and I have been laying low for the past couple of weeks. I had called Pete on Friday and he said he had tix, so he took care us.
I enjoyed the new songs and that was my first Glendale train, can't get it out of my head.
I walked outside and up the hill to look at the stars later, unbelievable number straight up into the heavans, very cool. The band is very accessable and laid back. If you get a chance come to Tioga County for NPRS. This year it was for the United Way, 2 years ago the Vietnam vets, can't remeber what it was for last year. Pete and Sheerie are good people. If the step daughter ever gets married, that would be the place to have the reception.
>I guess that explains why you all have simiiar beards
ha! a trend I started and both brothers followed. never could get Dad to grow one.
hopefully see you there next year.
a funny aside. this morning my brother was at the local gas station up in Vermont and got to talking to someone at the pumps. He was from Ithaca and likes Commander Cody. My brother told him we were just nearby seeing the NRPS and that Commmander Cody also plays there. The guy was psyched to learn about Turkey Trot and said if he saw my brother there he would buy him a few beers.
John, you REALLY outdid yourself with that outstanding travelogue and show review!! Big-time THANKS for taking the time to compose & post it!!
Your description of the physical layout of Turkey Trot and the awesome vibe is exactly as I remember it from last summer's NRPS show there -- really took me back in time! And the incredible spread of food, the super-cool hosts Pete & Sherry & support staff, the enthusiastic partyin' crowd, the solid setlist mixing those great new songs and kickass standards alike, getting invited to the after-show grubfest, and being allowed to stay right there in your camper -- sounds just about perfect!
Denny -- so glad to hear you made it to the show -- is that the third consecutive year at TT for you? Jealous, I am...
Next summer when NRPS plays Turkey Trot, I hope they schedule the show between late June and mid-July -- the time period I'm usually in northern NY visiting family and friends.
Pete & Sherry, you out there listenin'?
THird year running, hope I get a copy of this year and last if the guy from Mass gave me the right email.
You should email Pete and subtle suggest the date change, although it looked like the Riders were touring the east right now.
Great Review Johnny!!! Sounds like a pretty cool place!
sounds perfect. definitely something to check out next yr. great review.
>>hope I get a copy of this year and last if the guy from Mass gave me the right email.
I think we spoke with the same person. now I feel stupied that I can't remember his name. he was set up on the bar side of the sbd? mustache?
if so I spoke with him, and found out he knows my landlord/friend Rob. I gave him my email so we could get a trade together - he has most of the Northhampton shows and some others I want. so if it's the same person, one of us should hook up. let's keep in touch on this.
It really was. talking to my brother last night he says it's the best concert he has ever been to, and I think I would have to agree.
If you like great music, a great venue, great food, great people - then Turkey Trot is the place for you. So if you want to attend next year, stay on top of it as they only sell 150 tickets.