I’m overwhelmed and grateful for the collision of Indie Fest, Sativa Gumbo and NABC on Saturday night.

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Photo by John Voyles.

New Albany Indie Fest took place on Saturday. On game day, the event went off with very few hitches, although several seemingly impassable mountains were climbed just to get to the 24th.

However, these are topics for another day, so allow me to thank my fellow committee members and everyone else who helped in any way to pull this one off. To attempt an exhaustive list would be to risk an omission. You know who you are. At the same time, I’d be remiss to ignore the central role Marcey Wisman-Bennett has played in keeping the dream alive.

Special thanks to the cast and crew at Bank Street Brewhouse. The band Sativa Gumbo’s anniversary performance was a major impetus for the musical component at this year’s Indie Fest, and for it to take place on NABC property ultimately felt right in a way I didn’t anticipate. I cannot take credit for the idea. I’m just glad it happened.

The emotion I felt last night is hard to explain. I wasn’t expecting to be gobsmacked. To be honest, I never was a die-hard “fan” of Sativa Gumbo as a musical collective; let’s face it, I’m a British-influenced pop/rock kind of fellow, but this distinction is irrelevant, because I’ve always been a hardcore fan of the musicians in Sativa Gumbo — admiring them for their talents and skills as individuals, and also adoring them for the family vibe they’ve engendered over two decades.

There were lots of folks in one place last night who probably haven’t been together for a while, and their love and enthusiasm was a reaffirmation of life itself. There are many degrees of connectivity, and all sorts of overlapping circles, but for me it’s acknowledging the huge part all of them, musicians and spectators alike, occupied in my own working career.

Whether it’s my place to say so or not, I’m awfully proud of them. NABC alumni have gone on to do awesome things. It was incredibly moving for me to see past and present employees mixing with the many longtime customers of the businesses, who’re the real superstars keeping the train rolling for so long.

It’s the closest I’ll come to knowing what it felt like for Bob Youngblood, witnessing the success and good works of former students, and knowing he made a difference. It’s gratifying to have played a part, albeit small, in so many players moving up to the majors … and mixed metaphors be damned.

I wasn’t expecting Sativa Gumbo’s comeback to generate epiphanies, but one must take them as they come. Peace and serenity are so important, and Saturday night helped me clarify a few decisions. They may as yet be difficult, though they’ll be easier than before.

Thanks, everyone. You rock.

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