Add this one to the list of dorky reactions to meeting famous people.
We got the word a week or so before Newport Folk, that Laura Veirs was going to be on the scene.
She wasn't on the Festival bill, but our Record Promotion friend Jen Daunt, who's working Viers new record, let us know that Laura had a nearby gig the day before, and she wanted to come down to the festival to see some of her Portland friends like Colin Meloy and Black Prairie.
Barbara was pretty excited to interview Laura, and talk about her new record "Warp And Weft" which features Jim James, KD Lang and Neko Case. And it's produced by her husband Tucker Martine, who has made a slew of great records for artists like The Decemberists and Tift Merritt.
I was headed back to the mvyradio backstage tent at some point during the Festival weekend, and just coming out of the tent was Barbara and Laura. They'd just finished recording the interview, and Laura had suggested that they go over to the beer tent to get a drink and meet up with Tucker and their new baby. They invited me along.
I'm not one to say no to free beer. Plus, I had a camera so I could take a picture of Barbara with Laura and Tucker.
After getting a beer and locating Tucker, and some chit chat (Tucker and I talked about these particular muslin baby blankets that they had for their baby, that my wife and I also used for our kids), someone suggested taking that picture.
I pulled out my camera, and motioned for the 3 of them to get together.
"Do you want to get in the picture?" Laura asked.
I looked from side to side to see if there was someone I could ask to take our picture. There was . . .
"I can ask Jim to take it," Laura said, motioning toward Jim.
Standing next to me, chatting with someone, was Jim James of My Morning Jacket. His set on the main stage had ended not long before, and now he was just hanging out in the hospitality tent.
I looked at Barbara. I looked at Laura. I looked at Jim. I thought about it for a second.
When I'm backstage at a concert/festival, I'm pretty conscious of the artists' space. The whole reason they have a backstage area, is to give the artists somewhere where they can just hang out without fan-boys interrupting their meals or their conversations with friends or their quiet moments.
I won't say I never engage an artist backstage, but I try be respect the space and gauge whether they are up for an interruption or a picture or not.
But I wasn't actually going to ask Jim James if I could get a picture with him. I was going to ask Jim James if he could take a picture of me and Barbara with his friends Laura and Tucker.
Somehow that seemed like an even weirder, more intrusive thing to do.
Really, would Jim James have minded? He's just a regular guy. Any time I have seen him around the grounds of Newport, he has giving off nothing but a pleasant, generous air. He's friends with Laura and Tucker. I'm sure it wouldn't have been a big deal.
But all these thoughts are flying through my mind in the split second between Laura saying "I can ask Jim to take it," and the time I should unfreeze my body and do something.
So I just said "Nah, that's alright." And I snapped the photo.
Here is the picture that Jim James did not take.
Hear "Sun Song" on Youtube.