Sam Bush won’t be making it to DelFest this year. The mandolin monster is recuperating from abdominal surgery and had to bow out.
Before that happened, though, we had a chance to talk with Sam for another pre-DelFest preview. We were talking about DelFest memories when he shared this story. It was headed for the written equivalent of the cutting room floor when a friend made a Facebook post reminding people not to be overly trusting of the weather forecast when packing for DelFest.
Seems in 2009 the forecasts were similarly wonderful. Sunny, clear, calm, warm . . . those were the words they were using. We were not at that one, but anybody who was remembers it and anybody who wasn’t has heard the stories of the great Delnado, or at least seen the photos of the modern art sculpture in the middle of the parking lot that was actually just a pile of tent and EZ-up frames mangled and destroyed by the winds from the storm that hit the Allegany County Fairgrounds that Saturday afternoon.
Bush was there that year. He was on stage when the storm hit. It happened just as the band was singing a chorus that went “and the rain . . . ” Bush and his guitar player, Stephen Mougin, rode it out on stage.
Let’s let Sam tell the story:
“It might not be my favorite DelFest story, but the year the giant storm hit, me and the band were on stage. I think we’d been on stage about a half an hour. We did a song that at the end has this refrain were we sing a few times “and the rain” and it didn’t just start raining. The skies opened and the most amazing storm just blasted down.
Now we are on stage. Some of the guys ran through it. Our instrument cases were all out in the open, we couldn’t get to them. Our road manager tried to get to our cases but was dinged to death by hail. He got beat up pretty good by the hail hitting him. So Stephen Mougin, our guitar player, and me sat on stage with 11 instruments.
They covered us with some plastic. We could hear things crashing around us. We looked out and there was an inch of water on the stage. Basically, if we hadn’t sat there and held those instruments, we’d probably have never played them again.
Our friend who was working the sound, he’s really big, really tall. He’s about 6-5 or 6-6 and he was out front holding on to the tent over the soundboard with all his weight. His feet were off the ground, he was holding it down.
We were on stage when that incredible storm hit. I think there were two tornadoes, the hailstorm. It was an amazing thing to be a part of, and the show continued on later that night. We survived the storm at DelFest.
It was an amazing storm. If that doesn’t prove DelFest prevails, I don’t know what does.
Let everybody know, we’re not the ones who bring the rain, I swear. But tat was an amazing moment when we were singing “and the rain” and it just absolutely blasted us.
We’ve had rainouts and storms, lightning storms that made us quit, but never one like that.”
Here is a link to a Gratefulweb.com story about the storm, as well as three videos from that day, including one of Sam performing the entire song. You’ll notice when he hit the “and the rain” line, the crowd actually goes nuts. It had been a hot day and at first many welcomed the cooling off that came withthe precipitation. The other two include one showing the storm as it hit a side stage and the other filmed by Sam himself, from the tour buss, after he and Mougin had escaped the stage
And here is the weekend forecast for Cumberland.