You may be interested to hear about an adventure I dreamed up to help out a political campaign I care about. The Adam Frisch campaign (running to unseat Congressperson Lauren Boebert in a western and southern Colorado district larger than Mississippi) was glad to accept my offer to add music to campaign events – in such larger towns as Alamosa and Pagosa Springs, and some pretty small out-of-the-way places like Antonito, La Jara, and Creede. They had already lined up musicians to play in other parts of the district – bluegrass music for a good cause. I enlisted my friends Don Richmond and Jim Bradley from the band The Rifters, drove south (about 5 hours) to Alamosa over the weekend and we got busy.
It reminded me of busking – standing out in (possibly) high-traffic areas with candidate signs around presenting at least a *visual* for passing cars and foot traffic. In La Jara above (population ~800), our music got some honks and thumbs-ups, but was more symbolic than audible. Considering a very tight race with a lot riding on it, we just figured that you never know when some extra effort might make a difference.
We did play a sizable gathering in Alamosa, where our incumbent Colorado Attorney General and Secretary of State spoke, followed by US Senator Bennet. When we broke into “This Land Is Your Land”, the Senator even knew the words and sang along, and later told us “You made my day!” – believable considering how arduous campaigning must be. Adam Frisch was quite impressive talking with voters, his campaign set to hit 101 stops in all counties of the huge district. Yes, 101 stops!
In a free moment Adam took out his iPhone and played us a recording sent from some Canadian musicians (including my friend Ivan Rosenberg), a bluegrass version of “Bobo the Clown”, their clever song about his rival, Boebert. Sample lyrics: “She takes credit for the money that her bills have tried to kill, Colorado needs a man like Adam Frisch up on the Hill.” We actually learned the song enough to do it in a few places.
This was my first time ever politicking with my banjo. It seemed potent beyond only writing postcards and making donations amidst an avalanche of “dark money”. At the very least, I met interesting people, traveled to some beautiful places, and gave my support for hardworking people trying to do some good in the world. Boebert’s controversial behavior and high visibility is bringing a lot of national attention to this race, now considered a toss-up. Crossing fingers – about all that’s possible now in the final homestretch.