BaHOOTenzie Folk Fest and Song School
By Lisa Lynn Morgan
The Joshua Tree Music Festival drew on an even deeper and more intimate magic with a 3-day song writing school and 2-day folk music festival spearheaded by uber talented necromancer, Steve Poltz. Song school students spent 3 days on campus with accomplished songwriters Dan Bern, Nicki Bluhm, Grammy Award-winning Jim Lauderdale, and Poltz himself, who penned the Jewel Hit, “You Were Meant for Me.” This inaugural event was an intimately small and powerful experience for all sojourners in attendance. The event is promised to return next year. Aspiring song writer or not, if you want a soul refreshing experience, you will not want to miss this magical union of energies in love with, and superiorly gifted at, telling stories through song.
“I felt like I was watching history take place,” said Mary Moeller who has attended many of the wonderful festivals this venue has produced.
The name of the event, BaHOOTenzie, was inspired by Poltz’s father. “What is BaHOOTenzie? It’s a weird word,” Poltz acknowledges. “My dearly departed Dad, Joe Poltz, used to say it after he’d cough or sneeze. One day I asked him what it meant, and he said, ‘Many blessings,’ and I said, ‘Oh, I thought it meant let’s go nuts.’ Then my dad said, ‘Let’s combine it and make it, “Many blessings, let’s go nuts!” I loved that. I like the word BaHOOTenzie because it has HOOT in it. And hoot is one of my favorite words in the history of favorite words. So instead of shouting “many blessings, let’s go nuts”, I just say… BaHOOTenzie!”
True to its name, the days of BaHOOTenzie Folk Fest and Song School were awash with indelible blessings and inspiration, and yes, we all went a delightfully nuts. One can’t NOT go a little nutty around Poltz. His spirit is highly flammable, and the flame he and his fellow troubadours lit in our hearts is still burning.
Firepit photo: courtesy JTMF 2022. All other photos by: Lisa Lynn Morgan