After a two-year hiatus from Folk Fest while we lived in Vancouver, we returned to our happy place this weekend. Yesterday was a scorcher. We found us a little piece of heaven in Shady Grove for our first workshop of the day...
Where else, than at a Folk Fest workshop stage, would you combine a Danish brass-infused polka/folk band, a bluegrass fiddler from the States, and an old-time string band from Winnipeg? Stranger still is that it worked. They made beautiful music together.
After a banjo workshop at Shady Grove, our next stop was one of the new stages - Spruce Hollow. It's a bit of a trek to get to, but there were glorious pockets of shade and an amazing fiddle mash-up.
After three great workshops, I was getting a little worried. I still hadn't found my "one" new glorious discovery of the folk fest. I didn't have to wait long. We pulled up close to the stage at Spruce Hollow for the "Songs I Wish I Wrote" workshop. It was an eclectic mix of singer-songwriters playing cover tunes written by some of their favorite writers. They covered songs by The Talking Heads, The Clash, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and more. It was ridiculous. In a goose-bump inducing sort of way.
One of our discoveries was the deep deep voice of New Yorker Sean Rowe...
Mike was feeling the vibe of Bhi Bhiman. Chill.
But the guy that stole it for us was Canadian Danny Michel. He's like a merger of Elvis Costello and Paul Simon. He's just released an album with the Garifuna Collective from Belize that we've been playing on "repeat" all day long. It's reminiscent of Paul Simon's Graceland album. We found our "one" of the festival for sure.
The new space for food vendors was up and running and we feasted!
Some people dozed.
Our girls lapped up their return...
Can you spot the teensie folkie caterpillar?
There was a glorious prairie sky for the main stage show.
... which included treks for Whale's Tails and...
.... kettle corn (which can also act as a stand in for a guitar).
It was late into the night when Dr. John started his groove on stage and the Penner dance party ensued.
Once the dirty feet were washed clean and the kettle corn kernels were brushed out of my teeth I lay in my bed with a satisfied sigh.
Music. People. Magic. As close to a perfect day as you can get.