Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Core Encore...

Yes, this is ridiculously overdue... but better late, than never.

This year's Folk Fest was an absolutely fabulous time. I appreciated the welcome on to the tarp. The time with friends. Some of whom I only see this one weekend each year. There were also the random and chance encounters with old friends. Welcome, as well.

The highlights from Sunday's Folk Fest were, for me, the side stage performances of Alexi Murdoch and Amos Lee. Phenomenal, both.

I had been looking forward to Alexi Murdoch's Orange Sky since the weekend had begun. It was well worth the wait.

Following Alexi, I was finally able to see the Amos Lee concert that I had marked down as soon as his Folk Fest inclusion was announced. Shivers. I managed to weasle my way close to the stage and had a great view of the show.

Back to the beer tent, then the tarp for this girl.

Time on the tarp turned into another M & Ms commercial soon enough. This snack will be a staple for all Folk Fests, I think.

Everyone else has already talked about how unimpressed they were with the Ryan Adams set. So, I won't get into that whole diatribe. I will go on the record as thinking that I could have deleted that 30 minutes from the weekend and not have been worse off.

At this point, I ended up heading out. Off to the Foo Fighters concert.

I had a blast though. A great weekend... one that I can hardly wait to revisit next year. Albeit maybe with a bit more foresight and a holiday day taken on Monday.

And a few photos to say goodbye...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Had a Dream I...

...sat beneath a blue sky.

My favorite part of the whole Folk Fest - Alexi Murdoch's mellow, soothing, chill, sweet set. I sat back at the top of the hill, looked out over the stage, saw this view and had It. The Perfect Moment - that transcendent feeling of being carried away on the music. That feeling rarely comes, but I've grown to count on the Folk Fest to give me at least one every summer. This was it. And with a view like that, who couldn't be transported?

So Ready for Mr Adams!!

Little did we know...

Idle Hands

"But what am I supposed to do???"


Make a Better Door than a Window... my mother would say. Another tarp foul - and they had the gall to do it RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!! You can tell how enraged the Maestro is just from his shoe.

I'm just here for the music

The Reverend gets down on Sunday...

The Reclines

Sitting still on a steep hill for four days straight takes a certain degree of expertise. Here's the Core in "action"...

Saturday Night

After a scorching day (you've seen my sunburn - nuff said), the skies opened up on Saturday night and it rained and rained. Thanks to the ingenious "tarp burrito" the Core cobbled together in mere minutes (under the cracking whip of the Maestro, naturally), very little got soaked. Except for Cam who took more than one for the team! And, of course, our tushes.

You may wonder what a tarp burrito looks like. Wonder no more:

And the beauty of the tarp burrito is that it frees your hands for yummy snacks!

Strummin' on the Old Banjo

The Day the Hill Stood Still

The Tarp Nazi tries to "foil" the aliens' attempts at messing with his mind...

The less experienced Birkby tries the same -- with newspaper. (I don't think it worked...)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

The best show of Saturday afternoon was the Blues Jam at 3 on Stage 6. Harry Manx, Jim Byrnes, Roy Rogers & Norton Buffalo, as well as Amos Lee put on a fantastic show. Lee looked a little lost playing with all the blues musicians, but you could hear an audible gasp in the crowd when people first heard his voice. I am always a sucker for the blues sessions at the Folk Fest, and this year was no exception. I try to diversify,but I can't get away from it.

By 5 p.m., I was burnt out. A few of us decided to head back to Hill Nanny's parent's condo (that is a mouthful) to have a swim in the pool. It was so nice and refreshing. Little did we know, however, that there was no need. Mother Nature was about to hand us a big dose of cold water.

If It Ain't The Blues, It Ain't The Truth

Hill Nanny and I stumbled upon the amazing Guy Davis playing in the CD tent. He just showed up and started playing for the volunteers. Not only was it an awesome performance; it was an incredible gesture from the artist. I saw Guy several other times over the weekend, and he was always playing an instrument. Even when they were carting him back from a show, he was playing his harmonica.

Hot Fun In The Summertime

This was how Saturday started out. Hot as Hell. It must have been almost 30 degrees out, but at least there was a nice breeze. Notice The Rookie attempting to show off with the one-armed pushup. It was a miserable failure, but the effort was there.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Somethings old, new, bizarre and true

I always forget just how much folk fest takes out of me. Four days of revelry, propping yourself up on the hill, running tarp early in the morning, blazing trails from here to there. It was a fantastic time as always but I'm exhausted!

The rain on Saturday would have been disappointing if Mavis Staples wasn't so legendary. The deep soul mama baritone and her bass-slappin' band made for gospel good times before the deluge. The Core stuck it out in style before fleeing sensibly into that good night.

As it turned out it was just enough rain to freshen up the park for the penultimate day. Most of Sunday was totally rockin' and that's what I was in a mood for. Old Reliable were more relaxed than the day before for their 11 AM sesh and the Weakerthans were just plain cool. Gospel Hour is always a must and Ruthie Foster let the spirit sing, along with the introverted Amos Lee, and those dudes from Tennessee were pretty sweet with the barbershop quartet bluegrass sound. Big new discovery for me was Alexi Murdoch. Sadly I only caught two songs but they were enough to have me hooked, it was so head-bobbingly catchy and uplifting, probably the best 15 minutes of music I've experienced at folk fest in a long time.

Then we entered Bizarro land courtesy of Ryan Adams. The review of his show in the Sun gives you an idea of what went on. The reviewers gave him way too much credit, I was really disappointed, not just by his drug-addled comments which were amusing in that watching a train wreck way, but his playing which was just sloppy. Sometimes it was like Hendrix meets the folk fest but other times you could tell that he was just messing. Too bad because he's written some great songs but he was way too wasted to play them for anyone. The festival goers know good music and would be a forgiving lot in terms of understanding over the top behavior from a real artist but they weren't impressed.

Thankfully Allison Krauss and company was there to save the day. Now this is one funny gal. They played a massive set and it was a real treat for all assembled.

I am so thankful that there is a large and appreciative audience for great music in Edmonton. I love the culture we have. I look forward to the next 50 folk fests in my life.

more pics from the Ref

Don't we look like we are having fun! yeah...yeah
Derpack and Danica braving the drops!

I promise to write a weekend debreif with a bit more sleep in me.
Peace Out Peacemakers

Craig and The Ref in the Beer Tent!

The Reverend looking angry after spotting some squatters!! Trapper Dan doing a puzzle, Shocking!!

Randy trying out his new binocs!

Kyle K. with Niko.... where does she get her good looks..must be from om ;)
Katherine and Christine about to take on the festival...mind your sons!!

Some Pics

I think Vanessa Ate a Bee!!!!

The Clark family plus one little fetus!

Want a bite?? No I will pass!

More To Come

Recovery day. Photos and comments to follow. At least from me.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Rain Man

These two pictures are a metaphor for my evening.

One is about hanging on...

The other is about letting go...

Quote of the night goes to The Rookie, when I suggested he call in sick for work Monday:

"Judging by how cold and wet my balls are right now, I just might be actually sick by then."

I am out. More pics to follow.