I just realized I hadn’t yet written anything about the Vancouver Folk Music Festival last weekend.
Well, it was another glorious summer weekend in Jericho Park, one of the most spectacular settings for a festival on this (or probably any other) continent. The lineup was as terrific as always.
Some particular favorites from the weekend (though there was much I wanted to hear that I didn’t get to -
The Wailin’ Jennys – three women from Winnipeg who sing wonderfully together, write and/or pick great songs (like their cover of Neil Young’s Old Man), and project a warm, competent yet not-too-serious persona on stage. Their CD almost captures the magic of their in-person performances.
Fiamma Fumana – an interesting quartet from Italy featuring a combination of traditional instruments with electronica. They had the audience really up and hopping at the workshop I heard them at. Plus how could you not love a band that features a woman who plays bass and doubles on flute and Italian bagpipes?
Oliver Schroer and the Twisted String – Oliver is a Vancouver fiddle player with more energy than any three people I know. He’s played with almost every artist in Canada over the last few years. This year he brought a large (like twenty people) group of kids (high-school age mostly) that he’s been working with in a couple of provincial towns in BC to play at the festival. They played an assortment of his challenging new-age fiddle music (with titles like Fireballs of the Eucharist, you know these aren’t your father’s fiddle tunes). Their energy was completely contagious all throughout the festival!
Kaki King – A wonderful young acoustic guitar player, Kaki King wowed us all with her tecnique, compositions, and dynamics. As it says on her web site:
Thumping bass lines, tapping melodies, and slapping percussion on her guitar, Kaki King is a one-woman force sent to wreak acoustic havoc. At 24, she is already a riveting performer, combining jaw-dropping technique with unique compositions. Though her style and tunings are suggestive of Michael Hedges, Kaki is more about the L train to Williamsburg than placid landscapes. Her playing has a passion and an edge that keeps her tenuously balanced, one foot in the acoustic world, the other in rock’n'roll.
A great weekend, and I look forward to next year!