Folk Fest Sunday Finale

Lloyd and I skipped out on the last session of the afternoon for a recharge at The Knot. Keith's ale, caesar salad, potato skins, mussels, and peanut butter pie. That ought'a do it. The boys outside the tent: Scott, Nik, Eric and Lloyd.

Scott made us beautiful rings for my birthday, despite "no gifts" allowed. Yes, we lashed him. ;) Well, I think he got kisses and hugs from me... Anyway, we love our rings; they're carved from wood with gorgeous grains. Just our style. We've looked for rings for a while now and never did we find rings we liked so much as the ones our own friend made for us as a surprise. Thank you, Scott!

All of us seated in the wind tunnel/exit row (note the extra layers, extra blankets and extra tongue sticking out of Scott):

One more time, the Mainstage Evening Concert lineup (I guess I was too cold to take photos):

Carmel Mikol - glad for another performance. We like everything about her musically.

Tom Chapin & The Chapin Sisters - a family with local ties. Tom is a Grammy-award winner, but is probably best known as Harry Chapin's brother. He often sings Harry's "Cat's in the Cradle" in tribute.

Maria Dunn from Edmonton sang a haunting song called "We Were Good People" about a 1932 Hunger March in Edmonton where peaceful protesters were met by police wielding clubs and running even women and children off to scatter the march. View the lyrics and learn more here. Maria has a clear and commanding singing voice and award-winning songwriting talents.

Artisan - a zany a cappella trio from England.

Suzie Vinnick & Rick Fines. Suzie and songwriting partner Dan Kershaw won the International Songwriting Competition - Blues Category this year. She's said to have a "crystalline voice", even a voice "spun of gold". We like it, however you describe it.

Matt Andersen won this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He makes a fitting finale, especially when joined by a variety of the festival's top performers.

As always, the festival evening ends with the singing of Nova Scotia Song.

Our dear friend, Deb, stops by for a post-festival visit and a photo opp with Jay. We miss you already, Deb!

Another Folk Harbour Festival done, another reservation at the Blockhouse Hill Campground (Lunenburg Board of Trade Campground) for next August. If you want to join us, please make your reservations soon!

-P

Folk Fest Sunday: Jay Faires Edition

August 8, 2010 Lunenburg, NS

This one's all about Jay. :)

Surrounded by Grass Mountain Hobos.

I don't know if you can see the smiles on their faces, but they're lovin' Jay!

Huge grins all around for Jay's second performance:

A little bit closer now (look at them jam!):

I wasn't the only one taking photos. The lady in red is a journalist for PEI's (home of the Hobos) major newspaper.

Red Molly, Ken Whitelely and Ben Whiteley, The Grass Mountain Hobos, and the centre of attention: Jay Faires! Whoohoo! :D

Jay, just part of the gang.

These are just a few of the 250-300 pairs of feet standing and hands clapping for a true musical talent.

Not one, but three standing ovations for Jay! And some hollerin' and hootin'.

Awesome.

But it's not over.

Jay and the Hobos are ushered outside for photos.

Jay's a natural.

PEI journalist requests some fun pose with Jay front and centre:

Just the first of many photo shoots, we presume.

One more chat before the Hobos leave for home.

The topper: a new fan tracks Jay down to buy a CD. Jay wasn't selling CDs, but we think the man insisted. He wanted to be the first to buy Jay's first CD, but someone beat him to it. Still, he can say he's the second to buy Hunstville City Limit.

Jay didn't stop there. Remember, there's an After Hours Party every night of the festival. After his first "in" he was in. He was welcome and he was having a great time. We're sure jamming with some of Canada's best folk, blues and roots musicians and singer songwriters was the highlight of Jay's Nova Scotia trip and we were honoured and thrilled to witness it, and we're hoping for a repeat. What do you think, Jay?

-P

P.S. - Jay, we miss your (live) music and your smiling happy ways. We had sooo much fun with you! Great memories. And now we wish you the best of luck at your new school. See you at camp!

No Rest on Folk Fest Sunday

August 8, 2010 Lunenburg, NS

Folk Harbour Festival Sunday begins with a rocking Gospel Concert on the Main Stage.

Here's Ken Whiteley et al with Red Molly:

Sunday's featured musicians, including Jay! You can just see Jay's jeans and black jacket (far left).

Though we were a movin' and a shakin' and a singin', we were chillier inside than those outside of the tent in the sun. We chose to sit in the "wind tunnel", the exit row, every night because it had more room, open flaps to outside and, uh hum, fresh air. We were pretty chilly at night.

Matt and his Mom sing a lovely gospel song together.

By noon things are back to normal and everyone makes for the various venues to catch final performances.

We catch the Capo Connection at the beautiful St. John's Anglican Church with Suzie Vinnick, Matt Andersen, Rick Fines and Kat Danser:

Then I zip back to the wharf for more of Connie Kaldor in the whipping wind ...

... and race back to the church for the Bountiful Bluegrass session featuring ... Jay!

Here's a sneak peek, but I'm posting other pics in a separate post. Check it out: all eyes on Jay.

Stay tuned!

-P

More Folk Fest, Folks

August 7, 2010 Lunenburg, NS

We crammed the day with music, from 10am 'til after 4am at the After Hours Party.

Saturday's Mainstage Evening Concert lineup:

Gordon Stobbe & Greg Simm - an always comedic hosting musical duo accompanied by rubber chickens and witticisms.

The Graham Wells Group from Newfoundland.

Kat Danser, Queen of the Swamp Blues. She's Edmonton-based but just back from ethnomusicology research in Ghana. Her soulful voice can fill a room, and we love her bawdy humour too.

Ken Whiteley and band:

James Keelaghan - multi-award winning (including a Juno) Canadian singer-songwriter.

Connie Kaldor - a three time Juno award winning singer-songwriter with a fantastic sense of humour and storytelling talents.

The After Hours Party (please excuse the photo quality; I'm not the photographer in the family):

Hint: Jay's in the ball cap below Ben Whiteley on upright bass.

Rick Fines far left. One of my favourites. He has a truly unique voice (much like Louis Armstrong's), loves slide guitar, and recorded his Solar Power CD in his off-the-grid cabin in the woods.

Jay played with the man himself, Ken Whiteley. Also pictured below: Ben Whiteley on bass, Mike Goodfellow on harmonica (behind Jay), Abbie from Red Molly (right of Jay) on dobro, and some I can't make out:

Jay's dad squeezed in for a view.

A brief break. David looking a little ... scary.

Jay played every instrument on his CD. Here he beats a drum next to David (in dreadlocks and bare feet and shirtless on a cold night) from House of Doc. Also, two or more musicians from Jay's favourite at the festival, The Green Mountain Hobos. Jay jammed with the Hobos late into the night on Friday (Saturday morning technically) and they became fast fans of Jay's musical abilities. More on that later.

The five of us arrived back at our respective busses at 4:18am so you know we had a grrreat time!

-P

P.S. - A celtic jam session takes place in another room, strategically located by the beer tap and food, and sometimes a third group moves the music outside.

Folk Harbour Fest: Friday

August 6, 2010 Lunenburg, NS

Decision making. Who to see?

We started with a "Preserving Foklore" workshop, another worthwhile edutainment event.

Next decision: easy. Cape Breton-based Carmel Mikol, whom we met at 30A Songwriters Festival in Seaside, Florida, and larger than life Matt Andersen, a festival favourite, at the Opera House.

The wharf is one of my favourite music venues, especially on a beautiful weather day.

First up: soulful, bluesy, Canadian roots music legend Ken Whiteley and band, including Ken's son Ben on upright bass.

Matt Anderson again. We just follow him around sometimes.

A sailboat settled in at the wharf during a song. Hard to beat the flow of music and sail together on a gorgeous day in Lunenburg.

Evening concerts take place on the Main Stage in the big white tent just a few paces from the campground. Friday's lineup: A Celebration of Traditional Music with folklorist-singer-songwriter Clary Droft and Jeff Davis et al, Red Molly's bluegrass and gospel harmonies, Shane Philip and his one-man band didgeridoos and drums, the return of the very funny and super-talented Mennonite family of folkies House of Doc, and also very funny David Francey. Folk Harbour is often blessed with a heavy dose of humour which keeps us laughing, even moreso on the night's CBC broadcaster Shelagh Rogers hosts the main stage, even when she's so hot she's "growing mushrooms in (her) shorts".

The most exciting event of the day happened after hours at the After Hours Party. A special, dear friend (Thank you again, D! xox) gifted us with two passes to the musician's and volunteer's party on the waterfront. Lloyd and I attended before and can tell you it's a blast. Not only can you expect phenomenal non-stop jam sessions, but free beer, great eats and fast friends too.

Friday, though, was Jay's opportunity to get in on the action. We assure you he made an admirable impression on other musicians and various festival coordinators and volunteers. Luckily, Jay (a.k.a. jayfaires.com) had a few copies of his CD on hand to share. Check Jay out (recorded in the Faires's Prevost):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J6ceebioFo&fs=1&hl=en_US]

That was the first of three After Hours Parties. Photos to come!

-P

Pre-Fest Events

August 5, 2010 Lunenburg, NS

(Dupe photos)

Not to be missed: the Lunenburg Farmers Market every Thursday.

Front and centre: my lobster béchamel crêpe (WOW!) and Laughing Whale coffee. Jay and Lloyd munched blueberry-stuffed waffles:

Moving on to the cookies:

An abundance of local and organic produce to choose from:

Art too. We left with a long cherry wood tray built by our friend Jamie. It sits on our table, for my stray papers and such, and I love it. Beauty and function.

Not pictured: This year, the 25th year of Folk Harbour Festival, included a Traditional Music Conference in addition to the usual schedule of workshops and performances. A panel of musicians discussed local music history, song writing and research involved with preserving traditional music and demonstrated a variety of music like Mi'kmaq drumming, maritime sea shanties, gaelic songs and reels, sea-inspired storytellers, etc. A bagpiper and his stepdancing daughter closed out the day. Did you know you don't blow into all bagpipes? Instead of inflating the bag with breath, a player inflates uilleann pipes via a bellow pumped under the right arm. A fun and informative event that may become a permanent event in the festival lineup.

Joined by Jim and Nancy and Doug just in time for a little jam before the evening concerts:

Spoiled by fresh local scallops and dear friends:

Thursday's concert lineup: Bill Plaskett & Friends, Acadian musicians Gadelle, local banjo-songwriter fave Old Man Luedecke (looking younger than last we saw him), The Grass Mountain Hobos (Jay's favourite) from PEI, the amazing harmonies of The Good Lovelies, and The Barra MacNeils from Cape Breton.

-P

Niagara-On-The-Lake

June 27-July 4, 2010 - Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON - Shaw Festival

Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of our favorite small towns. It influenced our decision to move to Nova Scotia. If you have not heard that story ask me sometime, I will be happy to tell you the tale. The town includes three wonderful theatres, a great bookstore, and many fine restaurants. We stayed a few mile out of town at the Shalamar Lake Campground, recommended only for its convenient location, being only a few kilometers from town.

We saw the following plays: John Bull's Other Island - GB Shaw Cherry Orchard - Chekov Ideal Husband - Oscar Wilde Women - Claire Boothe Luce Half an Hour - JM Barrie Harvey - Mary Chase Touch of Venus - musical Doctor's Dilemma - GB Shaw

This was a great season and we look forward to returning next year. -L