Downriver Folk

Eve Hell and her big red stand-up bass gave a rockabilly backdrop to the unveiling of the 33rd Calgary Folk Music Festival line-up...

...at the Ship and Anchor, and the fan-boy and fan-girl squeals could be heard all the way to Prince’s Island.

After poet laureate Kris Demeanor performed a dystopian folk fest poem (butter chicken sells out, replaced by margarine goose...), artistic director Kerry Clarke took the stage and dropped some names. Well-known favourites like Chris Isaak and Randy Newman will share the marquee with indie darlings like Jeff Mangum and Beirut. Icons like John Doe and Junior Brown will jam with up-and-comers like Little Scream and Shad.
 
Sure, there was some disappointment over the cancellation of headliner Sinead O’Connor, but artist wrangling is an imprecise science. As Clarke told the assembled folk aficionados, “some musicians take five months to say yes. And then they say no.”
 
But as any true folkie knows, it's not usually the big names that cause the biggest buzz. Nothing compares to the thrill of stumbling upon an undiscovered musical gem. Eric Rosenbaum, SAIT Communications Specialist, knows that it's all about exploration of the unknown. “For me, that's the best part,” he declared, as he swapped recommendations. (I'll see your Chatham County Line and raise you one Rae Spoon.)
 
With all that musical talent gracing Prince's Island, with the addition of a multi-media talk tent, and with the 7th annual Folk Boot Camp flexing its muscle at the National Music Centre, we have a feeling that late July is going to be one endless groove. Not to brag or anything, but we've already got our tarps packed, ready for that easy stroll from East Village.