Perusing the lineup of the Calgary Folk Festival
It’s an objection you occasionally hear as the weekly leaks trickle out, an objection which inevitably turns vociferous when the full lineup of the Calgary Folk Festival is finally revealed, as it was today. “It’s not folk enough!”
I don’t really see the problem with offering diversity in a folk festival. Personally I appreciate a little variety in my festival lineup. I am excited to hear a little Natacha Atlas mixed in with my Ian Tyson, a little Po’ Girl jamming with my David Essig. Surely there is as much room for a more pop-oriented band like Ohbijou or Stars to perform at the folk festival as there is for a more traditional roots performer like Geoff Muldaur or Tom Russell.
This year’s folk festival lineup is a pleasing mixture of performers whom I have been wanting forever to see, blended with those whom I have seen previously in a drastically different setting from Prince’s Island Park. Very curious I am to hear how they sound under a ceiling of leaves instead of church rafters, a backdrop of shrubbery instead of a theatre curtain. And of course, there are bound to be a handful of performers of whom I have never heard, and whom I may never again have the chance to see, who will blow my socks off. Happens every year.
And since you asked, the performers I am most excited to see at the Calgary Folk Festival this year, in alphabetical order, are the Avett Brothers, David Essig, Joe Henry, Library Voices, Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans, Dan Mangan, Laura Marling, Ohbijou, Ox, St. Vincent, Stars, Sunparlour Players, the Swell Season, Timber Timbre, and Frank Turner.
Whew. I’m going to have to pace myself.