Reflector Coverage

Posted by on 28 July 2010

Full coverage from staff writers Kelsey Hipkin and Katie Turner

 Time to get your folk on
By Kelsey Hipkin, July 22, 2010

Kelsey Does Calgary: Folk-me that’s a great festival…
By Kelsey Hipkin, The Reflector, July 23, 2010

Folk Fest: St. Vincent wows the crowd
By Kelsey Hipkin, The Reflector, July 23, 2010

Outside the gates of folk fest
By Katie Turner, The Reflector, July 24, 2010


 Time to get your folk on

By Kelsey Hipkin, July 22, 2010

http://www.thereflector.ca/2010/07/22/time-to-get-your-folk-on/

It’s time to grab the blankets and the picnic basket and head to Prince’s Island Park for the 31st annual Calgary Folk Festival July 22-25.

“There’s a little bit of something for every musical taste,” said Festival Director, Kerry Clarke.

“There’s a lot to discover if you’re open-eared.”

Clarke said that while tickets for Saturday are sold-out there are about 2500 hundred tickets remaining for the other three days. She added that the festival is on track to sell 90-100 per cent of tickets.

“It’s really fantastic because it’s a really nice sized audience,” she said of the festivals venue Prince’s Island Park.

The festival will be running one stage on Thursday, two stages on Friday and seven stages on Saturday and Sunday for people to listen to the wide variety of music that is being showcased.

Clarke pointed out The Swell Season as one of the must-see acts and added that the Friday night shows in general, including Coolooloosh, DJ Dolores and Michael Franti and Spearhead, is going to be “really great”.

Local favourites Ian Tyson and Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans will be playing the main stage on Saturday, July 24.

While travelling from stage to stage festival-goers can also check out the family area, Big Rock beer gardens, living library or one of the other many concession and information stands available.

The festival winds up Sunday evening with soul maestro Roberta Flack.

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 Kelsey Does Calgary: Folk-me that’s a great festival…

By Kelsey Hipkin, The Reflector, July 23, 2010

http://www.thereflector.ca/2010/07/23/kelsey-does-calgary-folk-me-thats-a-great-festival/

I like folk music.

I like all sorts of music actually, but have always loved the freedom and fun-lovingness (as well as the melancholy) that can be folk music. That being said, when you look at the line-up for this years Calgary Folk Festival, it’s not entirely folk music you’ll see but a cornucopia of different sounds and artists that will delight the senses of almost any music fan.

People were lined up by the hundreds this morning, looking like a caravan of hippies with brightly colored blankets, canvas haversacks and lawn-chairs ready to grab the main-stage hot spots to plant a tarp and soak up some sun and great music.
With seven stages all strategically placed around Prince’s Island Park there will be music aplenty for all. And for those who don’t bring their own snacks, there is also food aplenty. On Friday the food alley was jam-packed with people who could grab anything from Greek, to Mexican, to Indian to the highly exalted Ship Burger and even Gelato sandwiches. I dug into my friends Ship burger and they are just as good off of 17th ave. as they are on it. I also had a nibble on a Sunterra brisket sandwich, the beef was lovely and tender and had pineapple with it to contrast the spice of the sauce, tasty!

The people of the Folk Fest are almost as fun to watch as the musicians themselves. Khaki’s and button-ups mingled with bandanas and bare feet. Hula hoopers and dancers feeling the groove let the music carry them as parents with tots on their shoulders or in wagons wandered by. Some people lay on the morning rain-softened grass napping away while others did crossword puzzles and played Yahtzee on their carefully placed tarps. There’s a refreshing freedom to the atmosphere of the Folk Fest that you just don’t find anywhere else…while wandering an island in the middle of the city anyways.

Speaking of musicians, there were a couple of gigs Friday that really caught my attention. The first on Stage 4 was Etran Finatawa from Niger. “Hypnotic nomad’s desert blues unites the Wodaabe and Touareg tribes on an evolving journey built around laid-back guitars, driving rhythms and compelling voices,” calgaryfolkfest.ca says about the band. Compelling doesn’t even begin to describe the vocal fabulousness that is Etran Finatawa. It’s music you need to give a chance as it certainly wasn’t like anything I had heard before but once you let your mind wander a bit and have the music take over it was quite “hypnotic” indeed.

The other act I caught was The Swell Season. This band was recommended by both Folk Fest Artistic Director Kerry Clarke and my good friend Gaby so I knew they would definitely be worth a listen. Some of you might recognize the name not only as a music fan but as a movie fan. The faces of The Swell Season, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova starred in the 2006 film Once and wrote the soundtrack as well. They landed the Oscar for Best Original Song with “Falling Slowly” in 2008. Hansard has excellent vocals that can make the transition from happy-go-lucky Irish folk songs to haunting melodies and the ethereal voice of Irglova followed me all the way to my car stretching far beyond the musical utopia that is this years Folk Fest.

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 Folk Fest: St. Vincent wows the crowd

By Kelsey Hipkin, The Reflector, July 23, 2010

http://www.thereflector.ca/2010/07/26/folk-fest-st-vincent-wows-the-crowd/

If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, the Twilight series features a family of beautiful vampires named the Cullen’s. Pale and beautiful with a lovely voice, St. Vincent lead singer Annie Clark could easily be mistaken by Twi-Hards to be a member of the Cullen family (and was even featured on the New Moon soundtrack); but for the crowd at the Folk Fest on July 25, Clark was anything but vampiric as the band put on a great show.

“It’s very nice to be here, it’s a beautiful place with beautiful weather,” Clark said.

The grounds in front of the main-stage were packed with blankets and tarps of faithful festival goers as Clark and company played tunes such as “Marrow”, “Paris is Burning” and “Your Lips are Red”.

Clark’s haunting soprano paired with the usual bass, guitar and drums but also coupled with violin, flute and woodwinds made for a magical combination among the sunshine and trees at the Prince’s Island Park venue.

St. Vincents lyrics in songs like “Your Lips are Red”,  ”My face is drawn, my face is drawn on with this number 2 pencil. Your face is drawn, your face is drawn from drawing words right from my lips,”  show a complexity and simplicity all at the same time that makes for a winning combination.

St. Vincent engaged the crowd with their music as well as Clark chatting with the audience every couple of songs.
“I have not yet been to Calgary,” the Texas native said.

“People have told me Calgary is the Texas of Canada,” she added saying that Calgarians might not like the comparison but she thought it was a good thing.

It will be also be a good thing for Calgarians if  St. Vincent returns to Cowtown soon.

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 Outside the gates of folk fest

By Katie Turner, The Reflector, July 24, 2010

http://www.thereflector.ca/2010/07/24/5887/

While the music may be happening behind the fences of Calgary’s Folk Music Festival, there’s a different kind of party outside the gates.

Friday afternoon saw hundreds of festival-goers waiting in line from the main gates all the way to the pedestrian bridge across Memorial Drive.

This is a common occurrence during the four-day festival and has even become a tradition for many Calgarians.
“(I wait in line) to get a good spot to see the main-stage,” said Lynne Darlington, who has been coming to Folk Fest for 19 years. “If you’re too far back from the main-stage, I feel out of it.”

Not only is getting in line early crucial to scoring a sweet spot on the grass, but Darlington said it’s a great way to meet new people.

“It’s relaxing, you get to watch the people go by, and people are friendly, everyone’s happy,” she said.

Fellow folk-lover Kate Marlow agreed that waiting in line isn’t as boring as it seems.

“It’s fun, you meet people,” she said. “It’s a good atmosphere and you get to sit out in the sun for hours at a time and not do anything. It’s like a vacation.”

Darlington said that while she was looking forward to seeing Michael Franti and Spearhead, Folk Fest always offers some surprises, which makes the wait worthwhile.

“I always have a favourite by the time I’m done that I’d never heard of before I came.”

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