City and Colour, Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies among headliners for this year’s Calgary folk fest

Posted by Mike Bell on 22 April 2017

 

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday so of course the Calgary Folk Music Festival will be joining in on the festivities this year, with a large percentage of headliners familiar and beloved ones from the Great White North.

Barenaked Ladies, City and Colour, Blue Rodeo, Basia Bulat, Tanya Tagaq, Couer de Pirate, Holy Fuck, Jason Collett, John K. Samson & The Winter Wheat, DJ Shub and BADBADNOTGOOD.

Truly some inspired and pleasing patriotic programming from artistic director Kerry Clarke.

Right?

Pause.

“Sure.”

Actually, the longtime AD of the annual event says our centennial and a half wasn’t the driving force behind the names who’ll be Mainstaging it taking us into Twilight on Prince’s Island Park come July 27 to 30, instead it was just “a happy coincidence.”

“Those artists were really interested in playing and available,” she says. “I chased them and they chased me. It was a happy convergence, really.”

Clarke is convinced that convergence should make for a pretty spectacular weekend and confident that Calgarians will be wooed by the crossover appeal.

Hard to question her, especially when you look at some of the other sensational headliners from around the globe including: pond-bridging team Billy Bragg and Joe Henry; roots-rock bros Dave and Phil Alvin + the Guilty Ones; Boston indie folkies Darlingside; British country-soul singer Yola Carter; L.A. rural-rockers Dawes; and the one returning artist from the 2016 fest, Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance, who wowed the crowd considerably and earned himself another invite and promotion.

“He did so well last year that we’re bumping him up to Mainstage,” Clarke says.

Other notable artists from around the globe who will be populating the many fest stages — including the one that had been outside of the gates and in Eau Claire the past couple of years, but which is now back on Island time — are those that Clarke describes as “in the pocket folk that’s also really hip that’s coming out of the States,” such as the Cactus Blossoms, Parsonsfield and Birds of Chicago, as well as a collection of “rising Americana stars,” such as Sean Rowe, Langhorne Slim and John Paul White formerly of Grammy-winning duo The Civil Wars.

“There will be lots of opportunities for collaborations,” she says. “The workshops are forming in my head as I speak.”

And filling out, but not just taking up space, on those afternoon sessions as well as having their own showcase concerts over the weekend is a healthy, talented and eclectic contingent of Alberta acts.

“It’s a pretty divergent mix of artists,” Clarke says, noting everyone from #YEG roots act Alice Kos and Goldtop to the funk and hip-hop of Calgary’s Sargeant and Comrade to adopted local country soul Lindi Ortega to veteran city garage ghouls Forbidden Dimension.

“Our favourite folk artists,” she says of the latter and laughs.

And Canadian, to boot.

Happy 150.

Tickets and passes for this year’s folk fest are on sale now from their website, with four-day wristbands running you $180 for adults and $120 for students, seniors and youths, with single-day adult ducats priced at $60, $65, $80 and $75, from Thursday to Sunday, respectively, and the other folks forking out $25, $30, $40 and $40 for the same days. As usual, kids 12 and under are freeloaders.

Here’s the the Mainstage and Twilight (or National Stage) schedule for this year’s Calgary Folk Music Festival, followed by the complete list of artists playing those four days in July:

Thursday, July 27

Mainstage

Dawes

Coeur de Pirate

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry

National Stage

Leif Vollebekk

Son Little

John Paul White

Jason Collett

Friday, July 28

Mainstage

Birds of Chicago

Archie Roach

Michael Kiwanuka

Basia Bulat

City and Colour

National Stage 

Melvin Gibbs

Tanya Tagaq

DJ Shub

Saturday, July 29 

Mainstage

Mbongwana Star

Sidestepper

John K. Samson & The Winter Wheat

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin + the Guilty Ones

Barenaked Ladies

National Stage

Betty Bonifassi

Holy Fuck

BADBADNOTGOOD

Sunday, July 30​

Mainstage

Yola Carter

Darlingside

Foy Vance

Blue Rodeo

Full folk fest lineup

100 Mile House (AB)

Alice Kos and Goldtop (AB)

AM Static (AB)

Archie Roach

The Ballroom Thieves

Barenaked Ladies

BADBADNOTGOOD

Barney Bentall

Basia Bulat

Bellflower

Benjamin Longman (AB)

Betty Bonifassi

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry

Birds of Chicago

Blind Boy Paxton and Meredith Axelrod

Blue Rodeo

Bones of J.R. Jones

Cactus Blossoms

Carsie Blanton

Charlotte Cornfield & the Provincial Archive (AB)

Choir! Choir! Choir!

Chouk Bwa Libete

City and Colour

Coeur de Pirate

Cris Derksen

Darlingside

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin + The Guilty Ones

Dawes

DJ Shub

Dione Taylor and the Backsliderz

Donovan Woods

Dustbowl Revival

East Pointers

Faris

Forbidden Dimension (AB)

Foy Vance

Ghostkeeper (AB)

Holy F*ck

Iguanas

Jason Collett

Jeffery Straker

John K. Samson & the Winter Wheat

John Paul White

Langhorne Slim

Leif Vollebekk

Lindi Ortega (AB)

Lucy Dacus

Marvin Etzioni/Thee Holy Brothers

McCrary Sisters

Melvin Gibbs

Mbongwana Stars

Michael Kiwanuka

Mohsin Zaman (AB)

nêhiyawak (AB)

Parsonsfield

River Whyless

Robert B. Jones

Sargeant and Comrade (AB)

Sean Rowe

Sidestepper

Son Little

Sumner Brothers

Tanya Tagaq

Terra Lightfoot

Turkwaz

Whitney Rose

William Prince

Yola Carte