Calgary Folk Music Festival 2015 Day Two

Posted by Ana Mihajlovic and Willow Grier on 25 July 2015

CALGARY — Day two of Calgary Folk Fest began early in the afternoon. Relaxed multi-artist jams featuring Kim ChurchillSAVK, and Hawksley Workman played over at the Field Law stage as attendees trickled in.

Puerto Candelaria, a Columbian six-piece, kicked off the main stage festivities with their unique brand of rhythmic Latin-folk fusion, energizing and entertaining the early bird crowd with offbeat humour, quirky covers and high-energy tunes.

Frazey Ford, former member of The Be Good Tanyas took the stage immediately afterwards, maintaining the upbeat atmosphere with a few of her peppier tunes. Her soft, gorgeous voice summoned a larger crowd, and worked perfectly with her soulful backing band. She finished off the set on a mellow note with the title track from her latest album, Indian Ocean, which had the entire crowd swaying and singing along.

The highly-anticipated Hawksley Workman followed, but unfortunately the set was a bit disappointing, as sound levels seemed to be mixed inappropriately. Where his songs normally would have been lively and theatrical, the sound came across as grating and too rustic.

Black Joe Lewis at Calgary Folk Music Festival 2015. Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino

Meanwhile at the National Stage, Black Joe Lewis proved to be a highlight, wowing the crowd with his impressive vocal range and energetic blues-rock. The backing band, formerly the Honeybears, consisted of a horn trio and a percussion section, providing the driving rhythms for this exhilarating performance. The crowd couldn’t help but dance to Joe Lewis’s raspy voice and catchy electric guitar riffs.

Kid Koala at Calgary Folk Music Festival 2015. Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino

Up next was Kid Koala’s Vinyl Vaudeville, maintaining the upbeat atmosphere with an entirely different sound, best described as an electronic-dubstep-rock hybrid. Accented with feather and glitter clad burlesque dancers, robots, and even giant five-eyed monster puppets, and set against the crackling fabric of vinyl sound, it was the perfect shake up to the day. The performance even featured a brief, seemingly unplanned cameo from FUBAR’s David Lawrence. While a DJ at a folk fest might have seemed out of place, Kid Koala’s hypnotic and thoughtful blends had plenty of roots, and nestled in cosily amongst the folk acts surrounding him.

Father John Misty at Calgary Folk Music Festival 2015. Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino

Father John Misty closed out the day with an electrifying set. As soon as the colourful character took the stage with his powerful band and coltish humour, a collective swoon could be seen within the audience. He entertained the crowd with his theatrical over-the-top dance moves and his sarcastic, dry humour. Melding equal parts heart-wrenching sentimentality with dance-ready, grooves, he delivered above and beyond his sterling reputation to close out the second night of festivities. Although the set ended abruptly due to bylaw constraints, and though the crowd wanted more, they were certainly not disappointed as day two of The Calgary Folk Fest finished with a bang.