Calgary Folk Festival turns it up at Prince's Island

Posted by on 9 August 2016

Folk Fest Crowds Enjoy the Sunny Weather

Music fans relax in the sunshine as they enjoy opening night at Calgary Folk Festival 2016 on Prince's Island in Calgary, Alta. on Thursday July 21, 2016. Jim Wells/Postmedia

The clouds finally parted and the sun rained down on folk fest attendees on Thursday night as the four-Day festival kicked off at Prince's Island Park.

The annual festival attracts an eclectic mix of music loving Calgarians and this year was no different.

Headlining the show on the main stage was Kristian Matsson, a Swedish singer and songwriter who performs as The Tallest Man on Earth. Accompanied by his guitar and four bandmates, The Tallest Man on Earth (who by the way is not even close to the tallest man on Earth), pumped out quite a unique sound.

Matsson's trademark throaty singing voice kicked offthe show with his songs Wind and Walls and 1904.

Since 2006, Matsson has released four full-length albums and his music has breached borders, becoming a popular staple on Canadian alternative radio.

Although smaller than in past years, the crowd was receptive to his slow but smooth big stage show.

He carried the crowd easily through the evening but sped things up at the end with some more up-tempo beats.

Local favourites, The Dudes, closed the first night of Calgary Folk Music Festival on the National Stage, drawing a big crowd of locals to cheer on the hometown boys.

Getting a lot of crowd engagement in their hometown show, the group took a request from the crowd for Ever Been To Taiwan, which is always a favourite.

It was the one show of the day that got most of the crowd offtheir tarps and lawnchairs and up on their feet. Using their usual humour and charm, The Dudes, made up of Don Vacon, Bob Quaschnick, Brock Geiger and Matt Doherty, show their comfort on the stage, not disappointing the folk fest goers.

Yemen Blues with Ravid Kahalani opened the festivities on the main stage while Lemon Bucket Orkestra kicked the day off on the National stage.

At 6:30, Marty Stuart and really got things going with his classic folk blues and gospel performance that engaged the growing crowds on the main stage.

Gregory Alan Isakov drew a large crowd on the National stage performing a number of true smooth folk songs and was followed up by The Cave Singers, from Seattle, who showcased their gritty alternative sound.

The interesting mix of folk fest attendees including grandparents, kids and young couples produced an atmosphere that only a music festival can.