August 9, 2009

Folk Festival

Thousands of wonderful people attend the Edmonton Folk Festival every year and tickets are sold out as soon as they come on sale. Amazing talented musicians from all over the world appear on many stages in relaxing, natural amphitheaters. The audience gets to sit on the grass, feel the wind, gaze at the sky, get a sun tan and/or burn, and enjoy cool music. What is even more special is that you can leave your bags and jackets on the place you have staked out to sit and no one will take a thing (as far as I have heard). I am really impressed with that level of trust and honesty. You can walk around alone in a huge shoulder to shoulder crowd and no one will harass you. That is freedom! 

One of my favorite groups at the Folk Festival was Hanggai. I didn't understand a word they sang, as it was in Mongolian, but wow did they impress me. Their songs touched me with their rhythms which sounded like galloping horses, and the deep throat singing was very earthy. I could close my eyes and almost feel like I was in Mongolia. No I have never been there in this lifetime!  Another great ageless group, The Wailers, were a crowd pleaser.  My husband and I danced to every song along with hundreds of others from babies to silver haired old hippies. Bob Marley was there in spirit. Cherryholmes, a family of very skilled and entertaining bluegrass singers were high energy. They were nominated for a Grammy in 2006. I had no idea what the favorite dance music of little tikes was, but now I know. When Cherryholmes started to play, those between 1.5 years and 5 years leaped to their feet and their bouncing, twirling, jumps and fancy footwork was a joy to behold.