Edmonton Folk Music Festival 2011- Best Bets

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival 2011 begins this coming Thursday, August 4 and flows through the weekend. If you are among the fortunate to have tickets to this sold out event, you have a wonderful four-days of music ahead of you. Hang in there…you’ll never know what you miss if you miss it.

I’ve attended many EFMFs in the past 15 years but find I no longer have the stamina to attend the entire weekend. I volunteered a couple times and I’ve purchased my share of tickets. As well, they have been very generous in previous years in allowing me to attend as a member of the media.

I always leave the EFMF exhausted but richer for the experience of hearing (and seeing) favoured performers as well as discovering acts I had not previously encountered.

I’m not attending this year; instead I hope to head to Carstairs for the Mountain View Music Fest. If I were attending EFMF this year, the following are ten elements I would try to catch:

10. k. d. lang & the Siss Boom Bang- mainstage, late Sunday- nothing needs to be said

9. The closing rendition of “Four Strong Winds” featuring everyone still around the site

8. Wanda Jackson- stage 7 concert, Friday evening at 6:00- a legend I missed last time around- the voice isn’t what it once was, but…she’s Wanda Jackson!

7. Mary Gauthier- stage 3 concert, Saturday at 4:00- always engaging and I understand that Tania Elizabeth adds an interesting element to the performance. Then, Guy Clark- stage 3 concert, Saturday at 5:00 and Sarah Jarosz- stage 3 concert, Saturday at 6:00- after a day of racing from stage to stage, stay put after Mary Gauthier for a couple more hours

6. Guy Clark, The Flatlanders, Nanci Griffith, and Lyle Lovett- stage 3 “Influences” session- expect to hear songs from Townes, Walter Hyatt, and Tom Russell. Who’ll be the first to do a Guy Clark song?

5. Blackie & the Rodeo Kings- main stage, Sunday at 2:00 ADDITIONAL NOTE: Serena Ryder will be performing with BARK as well as at sessions on her own.

4. The Deep Dark Woods- stage 1 concert, Saturday at 1:00- Could they be the ‘next big thing?’ With a U.S. deal (Sugar Hill) and a hot new album out tomorrow in Canada, Saskatchewan’s finest export this side of Fantuz Flakes needs to be heard. They also appear at several sessions notably Stage 5’s Going Up the Country (Friday 7:30) with Wanda Jackson, Garnet Rogers, and Ane Brun and Stage 1’s Turn, Turn, Turn (Sunday 11:00) with Bill Bourne and Braden Gates.

3. Etran Finatawa- stage 1 concert, Sunday at 4:00- Why this West African band isn’t on the main stage is a mystery to me. Get to stage 1 early which (unfortunately) may mean skipping out on Nanci Griffith’s performance early.

2. Nanci Griffith- stage 3 concert at 3:00- Do you really need a reason?

1. Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band- main stage, Saturday at 7:00- the deepest cut for me. There is no end to the performances I’ll regret missing at EFMF 2011 but they all pale beside this one. Dang!

Yes, I overly emphasize singer-songwriters of the Texas variety. Deal.

The full Edmonton Folk Music Festival schedule is posted here: http://www.edmontonfolkfest.org/performers-2/schedule

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald

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