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July 24, 2007

Some Mighty Fine Blues At Calgary Folkfest

Written by
cindy mcleod

live blues, Canada

Top-drawer Blues Acts Included in Folkfest Program

Running July 26-29 at Princes Island Park, the Calgary Folkfest is known for it’s tasty and eclectic programming along with a healthy serving of Calgary hospitality.

This year is no exception. With a wide cross-section of regional and international artists, there’s something for music lovers of every taste.

Blues fans are in for a treat this year with the top-drawer selection of acts to enjoy.

In the acoustic, singer-songwriter vein, there’s Piedmont finger-picker extraordinaire Mary Flower; British Columbia’s Juno-award winning bluesman Jim Byrne; the country-tinged blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Smither; and Calgary’s own Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, who charm both young and old with their cross between traditional blues, Appalachian folk and gospel.

Stretching into other blues styles are Detroit’s W.C. Handy Award-winning soul singer Bettye LaVette; New Zealand blues rocker Paul Urbana Jones; and the Delta sounds of Watermelon Slim and the Workers (Oklahoma). The New Orleans Social Club, formed six weeks after Hurricane Katrina, features members of The Neville Brothers (Ivan, Cyril and Charles), The Meters (Leo Nocentelli and George Porter, Jr.), Raymond Weber & Henry Butler. They are joined by their friends and neighbors Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Dr. John, Willie Tee, Troy (Trombone Shorty) Andrews, the subdudes, the Mighty Chariots of Fire, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and John Boutté.

What makes the Calgary Folkfest really special is the divine ‘workshop’ stage programming of Artistic Director Kerry Clark. The daytime stages (there are six of them), feature Clark’s inspired mixing and matching of band members and leaders from various groups to create spontaneous fusions of sounds and genres. One might find a blues guitarist from Detroit alongside a throat singer from Tuva, or an Italian accordion player with a Kentucky country fiddler. The result is pure magic, and the essence of what music can represent… isn’t it always said that it’s the universal language?

for more information visit www.calgaryfolkfest.com

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