Vancouver Folk Festival Day 2 was definitely easier to enjoy without the rain getting in the way (for most of the day anyway). I found a lot of great music to take in as well as some terrific atmospheric shots.
I started off the day watching the Rattling Locks workshop at Stage 3 featuring Josh Ritter & the Royal Band, David Wax Museum, and Joy Kills Sorrow (who I caught yesterday doing their own show on Stage 2).
The young BC Fiddle Orchestra at the Little Folks Stage put on an entertaining concert, led by Daniel Lapp, who started the group in 1994. The original group has since formed a second generation of young artists, and many former members have moved on to capture wider audiences in the music world.
Irishman Foy Vance kept smaller Stage 7 going with his soulful acoustic guitar tunes. He’s been in bands back in the UK, but found his true passion by going solo.
Stage 5 was fully packed in with several bands partaking in the All Fired Up workshop. I caught the last act, Imaginary Cities, from Winnipeg. They’re doing the summer music circuit with a final stop in their hometown Brandon, for the Brandon Folk Festival.
Nearby at Stage 4, UK’s Spiro caught my ear. I wandered over to watch four very unique sounds mesh to form an acoustic folk sound that clearly stood out from others I’d heard up until then. The expressions of violinist Jane Harbour made me think that she was in her own world, but connected all the same while jamming with fellow members Jon Hunt (guitar), Jason Sparkes accordion, and Alex Vann (mandolin).
Two very unlikely musicians jammed so wonderfully together: Hans Theessink and Terry Evans. Hans is originally from Holland but now lives in Austria. Terry grew up in Mississippi, where song was reserved for religious purposes. Both perform acoustic blues and enjoyed playing together yesterday afternoon. They definitely had the crowd entertained!
During a quick lunch break, I picked up the sounds coming from Stage 3. The Duhks (with Matt Gordon) were performing their set, so I finished up and headed over. A great group of folk musicians from Manitoba, they’ve even performed on a folk music cruise.
And after their set was through, the stage cleared and I glanced at the program guide. There was a blank space for the time slot after The Duhks. That space was soon filled with the announcement of a hidden workshop called Group Dynamics. I was happy to hear that several musicians that I hadn’t yet caught during the festival would be featured: Elliott Brood, Pokey Lafarge, and Wendy McNeill (along with their respective bands).
Pokey Lafarge was really fun to listen to! Pokey and his band have got the old-time river boat blues style going. The band is outfitted as if they’d come from a turn of the century movie set. Ryan Koenig was set up on washboard, complete with a bell to ring at just the right moment.
Elliott Brood and Wendy McNeill also had their turn. Elliott Brood is an alt-country band composed of three musicians on guitar, banjo, ukelele, and drums.
Wendy McNeill treated the crowd to songs sung with first an accordion and later a guitar. That workshop was easily my favourite moment of the day.
[Story-telling inside a huge fish, courtesy of The Ta Daa Lady]
Check out more photos from Day 2 on Flickr.