This past weekend marked the 41st Winnipeg Folk Festival and it was awesome! I didn’t camp this year so before I go any further, I only went Friday night and Saturday. I didn’t get to enjoy all the bands I wanted to or all the great bands the festival had to offer so this post is only based on music that I enjoyed from Friday night and Saturday.
First up are Canadian band The Strumbellas, I blogged about these guys before the line up was announced and tweeted it at the FolkFest saying they should bring them in, this is how it went:
They were probably giggling to themselves, because, little did I know they were probably already coming in! Any how, The Strumbellas rocked Big Blue @ Night on Friday. The track I included below is titled “Sailing” and the vocals make me melt. They got everyone to sing along to this and it was really cool to be apart of. I also bumped into Simon Ward and David Ritter in the beer tent so we took a picture with them and they signed my CD so that was really great.
Now, Baskery, oh. my. god. I looked into them after I found out the FolkFest line up and fell in love! They are sisters and I completely forgot that when I went to see them Friday night and when they opened with “Northern Girl” my jaw dropped because of how in sync they were on this a capella song. Being wickedly talented siblings probably helps them out a little.
Baskery is a folk rock band made up of sisters Greta, Stella and Sunniva Bondesson from Sweden. The band originally formed in 2006 with their father, Janåke Bondesson, on drums. They have released 4 albums One Horse Down (2007), Fall Among Thieves (2008), New Friends (2011) and Little Wild Life (2013). Their breathy and angelic voices work so well together and below I included my favourite song titled “The Shadow”.
Boy & Bear
These handsome men got together in 2009 to form Boy & Bear an Australian indie rock-folk band. Boy & Bear consists of David Hosking (vocals & guitar), Killian Gavin (vocals & guitar), Tim Hart (drums & vocals), Jonathan Hart (vocals, banjo, mandolin & keyboards) and David Symes (bass). They have released two albums, Moonfire (2011) and Harlequin Dream (2013), both reaching the top ten of the Australian album chart.
Unfortunately I was unable to make it to their main show on Sunday but I did catch them at Big Blue Stem at a workshop on Saturday morning with some other artists such as The Strumbellas. I had heard great things about this band before so I checked them out and “Bridges” is unreal. This song is so even, the vocals give me chills and the guitar is killer, it’s rock but it never over powers the vocals.
I have loved Ani DiFranco since way back in my dance days and she is still killing it! This woman is empowering with her strong feminist lyrics and different approach to vocals and music in general. I find her very intriguing, some of my old favourites of hers are “Pixie”, “Gravel” and “Not A Pretty Girl”. Below is the title track from her most recent album ¿Which Side Are You On? released in 2012.
Shakey Graves is an unreal musician, I discovered him just before the Folk Festival announced their line up for 2014 and was ecstatic when I saw his name there. The banjo is just, magic, definitely one of my favourite instruments.
Langhorne Slim & The Law
New York-based folk singer Langhorne Slim & The Law was an unexpected love for me. I wasn’t specifically going to see him and I am so glad I ended up at main stage when I did, these guys are amazing! Consisting of Langhorne Slim (vocals & guitar), Malachi DeLorenzo (drums), David Moore (banjo & keyboard) and Jeff Ratner (bass). The Way We Move is their 5th studio album, you can listen to the whole thing below.
Again, there was so much talent at this festival and I am sad to say I only got to experience a day and a half of it but hopefully I can camp next year.