The Calgary Folk Festival

Today I am thinking about all kinds of things. I’m thinking about the random things I really love, like podcasts and movie trailers and bar-noculars.

Dan and I were gifted our own pair of bar-noculars on our recent trip to Ontario by Nate and Dana, (who are basically the best people in the world.) Dana found them while going through her grandmother’s estate. 

We took the bar-noculars on their virgin run this weekend to the Calgary Folk Festival.

We sat next to what turned out to be a really great couple and (I hope) new friends. Their names are Cindy and Roger, and they are rad. We saw The Barr Brothers, Charles Bradley (the Screaming Eagle of Soul) and his Extraordinaires, Beruit and Chris Isaak.

Chris Isaak wore a bright red suit with sequins and sang Wicked Game. Charles Bradley actually flapped his arms like eagle wings at the end of every song, then got down in the crowd delivering hugs all around. And I heard that The Barr Brothers and Beruit dropped acid later that night and rode a mechanical bull. (Can’t confirm it. But I heard it.)

Anyway. This is a really neat festival. At the smaller stages, you can catch “workshops” where musicians are paired up with each other, and they all kind of riff and jam off of each other. One of our favorites was Shad, Mercedes Peon, Rae Spoon and Shooglenifty (does a band name get any better than Shooglenifty?  Shooooooglenifty.) These were radically different artists (from hip top to Scottish fiddle music, to indie rock-ish) so you can imagine how surprising and awesome it was. That was the fun. Just stumbling upon things…. like these chaps:


(we danced a lot)

I also saw Gillian Welch perform White Rabbit. Which kind of blew me away.


I walked home alone (Dan didn’t come that night), thinking about all the things I’ve seen in this life. On Friday night a new acquaintance asked me what the best live show I’ve seen was. My immediate answer was Sigur Ros. And then I had ten more answers on top of that. And then there’s all the non-musical wonders. Those stories are for another day.  I was just all filled up with it. How our world is full of things to see. Things that will lift you, astound you, inspire you. They’re all around you, there for the taking, if you just step out and look around…

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