Winnipeg Folk Festival News

The Winnipeg Folk Festival has released its brochure and updated its Web site with information about performers hired for the 2004 Festival.
Festivals are continuously tinkering with descriptive names to classify performers and inform fans. This year Winnipeg is grouping perfomers as Folk Legends, Sounds from Around the World, Singing the Blues, Contemporary Voices, Masters of their Instruments, Songwriters and En Francais.
The Legends group is Earl Scruggs, Dick Gaughan, Utah Phillips and Martin Carthy, and all of them are worthy of the label. I’m looking forward to Gaughan, a great guitarist and vocal interpreter with a crusty and realistic take on modern life. He was an interpreter of traditional music, but in the more recent part of his career, he tends to interpret more modern songs by a variety of writers. He does great versions of Ruby Tuesday, Townes Van Zandt’s Lefty & Pancho, and several Brian McNeill songs.
There are a few Legends, in my view, included in other categories, like Taj Mahal, David Lindley, Spirit of the West. Spirit of the West have been superb since they started 20 years ago.
The World group includes a couple of Scots groups. There doesn’t seem to be a lot for fans of Celtic or Canadian Maritime/Celtic although J.P. Cormier turns up in the instrumental group.
I’m looking forward to Martyn Joseph, a songwriter from Wales who started to tour in Canada a few years ago. He is a dynamic performer, with a great gift for words, progressive political sensibility, and a strong ethical line in his songs.


One response to “Winnipeg Folk Festival News”

  1. The Winnipeg Folk Festival is possibly the greatest gathering of people from all over North America to see some of the worlds finest artists. A place where new cultures are experienced, lifelong friendships are made, and 4 days of People and Music!!! This will be my 15th year attending the festival and every year just gets better and better. See you all there!!!