Sunday, July 19, 2009

TWITCH: MODERN MAYHEM MOMENT: Calgary Folk Music Festival Preview

MODERN MAYHEM MOMENT: Calgary Folk Music Festival Preview

By Joelle May


Ah summer.  The smells of flora and fauna, sunshiny days and warm nights, mosquito bites and sunburns, and not only that, but the most important part; its festival season!!  The line-ups for this years western Canadian music festivals are staggeringly good, and truly exemplify the fact that western Canada has mounds of talent hidden in those Rocky mountains and prairie towns.


One of the top festivals in Canada, and likely Calgary’s favorite individual festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival celebrates 30 years of beautiful music in 2009, and this year’s line-up has as much spunk and diversity as years past, if not more!  Prince’s Island Park sets the stage for such critically acclaimed headliners as Iron and Wine, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sarah Harmer, Mavis Staples, Loreena McKennitt, The Decemberists and Justin Rutledge, among others.  I spoke to Mark Berube, of Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few, about his upcoming Calgary Folk Music Festival appearance, and here is what he had to say:


JM: What is it you look forward to experiencing most at the CFMF?

MB: A totally different side of Calgary that I haven't seen yet.  Yeah, yeah, yeah it has this reputation of money, and oil, and the Red Mile...etc. I'm hoping to see the heart of Calgary.


JM: Have you attended the CFMF before?   Favorite past experience with CFMF?  Stories you've heard about CFMF?

MB: It will actually be our first time. I'm really excited about it. Kerry and her crew are great people and the festivals in the past have had some pretty fantastic lineups.


JM: What musicians are you looking forward to seeing at CFMF?

MB: Deep Dark Woods, Bell Orchestre, Jolie Holland, Iron and Wine to name a few…


JM: After touring "What the Boat Gave The River" for the last year, whats next on the Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few calendar?

MB: We'll be touring across Canada again this fall, then heading to France and Switzerland in November/December to open a few dates for Emily Loizeau, then touring on our own.  We'll most likely be in the studio for the next album in January 2010.


JM: If you could be anyone else (other than a performer) at CFMF, what role would you choose?

MB: The person who does sign language and translates for the hearing impaired as the artists sing...if you guys have those folks!!


Check out more on Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few (heavily endorsed by yours truly – they are fantastic) at


Although this reporter cannot confirm the employment of translators at CFMF (maybe a good idea for 2010?) the Calgary Folk Music Festival does have an environmental perspective to operate from.  Plate washer is a darn important position as far as volunteering goes, and every plate gets returned without fail as the vendor collects a $2 levy on each plate which is refunded when the plate is turned in to the washers.  Utensils and cups from the beer gardens are made from corn products and are subsequently biodegradable, and there as many recycling bins as there are trash bins throughout the site.  The festival promotes biking or using public transit to get there, as it resides only 5 blocks away from the C-train.  If you plan on attending the CFMF this year, make sure you hike in your tarp, beach-style chairs, snacks and a bit of cash to experience the amazing food vendors and artisan/craft market.  Don’t bring booze!  There’s plenty of it available at the beer gardens, and you’ll just get the stink eye from the volunteers if you get caught sneaking it in.  Most of all though, remember the festival is for everyone’s enjoyment, so have fun and don’t be a butthead.  Nobody likes a butthead.  Enjoy the music and discover your own new favorite artist this year at the Calgary Folk Music Festival!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Mukwah Jamboree 2009

camping, music & shenanigans…

by Barnaby Bennett


One weekend every summer, the ole’ flat bed truck is moved over to a campsite next to the Red Deer River, tarp is skillfully tied to pine trees, then draped above this make shift truck/stage that numerous artists will grace over the course of the weekend. I am talking about what takes place at the Mukwah Jamboree – a fun filled music festival that happens near Sundre, Alberta on July 17-19. This year’s line-up is full of great bands and includes Azeda Booth, Beija Flor, Ganglion, Kuboaa & Deadhorse alongside perennial Mukwah favorites such as The Firm Handshake & Buena Buya. To keep the crowd moving between bands there will be DJ sets from Vermillion Pleasure Hour, The Medicine People & Pilgrim. And yes, there is rafting available if you book via the website ahead of time!


The festival is now in its fourth year and is a highlight of the summer for most who attend. Perhaps this is because they just ended up really haggard, but for the most part it’s because the Mukwah Jamboree offers more to attendees than the usual music festival seems to. Festival organizer Danny Vescarelli believes this is due to the sense of community that flows through the festival – this has helped Mukwah grow, organically, into what it is today. Danny says: “everyone who attends Mukwah each year brings their own thing to the table, and as such, finds out what does and doesn’t work for them while at the fest and usually remember that for next year.”


This is why there is always so much going on over the weekend at the Mukwah Jamboree. Whether it be early morning yoga next to the river, campfire singalongs, keg stands at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning or wild psychedelic dance parties – Mukwah is a hotspot for festival fun on your own terms, a true DIY delight. For more information please visit



Check It Out/Do Or Die – Super Furry Animals

Cinema Olympia – Gal Costa

Love Is Strange – Wings

Liquidator – The Harry J All-Stars

Open My Eyes - Nazz

Club A-Go Go – The Animals

9 O’Clock Business Man – The Peppermint Trolley Company

Alice Designs – Mr. Lucky

Zing! (Went The Strings Of My Heart) – The Move

Summer Means Fun – Bruce & Terry

Good Lovin’ – The Young Rascals

Monolith – T. Rex