Sure, you were going to Folk Fest regardless. You’ve got your tarp and your chairs that you can’t roll a basketball under all ready. You’ve figured out which day to take the bus down so that you can chill out in the beer gardens. You’re pumped for the John Butler Trio, and Buffy Sainte Marie. The fact that some great local acts are on the bill is just icing on the cake. Actually, it wouldn’t be the Calgary Folk Music Festival that we all know and love without a hearty contribution for Calgary’s local scene.
As per our usual, here’s a list of EVERY local act playing this year’s fest:
It’s the first time performing here for Mariel Buckley, and she’s making the most of it. She’ll be bringing a soulful and sincere (but not ‘new country’) sound to her solo set on Saturday morning at Stage 6. She will also be taking part in collaborative sessions on Friday afternoon ((out) Law and (dis) Order on Stage 4 with Jr Gone Wild, JJ Shiplett and The Wooden Sky), Saturday on Stage 6 right after her solo set (Don’t Trad on Me with The Bills, The Crooked Brothers, and Sam Lee), and Sunday morning on Stage 1 for High and Lonesome with Petunia and the Vipers, Pharis and Jason Romero, and once more with JJ Shiplett.
Fellow first timers Copperhead will be softly rocking out on their own on Sunday morning at Stage 4; they’ll also be joining collaborations On the Spectrum (Saturday morning, Stage 5 with Aqua Alta, Reuben and the Dark, and Scarlett Jane), Independently Wealthy (with Jim Bryson, Sera Cahoone, and SAVK on Saturday afternoon on Stage 1), and Get Yer La-las Out (joining EMBASSYLIGHTS, Scarlett Jane, and Tasseomancy on Stage 2 for Sunday afternoon).
Dragon Fli Empire was here six years ago, and it’s great to have local hip-hop back at the Festival. They take Stage 3 on Sunday at noon, and will add their skills to Old Fashioned, New Fangled (with Kid Koala, Leftover Cuties, and Petunia and the Vipers on Saturday morning at Stage 1), Give Up the Funk (Saturday afternoon on Stage 4 with Black Joe Lewis and Puerto Candelaria), and Sunday afternoon on Stage 3 with Hot Hot Heat (Quique Escamilla, Mama Kin, and Lynn Olagundoye).
Part Calgary and part Iceland, EMBASSYLIGHTS is pure magic, and they’re going to need some magic for how busy they are this year. They start with Provincial Boundaries (Frazey Ford, Jenn Grant, and Hawksley Workman) on Saturday afternoon on Stage 5, continue with Strung Along (The Crooked Brothers, Pharis and Jason Romero, and SÖNDÖRGO) on Stage 2 later in the afternoon, and then have three projects on Sunday – The Other Girls Next Door (Stage 5 with Jennifer Castle,Lucette, and Sarah Jane Scouten), Roots Trad(e) Secrets (Stage 6 with The Crooked Brothers and The Jerry Cans), and Get Yer La-las Out (Stage 2 with Copperhead, Scarlett Jane, and Tasseomancy), followed by their solo set on Sunday afternoon on Stage 2.
If that’s not enough, one of the members of EMBASSYLIGHTS is Laura Leif, who will be softly supplementing her time at the Festival with a solo show on Sunday on Stage 2, and one more collaboration, this time with marijosée, Tasseomancy and The Wooden Sky for (CAN) Confederacy on Saturday morning on Stage 3.
Proving that Folk can have a very wide and diverse definition, Lynn Olagundoye will be bringing some soul to the proceedings. She’ll be on stage for three days – Friday on Stage 3 with Blues Swayed Shoes (Bombino, Kim Churchill, and Cécile Doo-Kingué); Saturday on Stage 4 for a solo performance; Sunday morning with The Gospel According to… (Mama Kin and Leo “Bud” Welch on Stage 4) and Sunday afternoon with Hot Hot Heat (Dragon Fli Empire, Quique Escamilla, and Mama Kin on Stage 3).
Reuben and the Dark are a Calgary institution, and are back for another Folk Fest with their folk-infused rock and powerful lyrics. Start things off right by catching their solo set on Thursday night on Stage 4; they will follow that up with collaborations with Robyn Hitchcock, SAVK, and Hawksley Workman (Rock of Ageless, late afternoon Friday on Stage 3), Aqua Alta, Copperhead, and Scarlett Jane (On The Spectrum, Saturday morning on Stage 5), The Dead South, The Strumbellas, and The Wooden Sky (Funeral Sky, Saturday afternoon on Stage 6).
Another one of those “Who’s Who” in the Calgary music scene bands, SAVK brings their flawless skills wrapped in a bright and welcoming sound to their solo set on Saturday at noon on Stage 1. They will also be working as part of Rock of Ageless with Robyn Hitchcock, Reuben and the Dark, and Hawksley Workman on Friday afternoon on Stage 3, as well as Independently Wealthy with Jim Bryson, Sera Cahoone, and Copperhead on Saturday afternoon on Stage 1, and YYC – YQR – YEG with The Crooked Brothers, and The Dead South on Sunday afternoon on the main stage.
Little known fact – If you hear JJ Shiplett singing Darlin’ Let’s Go Out Tonight at Market Collective, you earn your Calgary Folk wings. Become strong with the Calgary music scene, and see him perform as part of (out) Law and (dis) Order (Friday afternoon with Mariel Buckley, Jr. Gone Wild, and The Wooden Sky on Stage 4), Wiled West (Saturday afternoon with Jr. Gone Wild, Lucette, and Oh Susanna on Stage 1), and High and Lonesome (with Mariel Buckley, Petunia and the Vipers, and Pharis and Jason Romero). Or see the solo set on Saturday morning on Stage 2.
If you haven’t bought your tickets yet (WAT?), you can still get them online.