July 18th, 2002

self portrait

Winnipeg Friday

After turning in fairly early on Thursday night (largely to get out of the long pants I was wearing that had soaked up their share of the falling dew), I got up with the sun on Friday. (Typical at Winnipeg as there aren't a lot of trees in the campground, so one's tent gets stifling hot in a hurry.)

I got in a good breakfast and chatted with the other Baggiecon folks before heading over the to the site. I packed my day-pack with my essentials for the day: rain gear, bag of gorp, two water bottles, sunscreen, bug stuff, program and highlighter.

First I caught the tail end of a Native American dance troupe while waiting for a mandolin workshop. Very cool to see the troupe there in full regalia. The workshop was also cool, seeing all the different things that qualified as "mandolin" to the performers. From what one thinks of when they think mandolin to bazouki to mandola to tibla, all were lumped together for these guys, I'm guessing based on style of playing. Interesting stuff about the various performers, their instruments and some hot jams.

After that, I wandered through the family area, where they had many cool activities for kids, grabbing water on my way to the Afroceltino workshop. This was quite a highlight as it gave me a first glace at Oscar Lopez, nylon-string guitarist from Chile, and mixed in players from Africa, Mali and Ireland. Very fun rhythms and sounds. Got the crowd dancing at the end.

This was followed by singer-songwriter Tom Russell. A country-blues kinda feel that reminded me of John Hiatt, not surprisingly, as Tom has worked with John quite a bit, apparently. The final workshop of the day was getting the two Irish bands at the festival together for a big concert/jam session. Well worth my time, despite the power cutting out on them a few times during the performance. It seemed, to my untrained perception, that once they all got playing (some dozen-plus performers on stage, all instruments miked, plus vocals and sometimes more than one mike per instrument) that they drew enough power to trip a breaker somewhere in the system. Still, the crowd took it in good humor and broke into spontaneous clapping when the power failed.

After getting back to camp to get some food, it was time for the mainstage shows for the evening. This evening I was looking forward to Kristi Stassinopoulou, as her write-up in the program was interesting. Basically looked like it would be Greek (surprise, surprise) and Middle-Eastern flavored pop. She did not disappoint, putting on a show that was surprising and full of very cool sounds.

She was preceded by Lennie Gallant and Colin Linden, who I can't recall much about with the program in front of me. They were decent enough, I guess. Following was, first, Ian Tyson, a living legend in Canada, who sings cowboy songs. He was hampered in his performance by the bug-rush to the stage but I also didn't enjoy him because the style of music isn't my cup of tea.

De Dannan finished out the night with a fun set of fairly traditional Irish music. They were all superb musicians in their own right and were fairly tight as a band, even though they, too, were hampered by the insect crowd.

Then it was back to camp to get in a few songs and then off to sleep
  • Current Music
    Miner's Picket Dance--Rory McLeod--Mouth to Mouth