Vacations are not supposed to be transformative and I usually don’t visit other people’s festivals neither here in town nor anywhere else really because I get antsy and want to jump right in to help (something like that.)
So there I was Saturday with my wrist band for an entire day of the 20th Annual Godderich Celtic Roots Festival and wow – can I say wow twice! Highlight for me was The Kruger Brothers, heard first at a side stage in an intimate session, and then on the main stage when things got dark and the ominous rain clouds departed.
Big shout out to all the acts I heard from far away Scotland to the heart of Quebec, Olympic England and of course Ireland, as it was much more than just fiddle playin’ n’ step dancin’ – but to watch all the art forms together and on top of each other was astounding. I kinda felt I was getting roped into something when we were in town on the Thursday before the Festival opened and I looked across one street into the big wide windows of the Godderich Grill and saw this large song-circle taking shape with more fiddlers and small-harp players streaming in from the hotel next door. Everywhere you could see a performer lanyard or a case strung over a shoulder and around a neck. I new I was in the heart of a festival and tried desperately that night alone to put it out of my mind back at the camp site. Vacations are for vacating the mind aren’t they? Sucker!
I am truly and utterly blown away by roots music and the Appalachian sound and American tradition (half the Kruger’s are from Switzerland believe it or not) and want to do my best to help its resurgence locally. There is a vibe/scene happening here with young emerging folk musicians who are not afraid of a good union song; if you haven’t noticed YOU SHOULD CAUSE ITS SO AWESOME at least for a sentimental old fool like me!
So there I was on my way home today – fishing from river crossing to river crossing along the Maitland – in the wilderness and impoverishment of Huron County, blasting The Krugers’ 3-disc compilation with the windows on the pick up down. And, by the way, you can legally do 90 on them county back roads; yeee-freekin-hah!