I’m heading off to the Folk Fest tonight (Edmonton); got a weekend pass for the first time in many, many years. In fact at the last time I got the whole package Doc Watson was middle-aged and still touring with his son Merle. Possibly the two greatest flat-pickers of all time. Here’s a taste. And when they teamed up with Bill Monroe or Grisham…well that was grass…Blue Grass at its break-necked shimmering best.
The way I see it, the world needs more folk festivals. They produce an ameliorating effect on the earth’s ether. They’re not the big solution of course but I bet there would be far fewer wars and less tightfistedness if there were more folk festivals. As fan Mary Pipher put it, bluegrass festivals, country fairs and public libraries are the world’s support system.
Of course Live-8 and the concerts put on by Make-Poverty-History are doing there part, and good on them. But in my experience, Folkies have always been big-hearted people. That’s just the way they are. Something in the music connects them back to terra firma. Something in those musical roots refuses to underestimate the power of one person sharing and giving.