Sunday, June 3, 2012

Monday at Folk Life

I was feeling a little lazy and thinking about staying home, but Heather wanted to go to Folk Life on Monday and that got me motivated to go. Festival buddies make festivals much better!
As usual for Folk Life there were buskers all over inside and outside the Seattle Center.
We managed to see a bunch of bands, but it was semi-random and I didn't know who they were, so I have to deduce who I saw from the pictures and videos plus the event schedule.

First up was Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles on the Indie Roots Stage just after 3:30.

Great song, slightly ominous or sad tone, fairly stripped down with the interesting combination of instruments. The guitar and vocals between them carry the song, but the clarinet or whatever that instrument is and the disciplined structure with the electric guitar and drums framing, providing rhythm and some motion and the backing vocals chiming in nicely with the acoustic guitar and vocals right up front make it a song worth carrying, very nice.

From the Broad Street lawn we ducked back to the Mural Amphitheater and caught some of the Georgetown Orbits Good reggae/ska band, they had the crowd dancing and moving - and that can be a challenge in hipster heavy Seattle! Fun irresistible music that makes you want to dance if you have any inclination at all, and that's one of my highest compliments: the best bands get the audience moving.

As always there were buskers all over, this guy on the didgeridoo and steel drums was fun.

Next we went up to the Northwest Court area and saw Larry and Lynette. They had a very nice sound but I only got a short bit recorded.

Next we managed to get to the Alki Stage in time to see some of KletzerBalm FolkLife 019I enjoy the sound with the brass doing a more exotic (to me) sound without the large chorus/loud chords, rather than that we get more intricate melodies with rhythm parts thumping along and the fiddle added in too. Fun, bouncy upbeat music, sounds like it would be fun to dance to. I like hearing variety, and I'm not familiar with very many Israeli bands so I enjoyed getting to hear at least one example playing great, well rehearsed and reasonably complex music that's a bit different than I'm used to, nice stuff!
On top of the buskers everywhere and the stages there was also the odd bit of spectacle breaking out from time to time like this parade: FolkLife 022 I don't know who Kyle is, but apparently he's got enough fans for a parade whoo-hoo!

After a break for some food we went and listened to the New Iberians Zydeco Blues Band playing some Zydeco music at the Fountain Lawn stage. FolkLife 034 I discovered Zydeco music in my Dad's music collection after he passed away, he collected some and as we split up his possessions I chose some music I was unfamiliar with and took my time listening to it over the next few months. It was wonderful, quick and active, with a great beat and it made you want to move just listening to it. I felt a connection with Dad, learning a tiny bit about a genre that had been one of Dad's interests was nice and helped me process his death.
Getting to listen to some live with people up front dancing, old and young and in between and that fun lively music pouring over us felt a little like Dad's presence, that he'd be happy knowing I was shaking it to some hot Zydeco at Folklife. I still miss Dad, but if I watch for the opportunities and pay attention by God's grace I get spiritual solace, the sure knowledge of his love and approval and the hope and prayer that some day we will be reunited eases my soul.

We went back over to the Alki Stage to check out Eric Apoe and They:
FolkLife 040

We poked into the Vera Project and saw Honora too: I like her sound and love her voice, she has one o those powerful voices that allows her to sing intensely yet with enough control to shade the performance emotionally, going from lament to introspection and back to some wailing then over to some wistfulness, she's able to emote while projecting. Nice!

Back at the Mural Amphitheater Hybrid Vibe played a fun set, I always enjoy a good horn section and loud guitars.FolkLife 059 Good stage presence and fun music, quite enjoyed it.

We caught Lets Get Lost at the Indie Roots (Broad St. lawn) stage and enjoyed them, a good rock and roll approach with nice horn flourishes. Solid stuff!FolkLife 064
By this time we were running down, so we called it a night shortly after and headed out.
Quite a bit of good music at a free show - I have videos and photos for a bit more than 10 here, but we saw more like 40 when you count all the buskers everywhere. Just an awesome smorgasboard of free music, Folklie is a great local tradition and a nice way to cap off the late Spring events. I can't wait for Summer, but that was a nice taste of an outdoor multistage festival and my appetite for good local music has been satisfied - how does Seattle and the NW region keep coming up with all these awesome bands? Joking aside, each and every band I saw showed it's dedication and it's mastery of material that only comes with regular practice and hard work, and every band had a vision - some sound they were approaching, some message they were getting across, or a big monster dance party - and they took the audiences along for the ride and I enjoyed myself immensely. Folk Life ruled!

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