Monday, September 28, 2009

Deep deep roots

(Sultans of String)

Got home last night from the weekend Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville, riding a high that will probably ebb tonight. The house was colder inside than outside, and even in the morning it still was, with heavy condensation on the outside of all the windows. To make up for all that sitting around listening to music this weekend I chopped firewood, hauled water and bailed the well, twice (it's dirty. and stinky. it needed it. no I don't drink from this well, just use it for washing up).

It's such a great festival, I love it. My second time at Deep Roots. Got to connect with old friends and listen to a lotta lotta lotta music, do a little dancing (late night dance party), do a little singing (early morning harmony workshop), and spend a lotta money. Highlights? Let me see... For sure Steve Poltz singing his kids' song The Sewing Machine Man. And I saw him perform that one twice, a real treat! Then all the banjo: traditional frailing by Old Man Leudecke and some interesting African by Jayme Stone accompanying Mansa Sissoko on his kora. Mansa dancing!

The Sultans of String performing their song Luna, in honour of the killer whale of that name, and Pinball Wizard from the rock opera Tommy. Coco Love Alcorn doing almost anything---I didn't think I'd like her, not my type, but she was fabulous---Ari Hest doing Cohen's Halleluja better'n the man himself or even KD Lang. Shivers up the spine time. Rose Cousins telling us in the Saturday morning harmony workshop that she grumbled all the way from Halifax to Wolfville about the godawful time for a singing workshop after the night before, but twenty minutes into the workshop throwing her hands in the air and calling out, I am healed Lord I am healed! Annabelle Chvostek singing I Left My Brains By the Side of the Road (I don't need them anymore, time to let them go). The line, Don't let them take/the joy that you make/on your own, in Old Man Leudecke's song I Quit My Job.

(Coco Love Alcorn, Annabelle Chvostek, Ian Sherwood)

And so much more.

I ate out way too much, mostly hamburgers and fish 'n' chips, and stood in line at the loo (what else does a woman do?) over and over. Well that was because I caught Ruth's little cold virus and was treating it with my Vitamin C and Water Cure, with the unfortunate side effect of standing in line at the loo every hour or so. But you meet so many interesting ladies that way! And I did beat that little virus into the ground. Yay Water Cure.

I took a miss on the Late Night Blues Party, because I was wasted tired and it was way too loud. Don't know why rocking out has to mean busting eardrums, some musicians manage the trick without the damage. I did go to the Late Night World Music Party, but had to leave halfway through for the same reason. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. But I would have liked to have seen the blues bands, Garrett Mason, Caleb Miles and Monkey Junk there. I did see them the next afternoon, but had to resort to earplugs. Which is too bad. Garrett Mason is the son of Dutchy, but he has his own style and doesn't look like his Dad at all. Tall and skinny. AJ Croce, son of Jim also was there and also wasn't like his Dad at all. Very amazing keyboard player. And all the girls, young and old, swooned over Ari Hest. Coco Love got to do it on stage. She was so cool!

(Garrett Mason, Monkey Junk, Harry Manx)

Looked around the audience and there were all ages, rocking in their seats, from 8 year olds to 80 year olds. That's the great thing about this festival, all kinds of music and all kinds of people. There was jazz, C&W (I'm not a fan but Ryan Cook was great), folk, world music, blues and classic rock, something for everybody. There were workshops for everyone, from craft stuff and kid music for kids to singing, fiddling & picking, and contra dancing for adults. A big puppet parade down Main Street. And late night jamming at Paddy's Pub. Standing ovations at the drop of a hat, but notably for Lisa Hammett-Vaughan and Francois Cote, for their very hard work making this whole thing happen.

(AJ Croce, Ari Hest, Coco Love Alcorn, Annabelle Chvostek, Ian Sherwood)

I think the musicians had a great time too, they clearly were enjoying themselves, jamming with each other and with all the local musicians. Deep Roots is slowly growing and expanding, so they get to invite musicians from further afield now. Harry Manx from the west coast, several Toronto (Sultans, Stone) and Montreal (Chvostek) musicians, and also from New York (Hest, Ekke) and California (Poltz, Croce). And Africa (Sissoko). All the musicians were billeted in Wolfville homes, so they got to meet the locals.

(Ken Shorley, Tony D, Jayme Stone, Mansa Sissoko, Paul Matthew, Nick Fraser, Harry Manx)

I took a lot of photos, but my camera is not great for distant stages in the dark, so the pics are fuzzy. Some musicians I couldn't get decent photos of at all because they were constantly in motion and that just registered as a blur on my camera. Samantha Robichaud danced and fiddled up a storm, so she was one of the blurs. But I noticed that while she could dance and fiddle simultaneously, she couldn't sing and fiddle at the same time. Glad to know she had her limits! And Coco Love wore the most amazing stiletto heels for her sexy Italian racing bicycle song.

(Samantha Robichaud dancing)

I saw a 6-string banjo (Harry Manx), a 6-string violin (Sultans of String), a 6-string bass guitar (bass player for Stone and Sissoko) and a 4-string acoustic guitar (Joel Plaskett). 6 strings are in I guess.

(Steve Poltz, Old Man Leudecke, Rose Cousins, Joel Plaskett)

If you get a chance to see Steve Poltz, do it! Especially Sewing Machine Man! Almost no point buying his CD (sorry Steve), seeing him is half the show, maybe the whole show. Maybe he has DVDs, maybe you could watch him on DVD. Or maybe he's on YouTube, he must be on YouTube! That might work...

PS - Google Poltz sewing machine, you'll find it!


Alan G said...

Sounds like a great event Annie and a great weekend. Your report took me right into the event and the photos were good also.

Wisewebwoman said...

Thanks Annie, my kind of music, great post, I felt I was there!

Barbara Anne said...

What a joy-joy weekend! No doubt you'll be humming some of those tunes for weeks to come and maybe dancing a bit as you work and walk!

Please let me know when the Deep Roots festival will be next year. I will keep it on my Wish To Be There list! After all, I know 3 NS folks and feel like I know several more thanks to your marvelous storytelling!


Annie said...

Hi Barbara Anne

The Deep Roots Festival happens the last weekend of September, and you can keep track of it here:

I'd offer a place to stay but I've been staying at a friend's place during the Festival, and I've no idea where I'll be this time next year!


Zach said...

Anne - where are you and where are your blog posts?

Your little outhouse looks great, love the window, its very country modern.

Have you read Thoreau's Walden Pond?

The sophie's island camping structure reminds me of Yurt.

and I saw this online that reminded me bit of it, did i show it to you already? its gorgeous I'd love to build one like it....

Did i tell you about my friend up Paisley way... she has abandoned earth ship, it got too hard to get off the ground, or should i say up and in the ground... but now she's turned her sights on building her own log cabin from local logs.... i'll be up there helping her and wearing my best flannel plaid workshirts!

well you also know Im sadly not living in Brockton village and have gone to Peterborough, so let me know if you'll be through this area or would like to visit....