63 days and counting . . .
Picked up my Edmonton Folk Fest tix today. My boss and I snuck out 20 minutes before noon to avoid the lunch hour rush. I've never bought a full weekend pass until now - this is the best lineup I can recall.
It's seems like a yearly ritual - the local music pundits handicap festival producer Terry Wickham's selections and inevitably compare our event to the seemingly more hip Calgary festival (which Wickham also runs). Heck, even this year Calgary gets Buck 65 and Jeff Tweedy. But the criticism in Edmonton was noticeably muted this summer.
I'm not sure who I'm more excited to see. Sure, I've seen Steve Earle two or three times before, but each time was pure gold. And unlike his Winspear gig earlier this year, this crowd won't be shouting for Copperhead Road.
Then there's Ruthie Foster, Alison Krauss, The Bills, Carolyn Mark, local chanteuse Wendy McNeill, Danny Michel, The Weakerthans, Martha Wainwright, Alison Brown, David Francey . . . and as Chip Taylor sings, "old John Prine will do."
I'm particularly looking forward to Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplan. I had the chance to interview them on-air when they came here last fall for a show with the Full Moon folkies. Their latest album, You Can't Save Everybody, is solid from start to finish.
But I think the clincher for me just might be Ryan Adams. Say what you want about his predilection for releasing just about everything he happens to excrete, his latest offering, Cold Roses, has him back in fine Whiskeytown form, with a reverent nod to the Grateful Dead. Not to mention, his new band, the Cardinals, features one hot pedal steel player, Cindy Cashdollar.
Oh yes, this year I can't wait.