Sunday, July 26, 2009

Folks and fests

Today we went with my brother in law Robb to the Lowell Folk Festival. I haven't been for a few years, but it's always a fun take if the weather is agreeable. There is not only interesting music, but people of all stripes, from the geezer in daisy dukes to the guy in the leather kilt to the gorgeous young girls staffing the Laotian booths. We spotted a lot of aging hippies as well as black sock and sandal wearing nerds, and I figure someone probably thought we were South Shore oddballs too.

I'm not sure whether the music, the food, or the beer made me feel best. I think it was a combo of all of those things. I'm not a big fan of bluegrass, but Sierra Hull and Highway 111 were fantastic...she's a kid who whales away on the mandolin, and had a 17 year old fiddler who was as good as anyone I've heard. We were inspired by the Brotherhood Singers, who reminded me how much I love "People Get Ready" acapella, and then entertained by DL Menard's cajun music. I didn't know about him but apparently he's a legend. It was a blast to watch people dancing cajun-style, gliding around in a rag tag waltz in a big circle. We wandered around, collecting yummy food like pad thai, baklava, and pierogies, visited a gallery and bought a crazy dog painting, and finally took in the Glen David Andrews band, also from New Orleans, but more on the funky side. They got everyone up and dancing. Until the thunder began and the skies opened, that is. We ducked for cover but quick! Surprisingly, we hit no more rain on the way home.

Given it's a free festival, the big turnout shouldn't have been a surprise, but it seemed to me, anyway, that there were more people than usual there. With the wide variety of folks at the folk fest (and very little of what I'd consider folk music), it made me wonder what they all listen to when they're home. I always want to ask people what's on their iPods or in their home stereo or CD players.

Good times. Listening to music outside is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. We'll see what my next show is like (Rancid on Wednesday).

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