By Sebastian Buzzalino
June 26, 2015
CALGARY — The final day of Folk Fest began on a dulcet note: Jennifer Castle charmed a small, but engaged crowd at Stage 4, spending some time connecting with the audience and playing songs from across her catalogue. Even though her set list blew away halfway through the set, she still played with an easy confidence, making up the new set as she went and taking requests from the audience. She vowed to return to Calgary with a full band soon, with a fuller, more rhythmic sound.
Castle’s set was followed by one of the day’s most anticipated workshops. Aptly dubbed “Trance Canada,” Stage 4 was shared with some of the most progressive musicians on this year’s line-up, including Colin Stetson, Kid Koala, Socalled and Aqua Alta. Rather than taking turns playing their own songs in a round-robin style, as can be the case at other workshops, the four groups did their best to improvise and jam out compositions. It perhaps didn’t always work and at times sounded a bit too chaotic as each artist tried to find his or her own space in the dense music, but when they did come together, it felt wonderful. An impromptu cover of “Joleen” let all the players rip in their own right and won over the packed crowd on the field.
The rest of the afternoon was spent dodging rain drops and enjoying the beer gardens, waiting for the evening’s big star, Lucinda Williams. Hers was the second-last set of the weekend and it did not disappoint: the decorated and seminal Americana artist was in as fine form as you could hope for. Her trademark voice, able to wrench emotions out from even the deepest wells, sounded strong and comforting as it filled Prince’s Island Park, the nuances in her delivery creating an alchemical reaction with listeners out on the sea of tarps. It was a fitting set to almost close out the Calgary Folk Music Festival, which was left to the Mavericks and their party-ready roots rock. But for many, Williams was the perfect end to another beautiful weekend of folk music, friends and countless, countless beers.AB, Alberta, Aqua Alta, Calgary Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival 2015, Colin Stetson, Jennifer Castle, Kid Koala, Lucinda Williams, Socalled