By Mike Dunn
The Calgary Folk Music Festival had already given fans a sneak peek at this years’s lineup, announcing Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sheila E, Sharon Van Etten, Asleep At The Wheel and Lucius, and now they’ve launched the rest of their 40th anniversary lineup.
Joining the aforementioned headliners are number of beloved established acts, including Belle & Sebastian and The Strumbellas, and hot up-and-comers such as Saskatchewan troubadour Colter Wall, Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June, and Montreal indie rockers Half Moon Run. Artistic Director Kerry Clarke and her group at the festival have not only put together another excellent lineup for a weekend on the Island, but have also put together some events and projects that highlight the history, and future of the festival.
“We’ll be putting out a compilation LP for the 40th,” says Clarke. “It’s a great way to look back at the artists and songs that have been part of our history, while shining a light on some of our best local, and regional acts. We started with the Doppelsingers concerts a few years ago, where we had acts from around the province covering artists who’d played the festival before, and we’re going to do something similar with the compilations. We have Tom Phillips, Lorrie Matheson, Sargeant & Comrade, Copperhead, The Torchettes, with nêhiyawak and 100 Mile House from Edmonton, and they’re all recording renditions of classic songs that have been featured at the festival. There’ll likely be CD’s at the festival, and we’ll do the vinyl release in the fall.”
The festival has always championed and promoted the Alberta music community, having a number of Calgary and Alberta acts booked annually, and Clarke feels like that local emphasis is as much a reflection of the artists’ hard work and creativity as it is a focus of hers to give the Alberta scene the opportunity. Included on this year’s bill are some of the province’s best and most diverse developing and established artists, including The Torchettes, Shaela Miller, I Am The Mountain, Celeigh Cardinal, T. Buckley, Boots & The Hoots, Samantha Savage Smith, and Emily Triggs.
“I think that focus on local artists has evolved, and we’ve continued to embrace that,” says Clarke, “It’s about recognizing the artists trying to make a career of music, and who are ready to go to the next level. And those bands, from the work they’ve done, they know they’re ready too, they can feel it in their performances.”
The complete 2019 lineup can be found here. Calgary Folk Music Festival will be held on July 25 to 28 at Prince’s Island Park.Asleep At The Wheel, Belle & Sebastian, Calgary Folk Fest, Calgary Folk Music Festival, Half Moon Run, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Sharon Van Etten, Sheila E, the Strumbellas