July 21, 2010
I just returned home from the Folk on the Rocks Music Festival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I had never been to the NWT, and was extremely excited when the wheels touched down on northern soil.
The festival itself is special in that it was celebrating its 30th anniversary, and its roster of musicians is 50% Northern artists (from our three territories) and 50% artists from the southern provinces. I couldn’t help but wonder how that would work, but work it does, and amazingly so. It opened up my eyes to an entire other world of Canadian culture and the deep and passionate connection to music that the Northern people of Canada have… I was able to sit in on a huge collaborative practice featuring many legendary Northern players… so connected are they to their instruments that they just keep on playing, even on smoke break. The sound of the drums are everywhere.
I’ll be talking about Folk on the Rocks on CBC Radio 3’s Summer of 2010 Roadtrip Mixtape Podcast (out July 30) and watch for our video footage of the festival in an upcoming edition of R3TV, our video podcast, out soon.
I must thank some of the special people of Yellowknife who made my virgin voyage to Folk on the Rocks and the NWT so memorable: Lynn Feasey, Sarah McLeod, and Claudia Haas from FOTR, Matthew Grogono for the bicycle, Pablo Saravanjaand for the photos, and Mike Bryant for the amazing fishing adventure!