Gallagher Park stage heats up at Day 2 of the Edmonton Folk Fest

If you could handle the withering heat on Saturday you might have heard a number of remarkable things down at Gallagher Park.

There was bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs singing Uncle Pen as though he was born to it, which in a sense he was; the mandolin wonder took the Bill Monroe penned tune to the top of the charts over three decades ago after playing with Monroe at the age of 6. Young neo-soul/r ‘n’ b singer Anderson East used every melismatic trick in the vocal book on The Devil In Me for the Tell It Like It Is session, breaking it down from his band’s full concert earlier in the afternoon. He was bookended by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, who offered Why We Build the Wall from her musical Hadestown, and Kacy & Clayton, who laid down a mesmerizing Rocks and Gravel with the help of the rhythm section from long deceased local indie rock band the Naked & the Dead.

Ashley MacIsaac and Cape Breton’s Finest was like the hippest school recital you’d ever seen, moving between traditional Cape Breton jigs and near dubstep rhythms, with detours along the way for piano, step dance, and bagpipe interludes. Resplendent in red shirt and white suit, MacIsaac acted as the host throughout, leading the crew of instrumentalists through their paces as the afternoon sun relented. The fiddler was intent on singling out his bandmates, though he did step out to dance as cousin Wendy MacIsaac grabbed a turn with a take on Oliver Schroer’s Prayerful Hymn. It was strange to see MacIsaac so uncharacteristically restrained, but it was also sweet to hear him at one point paying homage to music teacher Stan Chapman, who tutored him and many of his co-performers.

They didn’t get very long to peddle their musical wares, but in the …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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