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Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun at the Folk Festival

One of mid-Michigan's greatest treasures is the Great Lakes Folk Festival. Held every August (on my birthday weekend, I might add -- a party for me!), this event combines music and traditions from not only all over the U.S. but the world.
You'll hear Cajun, Quebecois, Celtic, string bands, polka, blues, gospel and much more.And along the way, you'll see traditional crafts and skills. Boat building, fishing, farming -- the heritage is covered as well. It's a big enough event that WKAR was broadcasting live, interviewing mid-Michigan folk guru Bob Blackman.
I wasn't at my best for the festival this year -- having your wisdom teeth pulled does that to a person! But we really enjoyed Michigan favorite Joel Mabus, who tells a story as well as he sings!
I was less fond of this year's Cajun group, Les Bassettes, but others enjoyed them.
However, I very much liked the bluegrass group Clear Fork from Chardon, Ohio. They were lively -- strong singers, great musicians!
It was fun to watch caller Bob Stein try to arrange close to 200 people into contra and square dances.
It got a little unruly, and yet everyone was having so much fun dancing, I don't think anyone cared!
There were two Quebecois groups --Les Poules a Colin, which opened the festival .and Dentelion. (Members of "Les Poules" included some of the younger members of the Dentelion band.) Dentelion, made up of musicians from two families, rocked the crowd with wonderful music.
We went to see them twice and the second time had a better seat so you could really see their fingers move across the strings! Claude was the leader on fiddle and vocals...
Dana took accordion and sometimes guitar...
And had a mean pair of feet! They moved faster in one place than mine can go walking!
After the first performance, Rick and I met three of the band members in the street. There was Denise (who knew of Torch Lake!)...
...Beatrix...
...and Colin.
They were warm, friendly and so nice! Rick and I plan to visit their town next summer when Rick rides his bike to Newfoundland. (Don't ask... that's a whole future post!)
Another performer we loved was Cathie Ryan, an Irish American singer, originally from Detroit.
She was a wonderful storyteller and pretty amazing musician, too.
Her fiddler had been with the original NYC company of Riverdance. Together, with the guitarist who was only doing his second gig with them, they had the audience enchanted and often singing along.
We saw Cathie Ryan twice also and each time was different, each time terrific.
I really wish I'd posted about past festivals earlier so those in Michigan could make it a point to get here. This isn't your Peter, Paul and Mary folk festival -- it's music from around the world -- and so much more!
So, thanks, MSU Museum, for bringing this festival to mid-Michigan! A round of applause for you!

28 comments:

Marcia Pilar said...

Sounds like so much fun. I'm glad you enjoyed it, wisdom teeth blues and all. :) Last time I participated in square dancing was in high school. It is so much fun.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
xoxo's

Jeanie said...

How fun to have so many wonderful musicians come together to celebrate your birthday and to help you through the post-dental surgery pain. I would have loved to hear the bluegrass group and to see the square dancers.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dearest Jeanie,
I have been away from the computer since I last posted.. I was ill. But all better now... I know I have missed so much.. Thank you for leaving such a kind comment for me...

Now to the festival! Wow!! This looks like such fun.. I can almost here the music.. Great photos, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you so much for sharing.
fondly,
Penny

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Pardon the typo.. I meant hear

Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, does look like fun! that kind of incident brings people of all kinds together, too.

~*~Patty S said...

Sounds like something to really look forward to each year Jeanie...
and the bonus of being on your birthday weekend = extra fun!
You don't even let tooth pulling keep you home...you party girl you!
oxo

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Good morning Jeanie,
Thank you so much for your visit and most kind words...
You know I think you would really enjoy needle felting.. It is very relaxing, for me anyway.. If you ever want to give it a try, I will be more than happy you answer any questions and help you get started.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
fondly,
Penny

Janet said...

You had me with that first photo about the home made root beer and the root beer floats...one of our summertime favorites. I'm sure the music was great, too. I like Cajun and Celtic music as well as other world music.

Sorry about the wisdom tooth problems though. I hope it's all better now.

shoreacres said...

You know me - if it's music, I'm there. If it's music and food, I'm there early!

I love the mix of performers, especially since most of my favorite genres were there. Bluegrass. M├ętis. Cajun. Oh, my. My traveling juices are flowing again. Well, maybe I just need to get some money in my traveling kitty and steel myself for leaving my kitty for longer than a few days. Money's easy. Leaving Dixie? Not so much!

Linda Jo said...

Looks fun!!! Sorry about the wisdom teeth! Hope you are fully recovered! I love Cajun music!!!

paris parfait said...

Happy birthday, Jeanie! Hope you've had/are having wonderful celebrations. So sorry to hear about the wisdom teeth being pulled (ouch!). Hope you're feeling much better by now and can continue the birthday celebrations all week long! :)

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love the festival
that seems to happen in your heart
no matter the circumstances:)
I'm so grateful and glad
for the gift that is YOU...big
birthday love and birthday hope
for cool runnings and sweet wild joy and may all your days be peace:)
hope the birthday magic lingers long,
Jennifer

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow! That festival sounds awesome! And how cool that it falls on your birthday weekend each year. I love seeing live music, so how great to have so many great acts gathered in one place! Sounds like an awesome way to celebrate your birthday. Bummer that you were feeling under the weather with your wisdom teeth extraction to props to you for making the most of it and still enjoying yourself!!

Joanne Huffman said...

Looks like a great time, full of wonderful sounds and images.

Tammy Chrzan said...

I just read your profile and what a positive and wonderful outlook you have, you are like a breath of fresh air, I look forward to following you!
I've never been to a music festival, I'd love to go to one.
Have a great week!
Tammg

Tammy Chrzan said...

I just read your profile and what a positive and wonderful outlook you have, you are like a breath of fresh air, I look forward to following you!
I've never been to a music festival, I'd love to go to one.
Have a great week!
Tammg

Arti said...

O Michigan... have you been to Mackinac Island? I just got a sunset photo from my cousin visiting there. Why, she's a fan of the movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. That's where they shot the movie.

Tracy said...

Such FUN... and I like the local as well as world flavor to the fair! I love folk festivals... we missed getting to one when we were home in the US in May, missed it by two weeks. Oh, well, next time! ;o) Thanks for taking us along, Jeanie. ((HUGS))

Cottage and Broome said...

Looks like it was a wonderful "birthday party"! So nice of them to host it for you… Looks like there were a lot of talented artists there. Have a great week, Laura

My Grama's Soul said...

Hi Jeanie......great post about this wonderful festival. Looks like the old and well and the young participate.....I LOVE THAT!!

BTW....I see you are retiring soon.....good for you.....enjoy.xo

Jo

Arti said...

I almost forgot: A Huge Happy Birthday to you, Jeanie! All best wishes for another lively and energetic year, just like the songs and dance you've posted here.

Mae Travels said...

I hope you enjoyed all of your birthday. The festival sounds great -- I need to watch for it and put it on my list of things to do some year in the future. We heard a quite amusing folk band playing in front of Pike Place Market, and have been (long ago) to the Indiana fiddlers' festival, so I should try to see the one closest to home as well.

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie and a belated Happy Birthday wish to you! Oh, this wounds like so much fun! I'm sure it was great seeing all of the different musicians.
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Marilyn said...

Now this is a festival I would have enjoyed. How fortunate you are to find yourself at events such as this.

Bella Rum said...

These kinds of events are so much fun. We have a tomato festival here. We do love our tomatoes.

Vagabonde said...

I have never heard of a world festival like this – I’d love to have been there. I also have never seen a group from Quebec in the US – I guess they don’t come that far down South. We have many festivals here but they usually have either Gospel, Blue Grass, Country, Rock music and that’s about it. It sounds like you had a lot of fun.

cathie said...

Jeanie, Thank you so much for the kind words and the great photos of us at the festival. GLFF is such a special weekend - no other like it anywhere. I'm going to put a link to your blog on my fb page. Lovely reading and inspiration. Again, thank you for including us. Cathie

Anonymous said...

Love your take on life and glad to be in your orbit! -Lora

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