Monday, August 08, 2005

A few more Festival photos

Well, the straw cowboy hat can be put away for another year. Here are a few more images from the 2005 Folk Music Festival. Oh, and check out this folk fest blog, put together by a group of dedicated festival-goers.

"Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton;
what else do you have to say?"
- Kevin Welch

Bill Bourne with Eivor Palsdottir.

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.

Stony Plain, Alberta's Karla Anderson.

Amos Lee keeps it loose, keeps it tight.

The soon-to-be Mrs. Dusty Bear.

Wrong gig, dude.

See you next year!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A few photos from the Festival

Fats Kaplan, Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane at the CKUA tent.

Slide wizard Roy Rogers with Norton Buffalo on the harp.

The Alison Brown Quartet with Joe Craven on fiddle.

A view of the Edmonton skyline from Gallagher Park.

Trevor Tchir and Dusty Bear in the beer garden.

Carolyn Mark in the CJSR studio promoting her Folk Fest appearance.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Food, folk and television stars

Saying the Edmonton Folk Fest is ideal for star spotting is pretty much stating the obvious. After all, you kinda expect to see Steve Earle, Ryan Adams or Alison Krauss hanging out on the site – they are playing there.

But the celebrity who had me starstruck wasn’t one you’d expect. Towering over his camera crew last night was Michael Smith, host of the Food Network Canada’s Chef at Large and Chef at Home.

My fiancée and I are fans of both shows and I was excited by the opportunity to meet him in person. Chef at Home provides me with inspiration to whip up new dishes from ingredients in our tiny apartment kitchen, while Chef at Large is just, well, cool. Episodes from Chef at Large have seen Michael Smith preparing cedar-baked salmon in the House of Commons cafeteria and assisting with a curry for 600 at a traditional Indian wedding.

He’s even taller in person – I’m 6’1” and he cast a shadow over me – and, I’m pleased to say, just as personable as he seems on his show. Smith took his time for fans wanting to chat about their favourite recipes and take pictures with him.

Smith is in Edmonton for the weekend, cooking up food in the Festival kitchen for volunteers. The episode will likely air in February to mid-March next year.

Man, I just wish I were one of those volunteers.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sidetracked . . . part 2

Recent articles in the Edmonton Journal and SEE Magazine seem to have put the rumours regarding the Sidetrack Café to rest. By the New Year the venerable live music club’s new home will be the former Mezza Luna Latin nightclub on 104 Street downtown.

There’s been some griping about the change – longtime Sidetrack patrons love the current location with its historic railcar. But the important thing is Edmonton will not lose a major venue for live bands.

The Sidetrack’s soundman extraordinaire, Graham J. Cadell, appeared excited about the move when I spoke to him on the weekend. He promises the sound quality will equal, if not excel, that of the current location. And he discussed a number of really cool ideas he has for the new club, though I don’t think he’d appreciate me disclosing them here.

Personally, I think the move is a good thing. The Sidetrack will be closer to the downtown hub with New City Likwid Lounge and the Starlite Room just down the way. Though it’s a shame Seedy’s, down the block from Mezza Luna, closed its doors earlier this year. Edmonton hasn’t had a thriving live music district since the gentrification of Old Strathcona.