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Sweltering Sunday was sensational at South Country Fair

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South Country Fair’s Sunday line-up was sensational, July 22.Alejandra Robeles celebrates. Photo by Richard Amery
 I arrived back at the South Country Fair just in time for the best workshop of the weekend on the south stage featuring  C.R Avery, Miss Quincy and the Showdown and Rae Spoon, Sunday, July 22. It worked like workshops are supposed to with all of the musicians contributing to each other’s songs and experimenting with them. All three took turns telling stories and playing their songs. Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers. Photo by Richard Amery

Rae Spoon played a hilarious and thought provoking  “gay cowboy” song about waking up with somebody else’s speedo on. Meanwhile Miss Quincy chuckled her way through a story about getting sick in Italy.

C. R. Avery and his lead guitarist owned the stage. Avery showed everything he could do all in one song, reciting a poem involving everything from flying birds to Nelson Mandela, added some beat boxing and harmonica, plus some keyboards and conducted the rest of the stage to add extra bass, drums and guitar.

 He seemed to make up a poem on the spot at the end of the workshop which included Miss Quincy and a request to buy Rae Spoon’s new Cd included in his last verse.Jana Mackenzie gets set up to play the last song of the fair. Photo By Richard Amery
 At the end, every joined in by singing harmonies as Rae Spoon  “fixed”  the Hall and Oates classic “Rich Girl,” making it less misogynistic by changing it to  “Rich Boy.”
 They made way for a sedate set of country and folk from T. Nile and her band.

 Even on a sweltering Sunday, with most of the park recovering from the night before, the East Stage was the party stage.

Calgary “punk grass” band Bitterweed Draw had most of the people dancing in front of the stage to some incendiary fiddle playing and  high energy guitar as they sang songs about getting into trouble, making whiskey and drinking whiskey, which everyone seemed to enjoy.

They even added a “punk” song about New York City.
 There was a lot of high octane playing and a relentless beat throughout.

 I was going to hang around for 100 Mile House, but  had heard so many good things about Toronto psychedelic country band the Beauties, that I didn’t want to miss their set on the south stage.

They took some time getting started and began with a couple slower, more groovy numbers before picking up the pace. Bitterweed Draw wake up the crowd. Photo by Richard Amery

They incorporated two guitars, groovy bass and even a theramin, though most impressive was watching the drummer not only singing, but simultaneously playing drums and keyboards. The noted they had solved all of the technical glitches just in time to  blow the power for the stage, which didn’t stop them as the acoustic guitarist/ vocalist/ theramin player played an acoustic Gram Parsons “troubleshooting” song. The rest of the orchestra gradually joined him as power was restored. They combined everything from Sadies style psychedelic rock, with rock and roll and traditional country and a lot more.

 The party continued on the East stage with Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers who closed the stage for the afternoon with a mCR Avery gets the crowd involved in a sing along. Photo By Richard Ameryajestic set which sounded like a cross between Tom Jones and Queen with a whole lot of jazz thrown into the mix. They didn’t have crazy masks and massive drum solos like their previous performances in Lethbridge, but they had a lot of brass and some fantastic piano playing, which kept the toes tapping and feet moving.

 The lead singer alternated between playing violin and guitar  while singing and writhing in time with the music. They will be back at the Slice, July 27.

A great set of Latin music from Alejandra Robles and her band on the south stage wound up the 26th edition of the South Country Fair. She combined tear-jerking ballads with uptempo danceable numbers.

 As per tradition Maureen Chambers and some of the organizers including south stage organizer Jana MacKenzie on ukulele closed the fair down by playing John Prine’s “In a A Town This Size.”

Last Updated ( Monday, 23 July 2012 00:20 )  
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