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L.A. Beat

Sunday was sensational at South Country Fair

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South Country Fair wrapped up with a bang, Sunday, July 21.
“It went really well this year,” said artistic director Jana MacKenzie.Miss Quincy plays the blues with CR Avery. photo by Richard Amery
“There was lots of great times and  a lot of great vibes and a lot of great music,” she enthused
 She was especially pleased with the South Country Fair outreach program, which  had South Country Fair performers performing all over Fort Macleod.

 The only black spot this year according to MacKenzie was the theft of  the So Fair’s “BFL” strobe light.
She pointed out performances by Shout Out Out Out Out and Quique Escamilla on Saturday as being her favourite performances as well as Petunia and the Vipers and Vancouver blues duo Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer as her favourites.The Sunparlour Players playing Sunday. Photo by Richard Amery
“Quique Escamilla is also playing the volunteer appreciation party on Sunday,” she enthused.

 As usual they had a strong Sunday afternoon closing line up as well.
 The Sunparlour Players and Sweet Alibi, the two acts I really wanted to see were early in the afternoon and playing at the same time on the South and east stages respectively.

 The two piece Sunparlour Players put on their usual fun, multi-instrumental set which might have been better suited to an evening, but was  really enjoyable, nonetheless.

 Michael Rosenthal and  Andrew Penner played an assortment of guitars, keyboards, bass and  keyboards to create a chaotically multi-layered orchestral high energy folk sound. A couple of their highlights was their song about their favourite Canadian park and another one which brought the bass to the forefront.
 On the other hand, Sweet Alibi provided something a lot more melodic and mellow.
 The Winnipeg  girls sang gorgeous harmonies and played a variety on instruments including banjo and ukulele.
They brought up High Society singer Chelsea Johnson on stage to sing a couple harmonies.Sweet Alibi and Chelsea Johnson. photo by Richard Amery
The trio, Jessica Rae Ayre, Amber Neilsen and Michelle Anderson sang beautifully as always, Ayre  sang lead on most of the songs including a beautiful  one called “I’ll Wait.” which Neilsen wrote about  her mother being diagnosed with cancer.

 Their set  mostly focussed on new material ranging from serious songs like “I’ll Wait” and sweet song about moving to a new town on “Small Town Girl”  to more fun fare including an untitled one about “being tortured by the sound of mosquitos  buzzing next to our ears.” They also sang a great cover of Andrew Neville and the Poor Choices song “Brand New Song.”

Workshops are always a highlight  of folk festival and one of the best and most diverse I’ve seen in years included CR Avery and Miss Quincy belting out raunchy blues, contrasted with Winnipeg folk  band Nathan singing dark roots and country and solo singer songwriter material from Corin Raymond.
Each were gripping in their own ways.

One of the strangest sets of the whole weekend came from the aptly named Jaron Freeman Fox and the Opposite of Everything on the East Stage.Gord MacKeeman dancing and playing fiddle. Photo by Richard Amery
 I don∏t quite know how to explain this one.
 They played, what could loosely  be described a s gypsy jazz mixed with weird world music. They played frenetic classical inspired violin mixed with clarinet, bass and organ and tore the place apart.

 The South Country Fair always saves something special for the end, and this year was no exception as PEI Celtic/ country/ rockabilly band Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys ended the weekend by tearing up the south stage.

CR Avery blowing the blues at a workshop with Nathan and Corin Raymond. Photo by Richard Amery
 Frontman  Gordie, Lightning Legs, MacKeeman, his feet flying like a crazed cartoon character, showed his fiddle prowess, played his fiddle behind his back and tap/ step danced the stage to dust in a frenetic set  of music combining elements of Celtic music, bluegrass music, old time country and rockabilly music.

They played some amazing music and had some interesTwo  man bass solo with  Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys. photo by Richard Ameryting tricks including a two man stand up bass solo and MacKeeman standing on the bass for a fiddle solo.
They also played new music from a CD to be released later this year, but a couple  blazing fiddle powered highlights included  “Turkey In The Straw” and a slightly more world music influenced version of fiddle classic Orange Blossom Special.

— by Richard Amery,  L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 July 2013 10:26 )  
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