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Check it out: Frayer's can't-miss Folk Fest checklist

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ARTISTIC director Chris Frayer offers up a sample of some can't-miss acts at this year's Winnipeg Folk Festival.

CHARLES BRADLEY & HIS EXTRAORDINAIRES The 62-year-old soul/R&B singer released his first record last year and went on to become one of the most sought-after acts on the summer festival circuit playing Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Festival and now a stop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival

JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW Dublin-born singer-songwriter who is well established on his side of the pond for his unique voice and blend of traditional and contemporary folk music. He's looking to make his mark in Canada.

THE HEAD AND THE HEART This year's breakout act at the Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington State. This Seattle-based, indie-folk quintet's narrative lyrics, soaring harmonies and live performance will surely win over the WFF audience.

TODD SNIDER Hilariously witty singer-songwriter who is often described as the Lenny Bruce of folk/roots music.

OZOMATLI Los Angeles-based eight-piece Latin/funk/hip-hop ensemble known for their socio-politically-charged lyrics and energetic live performances.

POKEY LAFARGE & THE SOUTH CITY THREE St. Louis ragtime jazz and roots saloon music that sounds like a soundtrack for the Gold Rush.

ORCHESTRE POLY RYTHMO Recently revived '70s-era voodoo funk from Benin (in West Africa).

BESH O DROM Balkan/klezmer madness from this Hungarian septet.

DEVOTCHKA Gypsy punk/indie folk is the name of the game for this Boulder, Colo., quartet most famous for scoring the soundtrack to the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine.

WALKING WOODY'S ROAD Sanctioned by the Woody Guthrie estate, this visual and auditory interpretation of the life and songs of Guthrie by renowned Texas/Tennessee folk artists Eliza Gilkyson, Mary Gauthier, Ellis Paul and Jimmy LaFave will be a real treat to close the festival on Sunday.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2012 E9

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