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First full day of Folk Festival offers plenty to hear and see

2016 Winnipeg Folk Festival
Photos by: By Zachary Prong, David Lipnowski
Avery Au, 8, attends folk fest at Birds Hill Park Sunday. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Crew members prepare the rigging on the main stage Monday in preparation for next weekend's Folk Festival. (JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
From left: Alysha Guenther, Johanna Johnson and Paul Mann head into the campground to kick off the 2016 Winnipeg Folk Festival at Birds Hill Park Wednesday morning. Performances start tomorrow and will continue until July 10. (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - The Crooked Brothers perform the first band of the opening night at Folk Fest Main stage in Birds Hill Park.  L-R Matt Foster and Darwin Baker.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p><P>The Crooked Brothers perform the first band of the opening night at Folk Fest Main stage in Birds Hill Park.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p><P> Friends enjoy some dancing near the Main Stage Thursday evening.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Some friends enjoy some dance near the Main Stage Thursday evening.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><P> Main stage performers Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p><P>Main stage show Dan Frechette.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS </p><P>Some unidentified fans during Coeur de pirate's performance.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><P> Main stage show. Beatrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de pirate plays
Beatrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de Pirate, plays on the main stage Thursday night.  (BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Some unidentified fans during C�ur de pirate's performance.  July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - The dance zone on the right side of the stage was active opening night.  July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Jim Bryson on Main Stage on opening night of the festival.  July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival.  July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival.  July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival.  July 7, 2016
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Grace Boyd and Brian Lorraine listening to live music at Folkfest on Friday.
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>People enjoy live music at one of the many workshops offered at the Folk Festival, Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>Rosemary, 7, dances at Folkfest on Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>Jill Marten relaxes in her hammock.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Oscar Mamero, 4, plays at Folkfest Friday afternoon.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>From right to left, Roxie, Kat and Judy dance at Folkfest on Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>A guest signs a painting.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>The Audience at the main stage during Folkfest, Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>Savana Jensen paints her feet at Folkfest on Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>Flower art at Folkfest on Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>Iliana Steele at Folkfest, Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>People enjoy live music at one of the many workshops offered at the Folk Festival, Friday.</p>
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p></p><p>The Audience enjoying shows on Friday's main stage during Winnipeg Folk Festival.</p>
Festival-goers relax at Birds Hill Park during the final day of Winnipeg folk fest 2016.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final day of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Ben Schneider, lead singer of Lord Huron, performs on the main stage at folk fest Sunday.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday.  (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Noah and daughter Esther Skogerboe  enjoy Folk Fest at Birds Hill Park Sunday. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
Festival-goers take in the final night of Winnipeg Folk Festival performances at Birds Hill Park Sunday. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A guest signs a painting.

Avery Au, 8, attends folk fest at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Crew members prepare the rigging on the main stage Monday in preparation for next weekend's Folk Festival. - (JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
From left: Alysha Guenther, Johanna Johnson and Paul Mann head into the campground to kick off the 2016 Winnipeg Folk Festival at Birds Hill Park Wednesday morning. Performances start tomorrow and will continue until July 10. - (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - The Crooked Brothers perform the first band of the opening night at Folk Fest Main stage in Birds Hill Park. L-R Matt Foster and Darwin Baker.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Crooked Brothers perform the first band of the opening night at Folk Fest Main stage in Birds Hill Park.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Friends enjoy some dancing near the Main Stage Thursday evening.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Some friends enjoy some dance near the Main Stage Thursday evening.
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Main stage performers Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Main stage show Dan Frechette.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Some unidentified fans during Coeur de pirate's performance.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Main stage show. Beatrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de pirate plays

Beatrice Martin, better known by her stage name Coeur de Pirate, plays on the main stage Thursday night. - (BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Some unidentified fans during C�ur de pirate's performance. July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - The dance zone on the right side of the stage was active opening night. July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Jim Bryson on Main Stage on opening night of the festival. July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival. July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival. July 7, 2016
BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS WINNIPEG FOLK FESTIVAL 2016 - Sam Roberts of the Sam Roberts Band belts it out on Main Stage to close opening night of the festival. July 7, 2016
ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Grace Boyd and Brian Lorraine listening to live music at Folkfest on Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

People enjoy live music at one of the many workshops offered at the Folk Festival, Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Rosemary, 7, dances at Folkfest on Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Jill Marten relaxes in her hammock.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Oscar Mamero, 4, plays at Folkfest Friday afternoon.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

From right to left, Roxie, Kat and Judy dance at Folkfest on Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

A guest signs a painting.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Audience at the main stage during Folkfest, Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Savana Jensen paints her feet at Folkfest on Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Flower art at Folkfest on Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Iliana Steele at Folkfest, Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

People enjoy live music at one of the many workshops offered at the Folk Festival, Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Audience enjoying shows on Friday's main stage during Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Festival-goers relax at Birds Hill Park during the final day of Winnipeg folk fest 2016. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final day of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Ben Schneider, lead singer of Lord Huron, performs on the main stage at folk fest Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Audiences take in the final evening of Winnipeg Folk Festival 2016 at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Noah and daughter Esther Skogerboe enjoy Folk Fest at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
Festival-goers take in the final night of Winnipeg Folk Festival performances at Birds Hill Park Sunday. - (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/7/2016 (1322 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The first full day of folk was an unexpectedly warm one, but a cool breeze and a colder drink made for perfect music-listening conditions.

By 11 a.m., the festival grounds were already packed with tons of people hunkered down for their first workshop of the day.

Over at Big Bluestem, a big crowd gathered to see the Indie a Go-Go workshop featuring Jim Bryson as host, with singer-songwriter Jennifer Castle, indie-folk group the Paper Kites, and Canada’s current folk darling, Andy Shauf.

Unfortunately, not many (perhaps none) of the artists knew the theme of the workshop was indie cover songs, but no one really seemed to care except Bryson, who seemed a little annoyed he was unaware of the theme.

Regardless, all four acts cracked out some amazing covers, including two stellar moments courtesy of the Paper Kites when they performed Laura Marling’s Rambling Man and Colin Hay’s I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You. Singers Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy are at home in both an indie-pop and folk environment, and impressed with their spot-on vocals and eclectic song choices.

At Green Ash, the Tangled Up in Blue workshop was in full heartbreak mode, as Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams hosted the session focused on sad, love lorn songs with Ryley Walker and Rayland Baxter also partaking. Baxter was easily the star of the show with his endearing banter and spectacular musicianship — his performance of his single Yellow Eyes was gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Baxter also played a main stage set Friday and wowed a much larger audience in much the same way, though that time, he was backed by an exceptional three-piece band. 

The Shady Grove stage was dedicated entirely to workshops featuring members of the Stingray Young Performers Program, an annual program that connects up to 35 musicians between the ages of 14-24 from all over the world with folk fest performers who act as mentors, passing on their knowledge of both the creative and business sides of the industry.

This year’s mentors include Jim Bryson, the Crooked Brothers (who are past YPP students), Matt Epp and Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen. Frechette is the perfect choice as mentor — he first played the folk fest at 14 years old on that very Shady Grove stage.

He and Thomsen mentored seven young musicians who applied to the program and were chosen by the Winnipeg Folk Festival to participate. Frechette says YPP helps "sidestep a lot of issues" he had when he was a young performer in terms of encouragement and confidence.

"I was seeking validation and even just for some of my creative ideas and songs and grooves and I was second guessing myself a lot when I was younger," he says. "When I first started out I wish I would have had a mentor just like I’m trying to do here, just to say ‘Hey, that’s great, what you guys are doing is very good.’

"Here I am all these years later now with Laurel, it’s exciting to carry on... The early boost really counts."

Katie MacDonald, 19, is in her fourth year in the Young Performers Program and said she "absolutely loved" her experience playing on stage in front of a sizable crowd Friday afternoon.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  
Ryan Adams performs at The Winnipeg Folk Festival main stage Friday.

ZACHARY PRONG / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Ryan Adams performs at The Winnipeg Folk Festival main stage Friday.

"Every time I come into this program I just feel encouraged coming out of it," she says. "I learned so much and take so much away."

Paul Currie, 21, began his songwriting career in 2012, the first time he was accepted into the program. This year is his second stint, and says the lessons learned from the mentors are invaluable

"It’s a wonderful experience, you get to work with very talented musicians who can help you figure out what you want to do at the end of the day, and then you also get to play with very talented musicians," he says. "It allows you to really boost your creativity."

It’s not often there are three most-anticipated performers of the night, but, depending on who you asked, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, the Staves and Ryan Adams all fit the bill.

Campbell and Williams set the bar high, starting things off with an explosive set of bluesy rock tracks. Campbell, who is likely best known for being a member of Bob Dylan’s Never ending Tour band from 1997-2004 and work with Levon Helm, and Williams go way back, though they only recently reunited for their 2015 self-titled record. The pair perform like they never spent a moment apart, though — perfectly in touch and tune with each other.

The sisters of the UK trio the Staves hovered around a single microphone and gently introduced the Birds Hill crowd to their stunning harmonies a capella before adding various instruments to their main stage set. These ladies are flawless at what they do, and are all gifted with the kind of voice that has just the right amount of everything — powerful yet delicate, full, round and satisfying.

Ryan Adams and the Shining took the stage a bit later than expected, but right off the hop, Adams was in fine form, consistently producing album-quality vocals and sharp guitar work. He deftly bounced back and forth in his catalogue from 2014’s Gimmie Something Good to 2007’sHalloween Head to a goosebump-worthy rendition of 2000’s Come Pick Me Up. He even threw a brand new track into the mix (the name of which I admittedly did not catch). If it’s anything to go by, though, his next record is going to be a stunner. 

Adams is known for being a bit hit or miss when it comes to his mood, but he seemed happy as a clam as he mentioned (more than once) his affinity for pot, joked around on stage making up songs and partaking in a very long discussion about his favourite pizza toppings. Sometimes the rambling got a little too off track, but Adams would always rein it in with yet another amazing live performance. 

German folk/reggae/electronic duo Milky Chance were also expected to take the stage around 11 p.m.

Gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday and music on the main stage starts at 6 p.m. with UK act the Moulettes. Australia’s the Paper Kites, Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies, Basia Bulat and the Head and the Heart are also on deck to play.

 

erin.lebar@freepress.mb.ca

 

Twitter: @NireRabel

Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Multimedia producer

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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