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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The sunshine's back

and there's gonna be trouble - hey na na na, the sunshine's back.

I know, I know, lousy intro - but it's true. The second day of the Edmonton Folkfest - without the rain and with more than a smidgin of sun - just didn't live up to the first rainy day. Maybe it was something about the camaraderie of huddling under tarps and plastic ponchos and clapping with cold, barely felt hands. Maybe it had something to do with only the diehard fans being huddled on their blue tarps smothered in as many layers of summer clothes as they'd thought to bring with them. Maybe it had something to do with the way the city arose out of the dark to be the first light we'd seen all day. And maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the way the music lit up the rain.

Because nothing we saw in the sun managed to match the way we'd felt sitting on the muddy grass in the cold rain on Friday nght.

Oh, we saw some good and even some great musicians -

Betty LaVette - Tina Turner voice in a grandmotherly body. She blew the roof off the main stage with her soul stylings. I'd definitely buy her new CD.

Ricky Skaggs and his band played bluegrass like it was meant to be played - right back to Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt and Earl Skruggs - and people danced in the mud left over from the day before.

Feist - the alternative airwaves have been raving about her for a year or more and I'd never heard her. I was glad to - she's got an amazing voice and handles it like some chefs handle their kitchens - deftly and with great imagination. Not for me, perhaps, but I understand now what all the fuss is about.

Bruce Cockburn - his usual talented self - too bad the sound system wasn't up to it. Unless you already knew the song you couldn't make out the words - and with Cockburn, that's the point.

Great park and ride public transportation, great food - barbecued corn on the cob with butter and lemon pepper, butter chicken, mini donuts, cactus chips and onion rings.

A million kids dancing and racing and falling down the hills of the natural amphitheater of the Edmonton river valley and finally, the sun arriving and making all right.

I didn't know that it rained in Edmonton - every time I've been in Edmonton it's either been sunny or snowing - but now I know that when it does - it's cold. And if I go to the folk festival next year I'll remember to bring winter clothes as well as summer ones.

I had a great weekend - enjoyed the music, every minute of it, and won't ever forget Aaron Neville's sweet sweet voice singing through the rain.


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