Winnipeg Folk Festival – Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Canada 150 trip – day I’ve lost count.

Finally made it back to the Winnipeg Folk Festival.  I became a fan when I lived in Pinawa years ago, and have only been able to make it back once – 3 years ago.  I love everything about the Folk Festival but mostly the opportunity to immerse myself in music for 4 days.  Once the tent is up (I choose the quiet campground, although I know more goes on at the other one), there is nothing to do but get up, eat breakfast, and head over to the Festival grounds, knowing I will be there until at least midnight.

For me this festival ended up having a Lovers in a Dangerous Time theme.  Yes, I know, that isn’t a folk song.  (But neither is the Folk Festival a folk festival exclusively.)  On the first day I was able to catch Bruce Cockburn at an afternoon workshop, and his first song was Lovers in a Dangerous Time.  Then the next day Choir!Choir!Choir! had a workshop where they taught the audience (I would guess over 1000!) the harmony bits of Lovers in a Dangerous Time – and then Bruce Cockburn took the stage and sang the lead while we all harmonized.  Well, it wasn’t perfect, but it was fun.  Bruce Cockburn was on the main stage that evening, so we got to hear the song again.  And on the final night, the headliners were Barenaked Ladies and their second song was – you guessed it – Lovers in a Dangerous Time.  One of my favourite songs, still.

There were so many highlights, but for me it is always finding not only new groups, but the fun and the music that can happen when musicians are thrown together in workshops with others they have never met, and they play together.  RURA and Paul McKenna (both from Scotland) were great finds, but mix them with Bon Debarras from Quebec and you get magic (and step dancing!)