Philadelphia Folk Festival Presents its 43rd Edition

Natalie MacMaster

Philadelphia, USA – The Philadelphia Folk Festival will take place August 27-29 at the Old Pool Farm near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. It is a three-day extravaganza of traditional and contemporary folk, dance, crafts, camping, and children’s activities.

Some of the main attractions this year are: John Prine, Natalie MacMaster, Taj Mahal, La Botine Souriante, Chris Smither, Tom Russell, Ollabelle, and Mindy Smith. In all, 45 folk, world and roots artists will be providing more than 75 hours of music from contemporary to traditional, with an extra emphasis this year on dance.  Returning for his 43nd year as host/emcee is the Godfather of Philly Folk Music, WXPN radio personality and festival co-founder Gene Shay, whose four decades of dedication, preservation and promotion of folk music have become legendary — not only in Philadelphia, but around the country.

Organizers began making the whole festival more “user-friendly” last year, overhauling the Sunday closing schedule to end by
9:45 p.m., and allow audiences to get home early enough to get a fresh start on.

New to the festival in 2004 is a completely redesigned floor plan featuring the Grand Entrance Foyer, an outdoor lobby that welcomes festival-goers to the Philadelphia Folk Festival as they pass through the main entrance with an active area of dance, merchandise, crafts and, in the Philadelphia Folksong Society tent, space for members to gather and meet. A highlight of the Grand Entrance Foyer is the new Dance Tent – with a 3,500
square-foot wooden floored “studio,” where top-shelf dance bands and callers will be performing live. Another attraction is the Beer Garden, featuring a variety of brews.

There is an abundance of attractions for the kids, especially in Dulcimer Grove, the shady area between the Crafts Stage and Camp
Stage where puppeteers, jugglers, hands-on crafts, storytellers and kid-oriented musicians make it a haven for folk fans 12 and under. Musicians playing for the kids include Grammy Award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer; the “Appalachian juju” of the Juggernaut String Band, and Echoing Heart.

A special section of the campgrounds is designated for Family Camping as a “quieter” area of the campgrounds, particularly late at
night, where campers there are asked to avoid after-hours jam sessions.

The lineup by day is as follows:

Friday evening: La Botine Souriante, Andy M. Stewart & Jerry O’Beirne, Brave Combo, Fink & Marxer, David Olney, Cherish
the Ladies. Piper: Dennis Hangey. MC: Gene Shay

Friday afternoon:  Full Frontal Folk, Hickory Project,
Adrienne Young & Little Sadie, Time for Three, John Flynn, Fitzgerald & Beach, Bill Kircher.

Friday afternoon kids (3 p.m.): Fink & Marxer, Echoing

Saturday evening: Eliza Gilkyson, Wild Asparagus, Mindy
Smith, Uncle Earl, Green Grass Cloggers, Robin & Linda Williams, Cindy Cashdollar & the Silver Shot Western Swing Revue. Piper: Dennis Hangey. MC: Gene Shay

Saturday afternoon: Taj Mahal, Ollabelle

Saturday showcase: Hank Williams Tribute

Sunday: John Prine, Chris Smither, John Roberts & Tony
Barrand, Natalie MacMaster, DaVinci’s Notebook, Tom Russell, Sones de Mexico

Sunday showcases: 2’s & 3’s Wishing Chair, We’re About
Nine, Girlyman

Tickets for the Philadelphia Folk Festival are available
at Tickets also will be available at the Philadelphia Folksong Society Box Office, 7113 Emlen St., Philadelphia. For complete information about the Festival and tickets, call the
Philadelphia Folk Festival at 800-556-FOLK.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.