12 July 2011

Montana Folk Festival 2011

After three years of hosting the National Folk Festival (it will be in Nashville this year), my little city of Butte Montana has launched the Montana Folk Festival as a new annual event. Modeled on the national festival, it did not disappoint: musicians came from all over the world to the free (donations, please!) event.

Here are a few of the many acts I was able to take in over the 3 days. Most of the links will take you to a YouTube video of their performance. Enjoy!

Kotchegna (Ivory Coast Dance):

Daryl Davis (Boogie Woogie Piano legend):

Blue Highway (American Bluegrass):

Vishten (French Acadian):

My personal favorite, Nukariik (Inuit Throat Singing):

In Inuit culture, women throat sing as a contest where the leader weaves a hard path for the follower to keep up with. The "loser" is the first to laugh. Men throat sing as a contest too, but it's often an insult contest and the loser is the first to lose their temper (see the quasi-documentary film "The Wedding of Palo" by Knud Rasmussen, 1935). I like it when the throat singers use a drum, too:

Dance tent and Montana local favorite, Wylie & The Wild West (Cowboy & Western Music); Wylie invented the trademark Yahoo yodel:

And closing out the dance tent on Saturday night to a packed crowd, Boukman Eksperyans (Haitian Mizik Rasin):

In addition to music, there was JD Old Mouse telling his traditional stories, show'n'tell exhibits by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and great food. And dancing. Did I mention lots of dancing?

It all takes place in uptown Butte, Montana. Come join us next year amid the old mining head frames ("gallows frames") of the festival city.

1 comment:

BLD in MT said...

Looks like a grand time. Throat singing! Oh, that is something I would really, really like to hear in person!