Home Feature Here’s who Howard Druckman plans to check out at the Mariposa Folk...

Here’s who Howard Druckman plans to check out at the Mariposa Folk Festival

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It’s looking like another great lineup for the Mariposa Folk Festival this year, and there’s nothing like poring over the schedule trying to figure out what to see and how to do it all without cloning oneself several times over.

I’m not sure that I’ve got the game plan totally worked out yet, but are are a few acts that jumped out at me that I’m going to try not to miss.

The latest Bros. Landreth album, Come Morning, marks a period of transition for Joey and David Landreth. Both went from being hard-touring musicians to new husbands and new fathers in the past few years. In pandemic seclusion, they recorded Come Morning slowly and intentionally – so the sound was less about flashy guitars and more about finding textures that best served the songs. The content, meanwhile, was about dealing with unconfronted past demons and moving forward from that trauma. “Shame” and “Corduroy” are especially heartbreaking, though hope prevails, as “Stay” and “What in the World” celebrate the kind of domestic love that sustains the soul. In 2022, the brothers were pleasantly surprised when Bonnie Raitt covered the song “Made Up Mind” – from their Juno Award-winning 2014 debut album Let It Lie – and released it as a single to radio. Playing live, Bros. Landreth never disappoint, and there’s something for everyone: brilliant guitar work, sweet sibling harmonies, well-crafted songs, and authentically vulnerable content.

Festival Performances…

  • Friday at 7:00 p.m. on the Pub Stage
  • Friday at 9:20 p.m. on the Main Stage
  • Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on the Barnfield Stage
  • Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the Estelle Klein Stage

Danny Michel just released his new album, Ghost Town, on Friday, June 30 so we haven’t had a chance to live with it too long yet. But already, the anthemic, uplifting, ebullience of the song “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself,” released last year, made it the No. 1 Fan Voted Song of 2022 on the CBC Top 20. Danny recorded audiences shouting out the titular chorus line at festivals like Mariposa and then incorporated them into the song. The new single, “Point of No Return,” is a gently building ballad buoyed by a lovely horn arrangement that peaks in a shattering electric guitar solo. It draws parallels between watching flowers die, hoarding jewels, caging birds, and going over Niagara Falls – all of which reach a point where it’s impossible to turn back. Danny’s lyrics are always thoughtful, his melodies memorable, his guitar playing compelling, his performances charming. And his musical style encompasses everything from rock to pop to folk to global music.

Festival Performances…

  • Saturday at 2:45 p.m. on the Barnfield Stage
  • Sunday at 12:15 p.m. on the Pub Stage
  • Sunday at 4:15 p.m. on the Barnfield Stage

There are a handful of artists playing Mariposa this year that initially emerged on a large scale in the first decade of the 2000s.

That was when twin sisters Tegan & Sara went from being two queer, indie-rock, twin-sister kids breaking out of Calgaryto legitimate pop stars.

The early 2000s was also when another gay icon, Rufus Wainwright, arrived on the scene with refined, harmonious songs like “California,” and later, “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,” and the superb “Out of the Game.” His sophisticated melodic sensibilities have only grown since then, as he’s turned his hand to opera, setting Shakespeare sonnets to music, recording a note-for-note concert re-creation of a Judy Garland performance, writting songs for movies and TV, and more.

On the heels of the worldwide hit song “1234,” and her album The Reminder, Feist earned praise from NPR and Rolling Stone, won the Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album, and appeared on Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street. She’s since deftly explored the many paths taken by the human heart in relationships, with various unique, bold, and mesmerizing musical methods.

It’ll be interesting to see if these three will play in their usual format at Mariposa or acknowledge the folk festival atmosphere by breaking it down at some point in their sets to a more acoustic setting. We know that Rufus will put his own twist on some old traditional songs, as he does on his latest album, Folkocracy (whose title slyly acknowledges his folk-legend parents, Loudon Wainwright and the late Kate McGarrigle).

Although there’s nothing in the official schedule that sees them appearing together, Rufus’s siblings Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche are playing Mariposa as well, and so is his Aunt Anna McGarrigle as part of Mountain City Four, with whom Martha is already appearing as a guest, so it seems likely that there will be a larger family reunion of some sort.

Festival Performances…

  • Tegan & Sara: Saturday at 9:45 p.m. on the Main Stage
  • Rufus Wainwright: Sunday at 8:25 p.m. on the Main Stage
  • Feist: Sunday at 10:00 p.m. on the Main Stage
  • Martha Wainwright: Saturday at 12:25 p.m. on the Barnfield Stage
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche: Workshop, Sunday at 1:40 p.m. on Estelle Klein Stage
  • Mountain City Four (with special guest Martha Wainwright): Saturday at 1:35 p.m. on the Barnfield Stage

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