Home Feature Dispatches from the Edmonton Folk Music Festival day one (Thursday)

Dispatches from the Edmonton Folk Music Festival day one (Thursday)


Tonight was the opening night of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. A massive crowd gathered at Gallagher Park for a stellar night of music to get this year’s festival off to a great start.

Once again, it was clear to see that EFMF has a solid crew of technicians, volunteers, and others working hard behind the scenes to ensure the success of this festival.

Getting the ball rolling tonight was Dakhabrakha, a band from Kyiv playing avant-garde folk music. Their love of their native Ukraine is quite evident in their music, and I was quite blown away from the accordion playing.

Following them was Watchhouse, formerly known as Mandolin Orange. They presented a set of rootsy feel good Americana, tinged with solid harmonies. They evidently had a huge following there tonight as the crowd seemed to hang off their every word (or note). Despite that sudden burst of rain, the crowd still hung on to hear them, and as a bonus, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow over the park.

Before headliner Feist took the stage, we were introduced to a young singer named Sammy Volkov. He is part of the School of Song program which presents lesser known artists to the audience. His voice has been compared to Roy Orbison’s in the past, and I totally agree. He started out his set with a cover of Ian Tyson’s “Someday Soon” and followed with a few more numbers that greatly showed off his vocal chops. He takes the stage on Sunday at Stage 5 at
12:40PM if you’re interested in hearing him.

Finally, Feist took the stage, and I watched the crowd immediately take to their feet with her rousing rendition of “My Moon, My Man.” Originally from Amherst, Nova Scotia, her unique musical style incorporates elements of folk, pop, and Baroque music. I listened to a few more songs and loved her stage presence, sound, vocals – but alas, it was time to call it a day for me.

Stay tuned for a recap of Friday’s music at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.


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