30 July 2006

Lowell Folk Festival

Had the good luck to get dragged to the Lowell Folk Festival yesterday; I'd never heard of it, not being from around these parts, but apparently it's the largest free folk festival in the US. We only caught a couple of acts, but they were wonderful.

The first we had was Liz Carroll and John Doyle (Irish fiddle and guitar). I don't know enough about Irish music to be able to comment intelligently, so instead I'll say that watching Liz Doyle was great fun. When she played standing up, her whole body was focused on the fiddle, but when she sat down, her legs started dancing! Kept much more complex time than most people aim for when they're using knees. Doyle was behind a pole from my vantage point, so I can't comment on his dancing.

Then there was Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and they were brilliant. There's not much like zydeco for getting people dancing--even hesitant New Englanders--and as there were a few couples there who really knew how to do it, and a few caution-to-the-winds types who didn't care that they didn't, the aisles were pretty full. As we were right behind an aisle, we had a brilliant view: the hot girl who was almost certainly a bellydancer; the crazy-dancing bearded barefoot dude who tried to pick her up; the couple where the girl taught the ponytailed guy a step, and he would repeat it with tremendous enthusiasm and fair agility; the weathered couple I suspected most of knowing how to do a proper Cajun jitterbug. It was a lovely thing to see, and made the music that much better.

Relevant tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments: