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Calgary Folk Festival announces 2019 Lineup

By Troy Hasselman, April 11 2019 —

The Calgary Folk Music Festival has announced the lineup for its 40th anniversary edition. Local acts, returning favourites and Calgary newcomers highlight the festival.

Calgary Folk Festival artistic director Kerry Clarke announced the acts involved in this year’s annual lineup unveiling at Festival Hall on April 11.

The Thursday night mainstage lineup will include Niger rock group Tal National, Toronto R&B singer and Juno nominee Charlotte Day Wilson, returning Folk Festival performer Sharon Van Etten and Scottish indie-legends Belle & Sebastian in what will be their first-ever Alberta performance.

Friday’s mainstage will consist of Montréal art-pop group Half Moon Run, master percussionist Sheila E., reunited indie-rockers Rheostatics, jazz-inflected soul-crooner Ndidi O and eclectic Cuban group Yissy GarcÍa & Bandancha.

The trumpeter for Kobo Town, a Canadian Caribbean music group, performing at Folk Fest in 2018. // Photo by Mariah Wilson

Saturday night will open with soulful octet Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and indie-pop duo Lucius and roots-rockers Asleep at the Wheel. Belize’s the Garifuna Collective will return to the festival and South Carolina jazz-quintet Ranky Tanky will perform as well.

The festival will close on Sunday night with performances from Americana quartet Della Mae, soulful folk from Valerie June, outlaw country from Colter Wall, son of former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, and hooky, indie-rock from The Strumbellas.

Roots music will be showcased from Nashville troubadour Sam Lewis, Old Crow Medicine Show founder Willie Watson, British group This is The Kit and Vancouver folk duo Twin Bandit among others.

Indigenous artists showcased at the festival include electronic pop from iskwē, Edmonton’s Celeigh Cardinal, The Launch alumni Logan Staats, hip-hop from Eekwol & T-Rhyme and 71-year-old Inuit elder Willie Thrasher.

Blues, gospel and soul music will be showcased from Mississippi blues singer Cedric Burnside, Toronto’s Brothers Blackburn and Vancouver’s The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer.

Acts from Latin America are showcased with Colombia-via-New York’s Combo Chimbita, Argentina’s Sofia Viola and Mexico’s Los Pachamama Y Flor Amargo.

The Middle East are represented through the Spanish-influenced Hamsa Hamsa, Egyptian folk-singer Ramy Essam and Touareg guitarist and Sled Island alumni Mdou Moctar.

Hannah Epperson performing at Folk Fest in 2018. // Photo by Mariah Wilson

Alt-rock legends The Mekons will play, along with a set from frontman Jon Langford’s side-project Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls, Calgary’s Fast Romantics and Broken Social Scene member La Force. Halifax indie band Mauno and music veteran Beverly Glenn-Copeland of Mr. Dressup fame will also play.

Alberta artists showcased include Red Deer and Calgary’s Boots & The Hoots, afrobeat from Freak Motif, soul from I Am the Mountain, Edmonton’s Kat Dansen, Calgary scene veterans Lab Coast, Calgary indie-rocker Samantha Savage Smith, Lethbridge’s Shaela Miller, country from Calgary’s T. Buckley and Calgary’s The Torchettes.

Changes this year include the free Stage One shifting outside the festival gates to just north of Eau Claire Market. The family area will include performances from hip-hop storyteller Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Shelley Bean & The Duckety Muds.

The Talk Tent will include Ali Hassan, host of Laugh out Loud on CBC Radio, and spoken-word from Regina’s Zoey Roy.

The Calgary Folk Festival will run July 25–28 at Prince’s Island Park. For more information about the festival, its lineup and buying tickets, visit their website.

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