Wednesday, August 19, 2009

catch-up #2: Lowell Folk Festival (July 25)

The Town is Galloway. The Merrimac River, broad and placid, flows down to it from the New Hampshire Hills, foaming on over ancient stones towards a place where the river suddenly swings about in a wide and peaceful basin, moving on now around the flank of the town, on to places known as Lawrence and Haverhill, through a wooded valley, and on to the sea at Plum Island, where the river enters an infinity of waters and is gone.

-- from The Town and the City
by Jack Kerouac.

The Lowell Folk Festival doesn't involve birds and doesn't take place on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (otherwise it would be called the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Folk Festival) but heck, it's time for this blog to venture off-island a little and embrace summer in Massachusetts in ALL its glory. So, let's float our ice floe upriver and take in some music.

Dunno whether plastic penguins like loubiyeh, but we do, and St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Church's booth at the Lowell Folk Festival has the best anywhere. Lucky for us, the booth is right near the Boardinghouse Park stage, where most of the artists we want to hear are appearing tonight.

The red brick city on the Merrimack is beautiful as the light changes in the evening.

DL Menard is rocking Boardinghouse Park when we arrive and we're digging it. Then as we await the parade of the Glen David Andrews Band, we enjoy our loubiyeh, rice, falafel, etc. Niamh Ní Charra (Irish) is up next and all I can say is she is g*d's gift to both fiddle and concertina and for that matter to electrical engineering. As soon as her set is done, I race to the merch tent for her album and tell her she is a credit to electrical engineers. We chat a bit about the Irish high-tech scene (from my past life), but others need autographs too. Next up is Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band (Traditional New Orleans jazz) who are also fantastic. The evening ends with Trudy Lynn (blues and soul) from Texas. Quite a night.

Niamh Ní Charra and her band at Boardinghouse Park: July 25

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