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Overview: Ben Harper declares Edmonton People Fest 'the best venue in music'

Tears ran scorching as Ian Tyson was remembered with a photograph montage and second of silence earlier than his legendary 4 Robust Winds closed out Sunday night time

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“This,” mentioned Ben Harper, squinting on the candles dotting the mainstage hill on the Edmonton People Music Pageant on Sunday night time, “is the best venue in music.”

Excessive reward from the singer-songwriter who closed out the forty fourth version of the competition with a solo set of light instrumentals, deeply felt acoustic blues, left-field covers and stripped-down variations of his personal hits. Harper casually pulled guitars from round him because the temper struck, one second plucking a sprightly lead line on his Weissenborn lap metal, the following stunning with a sombre tackle Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing within the Darkish. He instructed a narrative about his younger son resisting his affection due to his prickly beard as a prelude to Steal My Kisses, and entranced the viewers with pretty variations of Diamonds on the Inside, Burn One Down, Morning Craving.

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It was a meditative and melancholy finish to the competition, becoming on condition that Stony Plain Data founder and CKUA host Holger Petersen requested a second of silence and introduced a video montage of Ian Tyson who died earlier this 12 months. This was the primary folks fest Sunday night time the place Ian Tyson wasn’t current someplace on the planet as his seminal paean to Alberta, 4 Robust Winds, was carried out to shut the competition. For sure, the tears ran scorching for a lot of final night time.

The temper was constructed simply earlier than with a set by Colorado’s Gregory Alan Isakov. Huddled collectively mid-stage along with his band, the singer-songwriter alternated guitar with banjo, main upright bass and a choice of droning keyboard devices by an evening run of spectral songs that felt just like the fragments of one-page quick tales. He declared Darkish, Darkish, Darkish because the happiest tune he had (“so we’d as properly get it over with”), grasped on the disappearing wisps of previous relationships on San Luis and slid sideways into Dangerous Seeds nation with Liars.

Introspective stuff, however the viewers ran with it. Youngsters twirled in circles by the sand on the aspect of the stage, dancers contorted into sluggish, expressive actions. Isakov repeated a number of instances how grateful he was to be there, noting his band doesn’t usually play a lot in the summertime or get flown out to festivals.

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Music fan at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival
A music fan grooves in entrance of the principle stage on the Edmonton People Music Pageant Sunday. Photograph by Shaughn Butts /Postmedia

Tyson’s dying this 12 months was symbolically and personally a major one for the competition, virtually a demarcation level, however you would additionally hear the long run on the opposite aspect of that. Like Montreal indie-folk rockers Half Moon Run, spectacular at their afternoon mainstage efficiency, and native guitarist/singer-songwriter Billie Zizi, who performed with Calgary’s Mariel Hartley on Saturday. This was Zizi’s first look at Gallagher Park after constructing spectacular musical credentials round city and volunteering on the competition for near twenty years.

Zizi was nonetheless soaking all of it in because the competition drew to a detailed, watching as Margo Worth and band opened the night with a set that navigated nation and rock, all wrapped up in tribute to The Band. They burst out over high of a recorded snippet of I Shall Be Launched into the fever dream I’ve Been to the Mountain, snarled by Worth’s kiss-off anthem, 4 Years of Probabilities, despatched a candy tribute to Robbie Robertson with a model of the not too long ago deceased legend’s Evangeline. This was robust, hardscrabble music that had a lot of folks up and transferring; highlights included the autobiographical Palms of Time, and Worth leaping behind the drum package for a few songs, bringing the set to a detailed with the raucous Twinkle Twinkle.

Not a nasty approach in any respect to finish the weekend at what we are able to now discuss with as the best stay venue in music.


Edmonton Worldwide People Pageant w/ Margo Worth, Gregory Alan Isakov, Ben Harper

The place Gallagher Park

When Sunday night time

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