Those of us who grew up in the time when folk music became popular (again) think that it is and should be about relationships, politics, and social awareness. That, indeed, was the case in the last concert on Stage 5 yesterday at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
Tom Paxton, Mary Gauthier, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Connie Kaldor and a several hundred audience members participated in this session, the theme of which was 'If I had a rocket launcher...' (You know the second line of Bruce Cockburn's song).
Tom Paxton started with a song about his daughters, then switched to political commentary, to the delight of everyone except the fellow who sat beside me. Connie Kaldor sang about the prairies, family and relationships, while Mary Gauthier sang about the difficulties that relationships sometimes bring.
Buffy Sainte-Marie sang The Universal Soldier and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. She finished the set with a hard-driving song with a message (a song I didn't know) and the crowd was on its feet, cheering for her and the rest of the fine musicians, including the excellent back-up singers and guitarists.
Some sessions work: and this one was an experience that will be remembered by the musicians and fans for a long time.
Thanks to Terry Wickham and all the staff and volunteers who made this Festival a success. Thanks also to the many headliners and back-up musicians who worked so hard to create such wonderful music.
Personal thanks to several special people whose perfomances made Festival '07 a great experience for me: Roy Forbes, Kat Danser (a singer and guitarist whom I had never heard before), Karla Anderson and the great bassist Mike Lent, and the amazing Connie Kaldor.