Saturday at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival was not just for the big acts on the main stage. Here’s where the Francophone tent gets loud, the dancers scuff, the storytellers rattle off a few yarns, the families mosey about the artisan tents, and organizers throw in a few surprises for good measure. All of which took place under a grey sky. By mid afternoon the rain started to peck, but it was the high winds that ultimately forced organizers to cancel the evening session. Nonetheless, there were some festival highlights from what took place early in the day.
Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival – Saturday, Aug. 10 (Photos by Ryan Belbin)
Newfoundlanders are able to rattle off a yarn, and a session with Matthew Byne, Sherman Downey, Daniel Payne, and Graham Wells was no exception. The lads sang stories about shipwrecks, poor-boy-rich-girl relationships, and illicit romances. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
What a crowd for the Conception Bay Crowd – the Auld Bowsies, Wanda Crocker, Gerry Strong, the Bowman Family, and Lifetime Achievement recipient Ray Walsh, leading in some instrumental favourites. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Newfoundland fiddle master Kelly Russell opened his set as his father, Ted Russell, would have – with a recitation, straight from the mouth of Uncle Mos of Pigeon Inlet. Tom Power of The Dardanelles joined Russell on stage for a few tunes. “It’s just like playing with Elvis,” Power quipped, “except Elvis has more hair!” Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Russell’s family joined him on stage too – daughters Naomi and Tamsyn, and wife Tonya Kearly. They invited the children up to the front for a dance. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
An accordion revolution is what host Nicole Button described it as: Graham Wells, Aaron Collis, Frank Maher, and Ray Walsh, who said Saturday was the first day of his second lifetime achievement award. The foursome played slides, jigs, reels, and some tunes borrowed from the Irish. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Aaron Collis of The Dardanelles looks on as Ray Walsh pumps out a tune. Walsh said Saturday was the first day of his second lifetime achievement award. The foursome played slides, jigs, reels, and some tunes borrowed from the Irish. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Bleak, grey clouds loomed over Bowering Park for most of the afternoon. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Jim Payne, one of Newfoundland’s most prolific songwriters, led the songwriters circle, which also featured blues legend Denis Parker and Westerner Ruth Moody. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Denis Parker plays a blues tune about the harsh realty of leaving Newfoundland to seek employment in Western Canada – as true today as when he wrote it. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Ruth Moody, joined by band mates Sam Howard and Adam Dobres, opened with “One Light Shining,” a conversation between an optimist and a pessimist about the state of the world. Saturday may have marked Moody’s first gig in Newfoundland, but she had no trouble winning over the audience. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
After Tom Power announced the cancellation of the festival’s Saturday evening session, there was one point of solace: the final performance of the afternoon was Irish duo John Doyle and Nuala Kennedy, who had some energetic folk numbers on guitar and tin whistle to get the blood flowing again. Photo by Ryan Belbin.
Saturday Night Folk Fest After-party at The Ship Pub (Photos by Graham Kennedy)
Daniel Romano. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
CBC Radio 2 host Tom Power emcee’s at The Ship Saturday night. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
D’Harmo’s Pascal “Per” Veillette has a serious-looking moment at The Ship. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Kerri Ough of The Good Lovelies. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Caroline Brooks of The Good Lovelies. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Levy Bourbonnais of D’Harmo. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Daniel Romano. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Country crooner Daniel Romano performed a few numbers from his latest album, “Come Cry With Me”. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Samuël Caron of D’Harmo. Photo by Graham Kennedy.
Quebec harmonica quartet D’Harmo was on hand to belt out a few tunes at The Ship Saturday night. Photo by Graham Kennedy.