I had the great pleasure of attending the Vancouver Folk Festival this weekend for the first time and I discovered a few new things, musically and otherwise. In fact, I was standing in the food line waiting for vegetarian curry for 45 minutes (hey, a good Indian boy like me waits for curry for as long as it takes!!!) and I chatted with two separate groups of folk fest die-hards who'd been attending the festival forever - it was something like their 30th season! Now, that's dedication.

Anyway, I got to see lots of excellent music including Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the Indian slide guitar player (disciple of the great Ravi Shankar) which was a total trip. Sadly, I missed my pals in No Luck Club doing their fusion of beats and folk music from around the world on Sunday, but I did manage to take in a great workshop on the Saturday afternoon.

It featured a fantastic lineup including Vancouver's "hick-hop" singer /songwriter Ridley Bent and also the ever popular Leslie Feist, known to most as simply Feist. Now, as some of you may know, I was living in Calgary for ten years before moving here to Vancouver six months ago, so I remember hanging out and sharing stages with Leslie when she was in a rocking Calgary outfit called Placebo. That was sometime ago, but really I haven't seen her perform in forever, so it was really cool to see her play.

I love that thing she does with the loop pedal, layering her guitars and vocals. She also played the coolest, old small bodied guitar which I think was just a cheap guitar, but she made it sing. She even managed to get everyone singing along on the very well known song Mushaboom later that night on the mainstage. I'm not sure what a Mushaboom is exactly, but I like the way it sounds.

posted by Tariq Hussain on Jul 24, 2006