Now that I'm back from the Philadelphia Folk Festival, I figure I oughta mention the music. (I'll save the other fun for a separate post.) I was blown away by a few acts -- two of them local, strangely enough. Wissahickon Chicken Shack is a terrific honky-tonk combo, much too twangy for Kathy but hitting exactly the right notes for me. And some songs, like "Queen of the World," are just wonderful, wispy pop.
Then there's Slo-Mo featuring Mic Wrecka, a hip-hop/dance band that I honestly was surprised were at the fest, but boy was I glad they were. They had one set, on Sunday, and they were really the highlight of the day for me.
Another highlight was Caravan of Thieves, a gypsy acoustic swing band with a great, dark sense of humor, the guts to do a wonderful cover of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and the talent to pull it off.
The Decemberists played Saturday afternoon, offering a powerful, muscular rendition of their new album, The Hazards of Love, from start to finish -- and then following it up with a few other tunes, including the haunting "Eli, the Barrow Boy."
And there there's Iron and Wine. In this case, Sam Beam played alone on the large folk festival stage, just filling it up with his voice, his guitar, and the longing and emptiness he conveys with them. I'd never heard his song "The Trapeze Swinger" before Saturday night, but I'm not likely to forget it.
And come to think of it, I should also mention Sara Hickman, the always-wonderful Ellis Paul, Tom Rush, The Folk Brothers (I'm still singing their ode to a dead mouse), Deer Tick, Cresson Street Vibration and Burning Bridget Cleary. All entertained the heck outta me.