Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 19: DCMF, Day 2; July 19

The Saturday festivities were supposed to start with KidsFest at 11:15am in the main tent, but with all the rain and mud it seemed a bit empty. Will and I went and looked at the concessions to kill a little time. There was a guy selling organic teas in a tent with a blue-and-white VW bus of the same type as ours parked beside it; I asked him what year it was, and he said he didn't know! I checked the registration number and let him know it was a '72, the first year of our type.

When we got back in the main tent "Soir de Semaine", a Francophone group from Whitehorse, was entertaining a small crowd of kids. They did a good job of getting all the little kids playing along with shakers and cymbals. After that Ken Whiteley got up on the stage and did a kid's concert; he looked like a slightly slimmed-down Santa Claus with a jaunty black beret, rather than a red hat, topping his white curls. He did some toe-tapping numbers with his son Ben Whiteley on bass backing him up, getting everyone to sing along; now there's a dude who can play his instrument (make that plural; acoustic guitar, dobro, and mandolin) and sing. By the final number, which I think was "This Little Light", I was caught in some kind of time warp and taken back to the festivals my parents used to take us to when I was Will's age. I had a chance to ask him later if he'd played those Sudbury concerts in the 70's, and he assured me he had!

"Tricky Business", a father-and-son juggling and magic act, was back at the festival again, and they did a routine for the kids. Will got to go up and be a volunteer for the first part of the act, which he liked, except for the part where the guy thought he was a little girl. (I keep telling him he needs a haircut.)

We had a break after that where we found out that there was no salmon dinner this year, disappointingly; we did manage to find the back-alley pizza place and order a pizza, even though Mike had to go back an hour and a half later to pick it up, they were so busy. We had happy hour back at the campground while we waited, and still had time to get to the main tent for the evening show.

First up was "The Magic", from Guelph, three young musicians with a computer as the rest of their backup band. Two of them are sons of James Gordon (of Tamarack fame), also appearing at the festival, as part of this year's "Fathers and Sons" theme. (I may rant on the apparent sexism of the festival later, or perhaps you can fill in your own.) They played decent pop songs, but they started to all sound the same, so the 30-minute set was enough. James Gordon came on after that and did a solo song, then his sons (after a quick change out of their safari outfits) joined him. As I recall they were pretty straight ahead rock/folk songs, all about serious issues like the environment; as James himself said, 'happy songs about depressing subjects'.

According to my program the next act was "Brandon Isaak and the Whitehorse Blues All-Stars". I'm drawing a complete blank on that, and wondering what I was up to... perhaps Mike will fill in the gap there for us all.

The Good Brothers and the Sadies were the next two acts; continuing the "Fathers and Sons" theme, two members of the Sadies are sons of one of the Good brothers. The Good Brothers used to play the old 70's bluegrass festival circuit as well, and I was curious to see what the largely 20-something, Belle-Orchestre-adoring crowd would make of them. Well, the audience adored them too, and I don't think it was just the beer garden; those guys can play, and they've been together so long their harmonies and playing are spot on and tightly together. Each song got huge rounds of whistling and applause, and that continued for the Sadies. By then it was a bit past midnight, and they weren't more than about okay after a couple of songs, so I took off for Diamond-Tooth Gertie's to see what the poker action was like.

There weren't as many drunken festival-goers as I had hoped, but I sat down to play a little anyway so I could keep a chip for a souvenir. In the first round I called in with a suited 86 in last position and ended up with a straight on the turn; the one drunk guy at the table stayed in with an Ace that hit on the river, and he spent the next half hour or so being pissed off at me. Every time I folded he'd say sarcastically "got something worse than 8 6 offsuit?", since he'd apparently missed the fact that they were suited... not to mention that every person at the table was in every hand, and top pair was never winning the pot. It was great for my table image, but I never got any decent cards again, and was pretty much even for the hour or two until 2am when they closed. I kept a $2.50 chip when I cashed out and walked the two blocks back to the campground in the long twilight.

P.S. I haven't been taking pictures since Dawson is still under light rain all the time, and I got so many good pictures two years ago. I'll give the link to the gallery when I get home, for those who haven't already seen them.

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