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THE POST | News | Sports | Culture | Business | Free Forum

The Post  
Philadelphia Folk Festival Saturday Brings the Rock to Folk
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/19/12 7:31 am | updated: 08/20/12 12:56 pm
Saturday broke on the Old Pool Farm and the remnants of the rains from Friday night could only be seen in the mud patches throughout the grounds. The sky was full of patches of sun and puffy clouds and the humidity was gone with just warm pleasant temperatures. The activity started early with musical acts on all the smaller stages at 11 am. Small crowds gathered at either the Tank, Craft, Lobby, or Camp stages to hear a variety of intimate performances and terrific collaborations.

As I arrived on site to our broadcast location under the stage my attention was drawn towards Dulcimer Grove. This area of the Festival is off to the side and behind the stage and at the time had a bustle of activity. The Grove is just that, a wooded area that lies between the Main Stage and the Camp grounds that a trail runs through. Inside, however, it is transformed into a place of wonder. The trees are filled with colorful parasols and multitudes of hammocks hang between the trees up the hill. During this afternoon the clowns, jugglers, and acrobats were performing to the kids and families, while musicians were playing on a small stage nearby. The acrobats drew open mouths with their high rope acts dangling above the forest floor. Dulcimer Grove is the perfect family setting.

Another terrific, non-musical, part of the festival are the Crafts. There is no place where you can find so many quality artisan craftsman in one place with such a variety of terrific wares. I took a stroll through the craft village and was impressed by the selections. I am particular towards musical instruments and would have bought a few, but had restraint, but also saw great clothing, leatherwork, artwork, repurposed materials, metalworks, woodwork, etc. The entire bazaar is juried so that there is a little of everything, and everything is top notch.

After an afternoon enjoying the festival life, the Main Stage was gearing up for one heck of night. First to hit the stage were blues/gospel trio The Holmes Brothers, who showed they are still going strong after 30 years. Next on the schedule was the “Queen of Rockabilly” Wanda Jackson. Unfortunately, Wanda could not make it to the festival site. Her tremendous band filled in for the entire set while we were hoping she'd arrive. They bounced their way through their impromptu setlist with rock and rockabilly standards including a few from Jackson's contemporary Elvis Presley. Lucinda Williams took the stage as the lone female of the night but didn't back down. Her powerful songwriting and roots rock arrangements poured out onto the hill. Steve Earle and the Dukes continued the progression of the night with rock outdoing the folk just a little. Earle's presence on stage is large enough but his performance tonight was huge. From “Copperhead Road” to “City of Immigrants,” Earle covered his catalog from all eras. Halfway through the night, glancing down at the lineup, it is hard to believe it keeps going, but John Hiatt and the Combo took the stage after Earle and delivered a solid set. I think Gene Shay thought it was over too, because he introduced Hiatt as Little Feat, jumping ahead before he reversed himself.

The crowd had filled in pretty early on in the night, but had stayed in their seats for the most part. As soon as Little Feat hit the stage, however, everyone was up, standing and moved close to the stage. The guys from LA spent little time before ripping into the jams and letting it go. They of course played “Dixie Chicken”, but also played “The Weight”, and threw in “Fat Man in Tub” and a little “Scarlet Begonias” for good measure. It was a great set from Little Feat and the crowd let them know.

Mike Cross had the honors of the cool down set to wrap up the night. Many people stayed to hear his unique and humorous style of storytelling and acoustic folk. He wrapped up the night with the In Memoriam for those who passed and “Amazing Grace.”

Tomorrow will be the last day on the farm, but it promises another terrific lineup. It'll start off with the Great Groove Band which is comprised of all the kids who have been practicing this weekend to perform. We'll end the night with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. He played at last year's festival to rave reviews, and there's no better way to blow the top of the whole thing than some New Orleans funk and jazz.

The Philly Folk Fest station will be back live tomorrow afternoon shortly before 4pm. For more information on the broadcast and live stream go to

Little Feat rocking the Main Stage on Saturday Night at the Philly Folk Fest

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(8) responses


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:32 am
John Hiatt plays the Main Stage on Saturday night at the Philadelphia Folk Festival


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:33 am
Steve Earle and the Dukes play the Main Stage on Saturday at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:34 am
Lucinda Williams plays the Main Stage on Saturday at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:34 am
Mike Cross plays the Main Stage on Saturday Night at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:35 am
Andrew Lipke plays the Camp Stage on Saturday afternoon at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:36 am
Craft Bazaar at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/19 7:36 am
Acrobats in Dulcimer Grove on Saturday afternoon at the Philadelphia Folk Fest


 by: iradiotom - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 08/20 12:56 pm
Little Feat's Billy Payne talks with Paul Kelly and Tom Kelly


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