This Week on TTBTGH

Sunday, July 3, 2005:

This is the time that I wait all year for. The Winnipeg Folk Festival is very soon upon us, and it is my favourite weekend of the year. When I first discovered the Folk Festival, it changed my life forever. I had no idea what amazing music there was out there, because I hadn’t been hearing most of it anywhere else. And that’s why I got interested in doing a radio show like TTBTGH, because other than the festival, you just don’t hear great artists like the ones we’ve got on the show today. And with all of the artists and excitement, you won’t get to know many of the festival performers as well as you’d like or as well as you should, so we’ll have a look at the lineup this week on TTBTGH and introduce you to some folks I know you’re going to love, and somehow, we’re going to help each other decide what to see at the festival. It’s not going to be easy.

First up, a dear friend who’s been on the show before, but that I haven’t seen or heard from in quite some time. I first met her when she came on UMFM with two other friends, Ruth Moody and Nicky Mehta, in 2002, to talk about two shows that they were planning together. I knew it was going to be something special, but the girls had no idea that within a couple of short years, they’d be touring the world and winning a Juno. But before then, Cara “Lovely” Luft was a solo artist with a promising future. The call of that freedom and independence was strong, so in 2004, she decided to focus on her solo career once more. SInce then, she’s been hard at work on new material, and has done some touring on her own. She’ll reconnect with many friends and fans in Winnipeg at The Folk Fest this year, but first, she’ll drop by to sing, chat, and catch up with us this Sunday.

Absolutely the best thing about the Folk Festival is getting to discover amazing new performers that you weren’t familiar with before. I like to think that I’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s going to hit and what’s going to miss at the festival, and this week, I’ve scheduled chats with a couple of the performers that I know are going to be huge hits at this year’s festival.

Whatever happened to country music? When Hank invented country music, he intended it to be something powerful, personal, and genuine. Since then, we’ve seen the sad state of country on radio and TV, but Wayne “The Train” Hancock proves that some folks are making country music as it was intended. Hancock is clearly a disciple of Hank’s tradition, and he displays it well. His brand of country/honky tonk/swing, although schooled in old-tyme tradition, is so refreshing and exciting that I just know Winnipeg Folk Fest attendees are going to eat it up. It will only take one song for you to see what I mean. Tune in this week to hear a little taste of what you’re in for when this amazing performer steps on stage at the festival.

I suspect maybe you’ve heard of a little singer/songwriter named Tom Waits? Yeah, thought so. He’s one of the most unique and influential singer/songwriters of our time, so when he talks, people tend to listen. So when he called our final guest, Jesse DeNatale “a unique and original American voice,” I knew that I had to find out more. When I first heard, DeNatale’s disc, Shangri-La West, it became an instant favourite. His voice is gritty and powerful (it owes much to Waits), his melodies are memorable and inviting, and his lyrics are vivid and powerful. Again, it won’t take long for the whole festival site to be buzzing about this guy, so get the early jump on all of those other folks by hearing his music and stories this Sunday.

We’re surely in for one of the most amazing Winnipeg Folk Festivals in a long, long time, so tune in to this week’s Tell the Band to Go Home for a preview and some help finding your way around the busy schedule.

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