Sunday, August 23, 2009

When The Man Came To Town
And so it had come to be the final night of the Ottawa Folk
Festival. Largely scaled back due to budgetary issues, the
festival seemed a little smaller this year...or so people said.
I didn't really notice. Sarah and I found
Graven co-guitarist Owen Edwards and a few of his lady
friends on a sweet, grassy spot close to the main stage so we
nestled in with them, on a few blankets.

As I stopped to grab a quick beer before Joel's set, I popped
backstage (gotta love the power of the press pass) and found
him in 'hustle mode' with his dad, getting ready to take
the stage. I talked to him really briefly and he remembered
me from my interview with him in Cobourg and through our
mutual friend Charles. He told me had been stuck in
La Guardia Airport in NYC for the last 2 days and that
it was a 'total fucking nightmare'. I wished him well and
told him 'Have a good set - I'm sure it'll be awesome'. He
and his dad thanked me and Joel said 'Come have a drink
after the show, maybe!' but we didn't. Sarah and I were
pooped and I knew he was just being nice and was probably
wiped out from his long trip.

He and his dad took the main stage and 'rocked out' with
only two people, a few acoustics and a four-stringer. They
managed to fill up the soundspace quite nicely. Joel had
some sweet rhyming banter and played through some
pesky mosquitoes, making good light of the situation.
It was good to see him come alive in his on-stage persona
once again. It always feels like seeing an old friend.

A great bookend to a well-read weekend.

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