Ottawa Folk Festival: Kris Kristofferson connects with crowd in cold

Though it wasn’t listed in the program, a November chill showed up last night at the 14th annual Ottawa Folk Festival, along with Oh Susanna, The Foggy Hogtown Boys and highly anticipated headliner Kris Kristofferson.

Oh Susanna

“I’m much too aggressive for the West Coast,” confessed this ex-Vancouverite, who went on to prove it with a country-folk set both frank and feisty. This is a persona at once plain and edgy, with songs both painterly and bittersweet, about the imbalance of broken bonds and the struggle to make things whole. Each, even at their most placid, has country-rock leanings; what you’re left with is Sylvia Tyson fronting for The Eagles. She shone brightly through a couple of boot-stompers, then surprised with a trad-style finale, accompanied by Toronto’s Foggy Hogtown Boys (see below.) It’s twang with tang, like home-cooked chicken with kick.

The Foggy Hogtown Boys

They look like crew-cutted collegians of an old Norman Luboff Choir LP but their souls are pure shaggy-haired hillbilly. These nouveau hicks bring a clean, new luster to some well-worn bluegrass, with tight, playful harmonies, sweeter than Virginia tobacco fiddle work, and animated five string banjo. They’re good for a couple of ol’ fashioned breakneck breakdowns here and there, too. A fine, fun ensemble, bringing the bluegrass dead back to life with crowd-pleasing reverence and cheek.

Kris Kristofferson

The festival’s flagship act, Kris Kristofferson, rode onto the main stage like the last of the desperado-philosophers. There’s a line in his In The News, which he sung in a voice that’s grown even more brittle with age, that chronicles how “a little piece of truth and beauty dies.” That’s how it feels as Kristofferson, one of the last of the anti-establishment elder statesmen, offers up his humane, intelligent insights just a few more precious time before age (already hot on his heels – he reaches for the wrong harmonicas and lapses on lyrics) catches up to him. The well-received Kristofferson had the audience hanging on his every visible breath; at times, like during the tragic tale of Darby’s Castle, it was so quiet you could hear the crowd’s teeth chattering. Watching the man’s hold over his faithful is akin to watching Jesus pull out a guitar and harmonica instead of bread and wine at the Last Supper, and offer up his life-sustaining insights through a parable about Bobby McGee. Most of his greatest hits came out, each of them unprompted sing-a-longs, as did back catalogue gems like the Native lament Johny Lobo and a fun but sophomoric parody of Big John.

Ottawa Folk Festival: Kris Kristofferson connects with crowd in cold

Ottawa Folk Festival: Kris Kristofferson connects with crowd in cold

3 comments on “Ottawa Folk Festival: Kris Kristofferson connects with crowd in cold”

  1. endep buy Reply

    A lot of thanks for all your efforts on this site. Gloria enjoys doing investigation and it’s easy to understand why. Most people learn all regarding the lively mode you present reliable tactics through this web site and even inspire participation from some others on the point then our favorite princess is really starting to learn a whole lot. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are always doing a splendid job.

  2. purchase remeron Reply

    My spouse and i felt now fulfilled that Ervin could deal with his investigations out of the ideas he got out of the web page. It’s not at all simplistic to just choose to be giving freely instructions that many other folks have been selling. And we also figure out we have the website owner to be grateful to for that. The entire explanations you have made, the simple site menu, the friendships you can give support to engender – it’s got everything fantastic, and it’s really facilitating our son and the family feel that the issue is entertaining, and that is incredibly indispensable. Thank you for all the pieces!

  3. nortriptyline without a prescription Reply

    I’m commenting to let you be aware of of the amazing discovery my child developed browsing the blog. She came to find a good number of details, including how it is like to have a great coaching character to get a number of people clearly completely grasp a number of advanced issues. You actually did more than her desires. I appreciate you for churning out such beneficial, dependable, edifying and cool guidance on that topic to Emily.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *