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Eaglewood: Songs from the woods

Set on the grounds of a summer camp, Eaglewood Folk Festival celebrates the singer songwriter. The workshop areas are wooded and shady, and form their own natural enclave. The workshop stages were about as interactive as it gets, and the songs many and varied. The site itself was open and sunny, the main stage, a deck off the farmhouse. We got to sit on the lawn and listen to some exceptional musicians, as the sun set and the stars came out.

Lights over the pond at Eaglewood

I had a good start to this festival before I made it out of the parking lot. There on the main stage was my friend, Don Bray, and the sound was carried out to us. (unfortunately Don was off the stage by the time Beth got out her camera) Terry Tufts closed the evening with stellar guitar playing and powerful singing. In between were Ron Nigrini, Keith Glass and Magoo. All great! Not a bad welcome.

Magoo...... and Valdy

The workshops we had were made for singing or playing along and people did. Over the weekend Dave and I performed with Rob Lamothe, Lisa Winn, David Bradstreet, Paul Langille and Katherine Wheatley. I enjoyed hearing everyone, all the various styles brought to the table. We played twice at the Darrel Murphy Acoustic Stage, sans mics of course - very enjoyable.

Darrel Murphy Acoustic Stage

Catching Lynn Miles, backed by Keith Glass, was an Eaglewood musical highlight, with Lynn doing material from her splendid CD "Unraveled". That album is never out of the CD player in our van, and is the one I go back to consistently. "Unraveled" is an exceptional recording in every way. Follow that with Tom Wilson and then Valdy and the evening was complete.

Keith Glass and Lynn Miles

We played Sunday night main stage, to pitch darkness past the stage lights. The voices singing seemed to come out of nowhere and sounded beautiful. Then came a special performance by Michael Lewis, a man with many, many friends and a huge heart.

David and Dave, main stage

Betty and the Bobs came, played and conquered with a high spirited and tight set. Great players and singers all. They switched instruments and leads with impunity, building the set the entire time. Suzie Vinick's voice was something else.

Earlier in the afternoon there had been a guitar workshop, entitled Acoustic Guitar Summit #2. This featured David Essig, Paul Langille, Dave Clarke, Jason Fowler and Jamie Oakes. Wendell Fergusson was lying on the grass just listening if you can believe that? The playing was astonishing, whether individually or in a group, and the varying styles were once again apparent.

David Essig hosted that stage, and closed the festival with a riveting performance. It seemed appropriate to end with a singer songwriter, in keeping with the feel of the festival. I was playing David's CD as we left the site that night, the guitar and lonely voice forming a perfect background to the figures tearing the staging down for another year. Many thanks to Doug McArthur for putting together such an accessible festival, a good place to listen and talk to the players, and for us to meet the voices on the other side of the lights.

Until the next letter,

All the best from the Townships,


parachute over the Darrel Murphy Stage

back home

photos by Beth

Terry Tufts

Ron Nigrini

Paul Langile, David, Dave, Ron and Katherine Wheatly

David, Dave, Rob Lamonthe and David Bradstreet

David, Dave, Paul and Lisa Winn

Tom Wilson and Suzie Vinick

Wendell Ferusson

Wendell, Suzie, Bill Brennan, Suzie Schlanger, Kathrine Wheatly and Dave Mathison, Betty and the Bobs

David Essig closes