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Photo Beth Girdler
Audience at Edmonton

Photo Beth Girdler
David and Vikki Simpson of the Waifs at Edmonton

Photo Beth Girdler
The Waifs at David's Edmonton workshop

Photo Beth Girdler
David, Oysterband and the Waifs sing "
Keep on Rocking in the Free World" at the workshop



My, what big…everything….you have. This is a big festival, one that takes the "festive" root to heart. I had been forewarned as to crowd size, primed in the etiquette of the tarp, placement and sanctity of, the many other traditions that have emerged over the years. The devotees of the festival are proud of their turf and with every reason. The grounds are a series of ski runs, each separated by a line of trees. The largest run is reserved for the main stage, while the smaller (only relatively) runs became workshop sites, with the stage at the bottom and the audience spread up the hill.

I will be ever grateful to Edmonton for the chance to play in a workshop with the Oysterband and the Waifs. The crowd poured into the site, stretching high up the hillside. They sang and listened hard and were wonderful to play for. There was a great deal of mutual respect and enjoyment on stage and it carried over to the performances, culminating in an "all hands on deck" version of Neil Young's "Keep on Rocking in the Free World"! What wonderful bands. What welcoming people. What a Blast!!

While in line at the food tent I read the recipies. One began: Take one hundred pounds of onions….it was delicious. Coleslaw for two thousand.

At the after- festival parties we danced to Toots and the Maytals. Here I finally got to talk with some people I've long wanted to, and enjoyed yet another round of seeing friends. The festival lends itself to that, helped by the fact that friendliness and efficiency are hand in hand throughout.

Bill Bourne and Cindy Church closed the festival with the singing of "Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson - to a dark galaxy, strewn with candle light. Colin joined me on stage for this finale where we could see the crowd, hear the singing of massed voices and stand in the spotlight for bit. I think more than anyone else on this tour, he deserved that moment.

From us to you, all the best,


Friday, August 17

David Francey appearing next week:

August 24-26
Ottawa Music Festival
Ottawa, Ontario

Click here for the complete summer schedule...