Monday, September 17, 2007

folk music is alive and well

Spent Sunday at the Boston Folk Festival, on the UMass-Boston campus. The weather was quintessentially autumn: blue sky, billowy clouds, slightly crisp air, moderate breeze. Kaytie met us there, and Dylan and Alexa hung out with my parents in Waltham; they looked mighty tired by the time we made it back there. I think we'll bring the kids next year, because it was clearly a kid-friendly event, with coloring and blow-up ducks and hula-hoop and dancing.

We were initially drawn to the festival by Erin McKeown, one of our favorite Boston musicians, but little Erin proved to be one of the featherweights of the day. Catie Curtis, whom I'd heard here and there on college radio, was absolutely captivating, especially when she performed a song called "The Princess and the Mermaid," which was about how our perceptions change after children. In the song, a woman and her partner are traveling in a van with their two children in the back, the whole family weary from the road and from fights over who gets to pet the dog. The chorus, "But the princess and the mermaid point out the moon and fall asleep," captures so subtly and so perfectly how our children, no matter how many buttons they push, manage to give us perspective in simple yet startling ways.

Another highlight of the evening was Chris Smither, who was brilliantly funny and poetic and smooth. His song "The Origin of Species" was a hilarious satire of Darwinism, intelligent design, and religious dogma, sung smoothly and accompanied by some very pretty strumming.

And the things Patti Larkin can do with her guitar, and with her voice--wow.

Driving back to CT after such a long day was tiring, but it was well worth it. We made it home just in time to see the Red Sox rally against a 4-1 deficit. . . .and then lose 4-3.

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