Patt & I were privileged to a have a really nice trip out west this Summer. We were invited to play at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte. This is the 12th year of the festival and it’s one of the many “seed” festivals presented initially by National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) as a National Folk Festival and then taken over by the local community thereafter. It’s a great model and has worked in places like Lowell, MA, Bangor, ME, Johnstown, PA and Richmond, VA, where NCTA-originated festivals still thrive.
You can find out more about NCTA at: http://ncta-usa.org/.
We had four sets, which included a workshop, two concerts sessions and a dance. What a great bunch of folks we met and worked with! I’d also like to say that Butte is one cool little town. They are totally behind this festival and it’s become an important cultural anchor for the region.
Our dance set was called by Bev Young, a truly accomplished square and contra dance caller from Missoula. Thanks Bev for such a great dance! There was much more dancing than teaching – the mark of a real pro when it comes to calling for a mixed group of dancers, non-dancers, children, etc. It was a total blast.
We saw incredible acts, too. Mick Maloney was there in good form with Irish greats Billy McComiskey, Athena Tergis, Niall O’Leary. Always the jester, Mick told some great jokes, one which involved the American identification of Scotch-Irish. As he noted someone who is Scotch-Irish is a person who wants a drink, but also has no interest in paying for it!
I had never heard bluesman Eddie Cotton before. He was amazing. Also, we really enjoyed the Cajun group, Kyle Huval & the Dixie Ramblers, which included Joel Savoy on fiddle, and the Sicilian singer from New York, Rosa Tatuata.
Thanks again to NCTA and the Montana Folk Fest staff for thinking of us.
More info about the festival is at https://montanafolkfestival.com/
It’s the same feeling whenever we get invited to such an amazing event – what the heck are we are doing here? HAHA!!
Here are some more pics from this incredible experience…