by Nilabjo Banerjee


Della Mae

The streak of summer bliss continued on for Day 2 of the Festival. Similar to Day 1, the acts were consolidated all on the Main Stage, with performances starting a bit after 6 in the evening.

Della Mae were a perfect example of what emerges when you bring together fiercely brilliant musicians who can sing, and sing really well! The Nashville-based folk-bluegrass band of 5 ladies had endured long hours of travel from Rio De Janerio, Brazil. Yet, that didn’t deter the group’s tenacity of showcasing their instrumental talent while impressing with layered harmonies. The set contained mostly gems from the Grammy nominated major-label debut The World Oft Can Be, and had enough fiddling solos to get the satisfy the country in you!

Cara Luft

Cara Luft

Cara Luft had to endure sounds of loud drumming noises during Chic Gamine’s setup. Despite the distraction, Luft carried on with a jovial smile, and played an impressive set with help from fellow Winnipeg-er JD Edwards. Edwards’ slightly nasal yet powerful vocals were a strong support to Luft’s ethereal sounds, that delighted the crowd especially during sing along portions of “Only Love can Save Me”, from Darlingford, her last release.

Chic Gamine

Chic Gamine

For those looking for a respite from folky sounds were delighted by the soulful Main Stage debut by Chic Gamine. The five-piece is based around the trio of emotive female voices of Andrina, Alexa and Annick. The strong vocals, when combined with the general Motown vibes of the songs, certainly made me reminisce about Destiny’s Child, especially during “Girlfriend”, a newer song about encounters with men in relationships. The mostly uptempo songs kept the dancing section of the crowd on their feet, and the rest pining to get their groove on.

Danny Barnes certainly established that he aint your average banjo player during his tweener set. His style of music, sometimes described as banjo electronica, was infused with country, folk and tad bit of punk as well. Considered as one of the best banjo players in America, the Texas-based Barnes showed off his virtuous skills and compelled you to check him out during the workshops over the weekend.

Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers

The theme of remarkable musicality of the evening ascended few levels with The Wood Brothers. The Americana-blues band, consisting of real brothers Chris (upright bass) and Oliver Wood (electric/acoustic guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix, played through their remarkably underrated catalogue dating back to 2008 with personal favourite “Twisted” and “Postcards from Hell” from Loaded. The incredibly tight live sound compelled those in their lawn chairs or tarps to get up and get grooving, before being told otherwise by security. If the genuine brilliance wasn’t entertaining enough, Chris’ freestyle dancing during the 2-song encore, akin to Thom Yorke in video for “Lotus Flower”, was worth cherishing eternally.


Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald was sandwiched between The Wood Brothers and the headliner Ben Harper. Yet, the Calgarian singer-songwriter charmed the crowd with soul-fuelled pop numbers from his previous release, Yes. Backed with a female vocalist and percussionist, the Jay Baruchel look-alike bearded Fitzgerald had no problems keeping those feet tapping throughout the criminally short tweener set.

The brilliance of preceding acts and lack of interest with the headliner’s music, I didn’t stay for Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. If you do wish to find out more about his set, you can skim through Jen Zoratti’s piece in Winnipeg Free Press.