Monday, March 26, 2007

Phoenix Folk Traditions Music Festival

What a wonderful day we had at the second day of the festival! The weather was absolutely perfect and the music was fantastic! We parked in the elementary school lot and took the free shuttle, which deposited us right in front of the Encanto Park Clubhouse. Inside were two performance sites: the ballroom and the fireside room. Straight ahead was the Opry House stage, and to our left was the Outdoor Folk Arbor.

We started with the arbor - a circle of musicians seated in folding chairs in the shade of a cluster of trees. One man played a saw (!), another a dulcimer. There were a couple of autoharps, a fiddle, a bass, and several guitars of different sorts. A large clock was fastened to the tree with a plastic tie. Performances changed on the half-hour and musicians and audience alike needed to keep track of the time. We recognized a few of the musicians - some in the performing circle, some in the audience. This was a sing-along, and we found ourselves joining in the fun.

We spent the entire day there, enjoying folk, blues, country, and bluegrass music. We discovered new favorite performers and delighted in hearing old favorites in new settings. Several musicians shared original works. The whole atmosphere was casual and relaxing. As we strolled from one scheduled performance to another, we passed clusters of musicians practicing, or playing for the joy of it.
If you like music, then I highly recommend this event. We're certainly looking forward to next year's festival. It's on our list of "must attends."

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