Sunday Folk Festival

Sahba Motallebi showcasing the Persian tar

The Amazonian group Los Wembler’s were a crowd favorite.

The sun came out and there was delicious food to be had. I hope Dominion did not hack my phone while charging it. Two other things to think about- One, when will the Richmond Folk Festival join other festivals in getting rid of the plastic and styrofoam? It’s 2017, it’s past time to do so.
Two, why don’t we see permanent solar charging stations in our parks and other places? Oh, that’s right, Dominion discourages solar with things like the VEPGA contract.

Eddie Cotton, Jr. playing some high energy blues.

Romanian Nicolae Feraru and his excellent band showed what the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer) could do.

Stalking funnel cake.

Mellowing to some jazz guitar.

Kids sledding cardboard down canal embankment.

Photos from Folk Festival Saturday

Wayne Hancock singing about reefer!

Innov Gnawa (If you liked them, there is an excellent new album out by gnawa master Maalem Mahmoud Gania called Colours of the Night that you should check out).

Wild Horses

The Green Fields of America (playing IN the Kanawha Canal where hundreds of Irish and African laborers worked and died)

Accordians!

Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (The main band led a procession down to the stage to start of their set)

Spanish flamenco was spellbinding (despite a rather noisy and disruptive audience)

The San Francisco Taiko was exuberant and fun.

The female-led go-go group Be’la Dona got the crowd going…

Soul singer Don Bryant singing “I Can’t Stand The Rain”

Thankfully, I have only saw a few parking problems in the neighborhood. And police were patrolling. On the other hand, I have heard some anecdotes from neighbors about some traffic problems that still need to be corrected.

Ready to do it again today, Richmond?

Enjoy The Folk Festival But Don’t Park In Oregon Hill

There will be restricted parking in Oregon Hill this year for the this year’s 13th Annual Richmond Folk Festival.

Councilperson Parker Agelasto announced this at last night’s City Council meeting and OHNA President Jennifer Hancock confirmed that they are going over plans now.
Some portions of the neighborhood will be password protected for residents and some barricaded streets will be in effect.

While many neighbors are thankful and relieved to hear this, it is somewhat curious. With the roundabout construction, the route through or into the neighborhood is going to be congested anyway. There have been a few complaints from Southside residents about the lack of a Folk Festival bus shuttle to/from Southside. While the schedule is definitely rich in fantastic talent that should not be missed, there are no huge, blockbuster, headliner names. The Tredegar Civil War Center construction will also take up a lot of space that was previously used for the Festival.

In other words, while folks should look forward to attending the Richmond Folk Festival and expect to hear some great music, and certainly encourage others do so also, it seems like it will be purposely smaller this year. It’s a good year to use mass transit or ride bicycles to the Festival.

From ‘The Avenue Of Champions’

The air blowing into the open window was warm enough to warn of the heat to come but not yet unpleasant. The wipers smeared their way back and forth across the greasy windshield, trying to erase the light drizzle that had begun to fall. The homeless were already busy making their way through the late summer fog, eyes wild and blazing. A group of three staggered like the undead toward the Belvedere 7-Eleven that was behind my old house on Pine. It was almost six o’clock — when they started selling booze again. We rolled our small convoy urgently past them and got it on further downtown, supercans rattling around in the steel cage that formed the bed of the stake body truck, the bags inside the cans whipping recklessly in the wind.

So begins a new novel by Clay Blancett, entitled The Avenue of Champions. You can read the rest of the first chapter on his blog, fig.1-Worm Drive.

The whole thing just became available on Amazon. Here’s the summary from there:

A recently divorced single father struggles to maintain his identity and integrity working for the City of Richmond’s Solid Waste pick up. The protagonist negotiates the environments of manual labor and family life while trying to avoid the costs of his alcoholism on his family, his past, and his sense of himself. Nearly brought to suicide, the protagonist survives by discovering the basic beauty of the humanity he shares with the people he works with.

I have posted before about authors before who include Oregon Hill in their stories. Of course I have followed Howard Owen, with his detective thriller, Oregon Hill, but don’t forget the post-plague Harbor On The Hill. I would love to post more.