The Georgetown Orbits closed out the Ska Showcase, Sunday. 


Many times over the first two days of the Folklife Festival , I heard amazement


And On the Third Day, It Rained

Come rain or shine, Folklife goes on.


The Georgetown Orbits closed out the Ska Showcase, Sunday. 


Many times over the first two days of the Folklife Festival, I heard amazement that the weather held out and that it hadn't rained. The festival didn't make it through the third day without a shower, however. There I was, covered in SPF 45 sunblock, ready to face Sol. No, I did not bring a jacket or an umbrella. I just keep learning the hard way, don't I?

I also managed to miss Calvin Johnson, but I heard his 1:40 p.m. set had a good crowd.


The Greater Helena Parlour Pickers, Sunday .

While I waited for Hell's Bellows, I caught the Greater Helena Parlour Pickers. I'm still wondering how they managed to play their set without someone catching a fiddle bow in the eye. They played a high-energy style that seemed incongruous with the more sedate crowd at the Bagley Lawn Acoustic Stage, but the group gave it their best and looked like they were having fun.

Once Hell's Bellows, an act I'd been curious about since seeing their listing in the program, took the same stage, I was getting used to seeing accordions. Who knew there were so many different types of accordion? The group was a trio for this set instead of the listed quartet, but they did their best. At times it seemed that they couldn't decide whether they liked to play loud songs or soft songs. The loud songs were better and I'm sure the people in back thought so, too.

Next, I headed over to the Fountain Lawn Stage for the Northwest Rockabilly Showcase. I made it in time to see the end of the Ska Showcase. The Georgetown Orbits drew a large crowd, including a big group up front dancing. This was a valuable reminder that individual dance crazes often have only one move. The ska move is called "skanking" for those unaware and it's just a basic two-step dance. Just be careful. If you don't pay attention to the skankers around you, you might get elbowed in the face.


Oh, Betty!: Trish Lockhart, Julie Bergmans, Sami Alloy, and Chelsea Watts catch me looking during the Rockabilly Showcase and strike a pose.

The Roy Kay Trio kicked off the Northwest Rockabilly Showcase, but most of the ska crowd had dispersed. Those who stayed were treated to some good old fashioned rockabilly, including covers of Ricky Nelson, Hank Williams, and Buddy Holly. If ska has its dance, then rockabilly has its look. The Roy Kay Trio keeps their attire more basic but looking around the audience, the rockabilly style was present. Not as much as I'd hoped, but still there.

The Tulalip Two plus One followed and that's when the rain made its presence known. While the more prepared Seattlites had their umbrellas and ponchos, I didn't and made way for cover. I'll be more prepared next time.

Monday is the final day of the 2007 Northwest Folklife Festival, so there is still time to check it out. There's still plenty to see and hear including a Didjeridu panel, the Pirate Songs workshop, and the Reggae Riddims Showcase. 

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