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Mariposa Folk Festival:From Guitar Town, with the Transcendental Blues.Our second trip to the famous festival in Orillia.

Steve Earle, Main Stage, Saturday night at Mariposa


I felt lucky to have been invited back to Mariposa. Doubly when I heard that the headliner this year would be none other than Steve Earle. As it turned out, I had the great good fortune to share the stage with he and Cindy Church in a workshop titled "For the sake of the song".

I also had the privilege of sitting side stage on Saturday night and listening to Steve for two hours. It was fantastic to hear "Someday" live. I first heard "Someday" on the radio, in my car on Sumach Street in Toronto just before Christmas in, I think, Dec. '86. I was just about to get out of the car and had to stay and hear the song out. It's rare that a song will hold me so fast at first listening, but there was no denying the brilliance of the piece, the honesty inherent in the lyrics, the compassion manifest in the tune. I dragged Beth all over Toronto on Boxing Day to find the album (Guitar Town), finally tracking it down in Mississagua. It was then played incessantly for many months. To hear a songwriter of this caliber live, and to have the opportunity to meet him was a great gift. I'm very thankful to Mariposa artistic director Randi Fratkin and board for such an opportunity. Eleven thousand people in the audience Saturday night would agree.



Over the weekend Dave, Geoff and I played workshops with Bobby Watt, Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Lynn Miles, Martyn Joseph, Steel Rail and Serena Ryder (to name a few) and had a wonderful time doing so.

Bobby Watt

I got to sit and listen to Lynn Miles, both on her own and with her excellent band. She did a pile of songs I wish I'd written which reaffirmed, in my mind, just how exceptional an artist is Ms. Miles. I went off to the CD tent, bought her newest CD "Unravel" and listened to it most of the way home. It is an out and out masterpiece, lyrically and musically, and I think her best work to date. I'll resist the temptation to ramble on about it. Buy it for the last song, "Surrender Dorothy". Unbelievable work.


Lynn Miles


Meeting up with old friends like Martyn Joseph from Wales and seeing him perform on that stage was also a joy. If you get a chance to see Martyn anywhere this summer, do so, you won't regret it. The same can be said for Quartet, four of the purest voices I've ever heard, wonderful harmonies and beautiful songs.

Martyn Joseph


We wrapped up the Festival in a hotel room with Nancy White and a roomful of laughing people. Clarke made the observation that he had never been in a room where everyone was "snorting"with laughter. As you may have gathered, Nancy was in rare form. Her wit is endless and pointed, unfailingly finding the meat of the matter and skewering it accordingly. A fitting finale to a fine weekend.

As always we were treated very well and were sincerely grateful for all the help and assistance from the volunteers over the three days. It is such a well run and friendly festival to begin with. The list of thanks goes on and on. So does the music - thankfully.
Until next time, take care of yourselves,


Yours from the Townships,






Dave, David and Geoff - Main Stage, Saturday night

back home

 photos by Beth


Steve Earle, "For the sake of the song" workshop.



Cindy Church, Steve Earle, Geoff, David and Dave



Workshop -Steve Earle, Geoff and David




Cindy Church and Caitlin Hanford

Steel Rail, Dave Clarke, Todd Gore and Ellen Shizgal


Martin Joseph, Bobby Watt, David and Dave

festive festival goers

The guys kick off the festival season with a game of hacky sack


"Saturday Night"