Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 2: No shittin the bed: Dave Gunning & others

The pace at the Greenwood hotel was energetic, as the dreary eyed travellers of Thursday were now wide-eyed and ready for a great weekend. It was a full house for the second day of the "Export Buyers Showcase," maybe because there was free food, or maybe because the afternoon featured 4 more great performances.

I situated myself between Duane Andrews and Ed Ward of the Milwaukee Irish Fest, and prepared myself.

1. Vishten. This quartet of musicians from PEI, NB and the Magdalen Islands have been performing their Acadian/Irish/Scottish style for nearly a decade. Their traditional style is reminiscent of what music should be all about - a kitchen party.

2. Dave Gunning. His years of performing, numerous awards and the title as one of Atlantic Canada's best storytellers played true in his performance. In between songs, he regaled the crowd with tales including the expression "shit the bed", which means "to mess things up". Ron Hynes even made a guest appearance.

3. Madison Violet. Touring, Touring, Touring, that's Mad Violet. The years of touring by duo Lisa & Brenley have paid off in a hippy folk feel-good sound evoking emotions of love and "crying". While sharing a shuttle with Bob Paterson of BPA Live Agency in the UK, he named them as his favourites of the festival.

4. The Divorcees. Their gritty, old school honky tonk country sound will have your heals kicking. Their debut album might have had people wondering if they were a tongue-and-cheek outfit, but the fun simplicity of the songwriting quickly captured fans by the truckloads. The simplicity shines bright on "Red Truck", while they also delve deeper into the Grand Manan drug dealer fiasco and blue ribbon uranium staking.


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