Montreal’s Folk Festival on the Canal will include several indoor concerts in venues near the Lachine Canal and a weekend of free music on its banks.
The festival opens with my old friend Eric Andersen – and opening act Cécile Doo-Kingué – in concert on Wednesday, June 18, 8:00 pm, at the George Vanier Cultural Centre (2450 Workman).
Eric was a major songwriter in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s writing such songs as “Thirsty Boots,” “Close the Door Lightly When You Go,” “Violets of Dawn” and many others recorded by such artists as Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Anne Hills, the Dillards, John Gorka, Mary Chapin Carpenter and many others.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, I produced several Montreal concerts for Eric at the Golem and he was my guest a couple of times on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches radio program when he returned to Montreal in later years.
That same night, Mark Berube will perform at Victor Studio (1050 Lacasse) at 8:00 pm.
On Thursday, June 19, 8:00 pm, acclaimed singer-songwriter Patty Griffin – and opening act Parker Milsap – will perform at the Corona Theatre (2490 Notre Dame West).
The Friday night concert on June 20, 9:00 pm, is called The Heart of Friday Night: A Tribute to Tom Waits and features a diverse line-up of artists including Patrick Watson, Leif Vollebekk, Joe Grass, Notre Dame de Grass, Li’l Andy, Katie Moore, The Sin and the Swoon, Peter Mika, and more all playing Tom Waits songs.
Also on Friday, June 20, from 4:30 pm and again Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, the festival shifts to Ilot Charlevoix (corner of St. Patrick and Charlevoix) for lots of concerts and other activities – all free of charge – featuring a diverse selection of artists.
Highlights of the Friday schedule at Ilot Charlevoix includes concerts by Mo Kenney, and the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra.
Saturday is highlighted by concerts with Durham County Poets, Jeff Davis, Notre Dame de Grass, and the Yves Lambert Trio.
Sunday’s highlights includes concerts with Rob Lutes, the always great Eliza Gilkyson, and Li’l Andy.
I like to refer to Montreal’s Folk Festival on the Canal as the little folk festival that could. Founded and still run by Matt Large and Rebecca Anderson of Hello Darlin’ Productions and Carl Comeau of Hyperbole Music, the festival has developed into my favourite event on Montreal’s busy festival calendar.