by Kate Andrews
Photos featuring, from top: Jan Knutson (photo by Michael G. Stewart), Hot Club of Cowtown adn Eddie Cotton (photo by Corey Solotorovsky, Vicksburg Blues Society)
I can vouch for the Richmond Folk Festival as a great date activity, especially if you’re just getting to know each other. Here are a few tips if you want to get in a romantic mood.
Friday night is magical. If we’re lucky, we’ll catch an amazing sunset while bluegrass crooner Dale Ann Bradley sings from the Altria Stage. I’m wishing for a cool breeze, too, if that’s not too much to ask. Then, you may want to mosey down to Hot Club of Cowtown, which takes inspiration from Django Reinhardt and Bob Wills. But I’d definitely get back to the main stage for Eddie Cotton Jr. and his sexy blues guitar. There’s your master move.
On Saturday, you may want to impress your date with your music knowledge -- or at least pretend to. Nicolae Feraru, the master Romanian cimbolom player, may not be an obvious romantic choice, but he's played hundreds of Gypsy weddings in his lifetime. Definitely worth checking out. Then, I’d head to the Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion for a square dance lesson, before the Crooked Road Ramblers take the stage. Square dances were full of romance at my summer camp, and they’re bound to work for adults, too.
I wouldn't miss Memphis soul singer Don Bryant and his five-piece band. If you like Otis Redding and Al Green, you know exactly what I mean. And even if you don’t, trust me: This will lead to some close-dancing. Finally, the piece de resistance: Flamenco music by Spain’s Corazon de Granada. You’re well on your way, friend.
On Sunday, Jan Knutson, who's 19, specializes in jazz guitar. Very mellow, very romantic. You may want to drop by the oyster-shucking demonstration and pick up a couple of bivalves, too. Best wishes, lovers!
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