by Kate Andrews
Photos featuring, from top: Innov Gnawa, Step Team PC Tyler Ever (courtesy of Goldenseal magazine, West Virginia Division of Culture & History) and Wayne Hancock
If you relate to the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Red Shoes,” here’s your guide to the Richmond Folk Festival. Sure, you could simply set up camp at the Dominion Energy Dance Pavilion on Brown’s Island, but we want to point you in a few other directions, too.
On Friday evening, you have several options. Richmonder Talia Moser teaches Cajun steps at the pavilion, right before C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band take the stage, and that’s an absolute no-brainer if you want to sweat away the work week.
But over on the Community Foundation Stage, we have Betsayda Machado and Parranda El Clavo, an Afro-Venezuelan band that’s got a groove. Check this out. Lots of drumming!
If you miss a band, you can catch them later in the festival -- that’s the best thing. No hard decisions.
On Saturday, the festival starts back up at noon, and like I advise everyone, wear some comfy shoes. And for you dance fans, possibly a twirly skirt. Now, if it were me, I’d take in Hot Club of Cowtown for some Western swing at the Community Foundation Stage, and then head over to the Altria Stage at 2 for a little honky tonk by Wayne Hancock. If your tootsies are beat, you can watch some great dancing at A Step Ahead, a step-dancing competition.
After catching your breath and maybe eating a little protein, the percussive music of Innov Gnawa, which draws on Moroccan Jewish traditions, will definitely pull you to the dancefloor. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the Flamenco trio from Spain, Corazon de Granada. They may actually make your dance partner fall in love -- or something -- with you.
As for Sunday, it may be time to dance to some old-time fiddle. Patti Kusturok hails from Winnipeg, Canada, but her style will sound familiar to fans of Appalachian string music. Or, just for fun, shake a tail feather to the Japanese taiko drumming led by Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka. In any case, I hope to see you up front in the tents, leading us in a conga line this weekend.
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