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GUEST,Ron Olesko Old Songs Festival 2003 coming up! (91* d) RE: Old Songs 03 coming up! 30 Jun 03

I had a great time! I almost wished it rained a bit, the dust storms were brutal at times!

Musically it was terrific to see some of my favorites - including Christopher Shaw & Bridget Ball, Magpie, Scott Ainslie, Hot Soup, Faith Petric, and John McCutcheon.   If I had the opportunity to put together a festival, these artists would be on my "A" list. I'm glad someone at Old Songs feels the same way.

Danny Spooner was wonderful. He did an excellent set at Mystic a few weeks back and he was equally wonderful at Old Songs. I hope he comes back to the U.S. soon!

Some "new" favorites - Steve Tilston, I've loved his recordings and it was great to finally see him; Old New England (Bob McQuillen is a legend and this was the first chance I've had to see him); Brian McNamara (I loved the CD that he did "Leitrim's Hidden Treasure" and it was great to finally watch him in person); and Little Johnny England.   Actually I saw Little Johnny England a year ago and was less then impressed. Perhaps I caught them on a bad day, because this year they were excellent. A nice blend of traditional and contemporary.

I had mixed feelings about Fairport Convention. At times I felt they were out of their element at a festival like Old Songs.   At times they came across as too slick and rehearsed, something that seems out of place for a festival that oozes spontaneity.   On the other hand they are superb craftsman. Watching them at work in some of the workshops that Simon & Dave participated in realy showcased the artistry and heritage that are the core of the group. Overall it was a pleasant experience.

I love the Arrogant Worms!   Why don't they play the U.S. more often?

My favorite part of Old Songs remains the post concert sings. I always lurk in the back, croaking along with my voice in the chorus. (I couldn't carry a tune even if it had a handle on it!). Barry, you were in excellent form!    Jeri, I did hear you sing on Saturday - a nice song and good voice.    Who was that woman sitting next to you? She had a powerful voice and I was very impressed.

I've marked my calendar for next year!


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