The American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront announced Wednesday morning the first five artists for this year’s event, which will be Aug. 27- 29.
Le Vent du Nord, Dale Watson, The Holmes Brothers, Linda Lay and Springfield Exit, and Viento de Agua, all returning acts from both American and National Folk Festivals past, will perform over the course of the three-day event.
Here is Le Vent du Nord:
And here’s The Holmes Brothers:
“It was a conscious decision to have the first batch of artists we announced be folks from years prior,” said festival director Heather McCarthy. “It was people we wanted to have back, and people who wanted to come back. We’ve had ongoing relations with some of these folks.”
Traditional French Canadian music has always been a popular festival staple, and Le Vent du Nord, who appeared at the 2005 American Folk Festival and at recent concerts in Rockland and Unity, will provide it.
“Anecdotally, [Le Vent du Nord] has been holding that weekend in August open each year since they played in 2005, hoping we’d invite them back,” said McCarthy.
Moving into traditional American music, The Holmes Brothers, who appeared at the 2002 National Folk Festival, will again take the stage on the Bangor Waterfront, playing their trademark blend of blues, gospel, country, R&B and more. Dale Watson, who performed at the 2003 National Folk Festival, is a Texan and a well-known figure in the alternative country scene, famed for his outlaw personality in the vein of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. Also returning from the 2003 festival are Linda Lay and Springfield Exit, a bluegrass-country group from Virginia.
Rounding out the lineup is Viento de Agua, a 13-piece Puerto Rican band with a fiery jazz brass section and Afro-Caribbean percussion. They will play their blend of salsa and bomba y plena again this year, after first appearing at the 2002 National Folk Festival.
“We have not yet exhausted the possible genres to bring to the festival,” said McCarthy. “We’ll definitely have something new and different to share with the next announcement.”
There will be some changes to the look and feel of the 2010 American Folk Festival in the wake of the financial problems that the organization has experienced in the past year. Due to projected budget shortfalls and increasing debt owed to the City of Bangor, the festival will reduce the number of stages from 5 to 4, removing the Heritage Stage. The children’s area will be moved from Pickering Square to the former location of the Heritage Stage.
Additionally, the festival will offer one Folk and Traditional Arts stage instead of two and will offer only one shuttle drop-off at the Railroad Stage.
The next round of artists will be announced by the end of the month.
“Folks should expect it pretty quickly. Within two weeks,” said McCarthy.