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Editor’s Picks: Must-See Performances at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

Second only to The Calgary Stampede in its size and cultural importance as a summer festival, the 2012 Calgary Folk Music Festival invades Prince’s Island Park July 26 through 29.

The crowd at the CFMF. Photo: Dave Kenney.

Though festival attendance is rite of summer treasured by dedicated, perennial fans, the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s talent roster is a serious draw as well. Rock ‘n’ roll crooner Chris Isaak is the consummate showman; piano troubadour and film-score composer Randy Newman exists in his very own American folk music genre; and Saturday-night headliner Gillian Welch (in duet with guitarist Dave Rawlings) turn country music into something sweet and soulful. Backing the veteran performers, a serious number of must-see up-and-comers includes another duo: indie alt-country performers Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet of Whitehorse. Also riding indie lines are former Neutral Milk Hotel member Jeff Mangum and alt-crowd favourite Iron & Wine.

Where Calgary recommends alt-country sweetheart Lindi Ortega, the guit-steel twang and baritone honky tonk of Junior Brown, the Southern Gothic blues of Cold Specks and local rockabilly trio Eve Hell & The Razors. Also highly recommended is the comedy of Kids in the Hall alumnus Kevin McDonald, who will perform in the Apache Talk Tent.  —Ian Doig, Editor, Where Calgary

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