Humboldt Folklife Festival

Music is storytelling.

During the Humboldt Folklife Festival every year people are drawn together to join in the appreciation of the specific tradition of folk music and that specific type of storytelling.

 Wikipedia describes Folk music as:

Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. One meaning often given is that of old songs, with no known composers; another is music that has been transmitted and evolved by a process of oral transmission or performed by custom over a long period of time.

Folk, or Folklore, is sometimes described as the storytelling of the ‘uncultured classes’ the vernacular of the often illiterate people. At some point that was probably true, but more and more audiences are being drawn to Folk music or Bluegrass.  Folk and Bluegrass have some distinct differences (none of which I know myself), but to the newer audience there is a shared appreciation for the music of the past. Or maybe it’s the music of a simpler time. Simpler in the best sense; the world was in many ways more beautiful because of its simplicity.

As someone who is newly imported to the rural Northern Californian coast, this is what draws me to the Folklife Festival. I took only two photos with my iPhone before I realized I was the only one, and took note that this night was about being present. There is a sense of community and a reminder that there was an awful lot that past populations had right.

Folklife Festival - Fern & Fog

The city of Blue Lake also happens to be a time warp, with Victorian homes surrounding the Del Arte Theater that serves as the city center. The city’s backdrop is a beautiful redwood forest lined mountain ridge that suits the little Victorian town well.

We sat bravely through a light rain, which I imagine is part of the Festival initiation to narrow out the true appreciators of the Humboldt Folklife Festival way-of-life. We were successful in stubbornly sitting out the little rain clouds and were rewarded with a great evening out! 

Wine also helped keep us warm. We were glad that in our Folk community that night we weren’t kicked out for smuggling our store-bought and grape-made moonshine. (I just wanted to use the term moonshine here.)

Picnic - Fern & Fog
Raising Grain 

Raising Grain 

Folklife Festival - Fern & Fog
wine.jpg
Folklife Festival - Fern & Fog
Huckleberry Flint

Huckleberry Flint

Humboldt Folklife Festival Country Roots Night

Humboldt Folklife Festival is a week long, but we could only choose one night to head out due to our busy schedules.

We chose the Country Roots Night. Mostly, because I had never seen Huckleberry Flint live. And when you know a few albums by heart its time to see that band live.

 The Pursuit of Folk, described Huckleberry Flint as:  Their sound is smooth, honest, and oddly familiar upon first listening. Stylistically, the music is less raw than old-time and less aggressive than bluegrass.

We also witnessed the amazing talents of:

Raising Grain

No Good Redwood Ramblers

 

Huckleberry Flint on stage.

Huckleberry Flint on stage.

Folklife Festival - Blue Lake, Ca
Folklife Festival - Blue Lake, Ca

It was the first night out in a long time for me and I am so happy that I chose this festival and this group of people to do it with.