This year’s folk festival – the 38th annual, and the second-longest running folk festival in Canada – will be taking place from August 8-10th. Its lineup was announced today at a nice get-together at Erin’s pub, from 3-5. A fine enough excuse for a sunny afternoon beer. The Blue Drop played a nice set before the announcement, and it turns out they’ll be playing at this year’s festival. The duo, Holly Hogan and Allan Byrne, have quite a festival-filled summer ahead of them, actually. “Our best yet,” Hogan says, “and we’re getting some resources together to start recording our first album.” They’ll be appearing at Writers at Woody Point, Winterset, and others. They in fact met at another local festival, The March Hare, and an instant musical bond was forged. “There was a jam one night, and we played together, and it just kind of naturally grew from there.” Or as Byrne puts it, “It’s amazing how one little musical spark between two people in one moment can create something that lasts four or five years.”

Holly and Allan have played the Folk Festival before, years ago, but as Byrne says, “We’ll be playing the festival this year with a lot more confidence and original music” since they were more of a newly formed group back when they first played. “I look back at the first time we played as a time when we were still trying to figure out what kind of music we actually play.” Anyone who’s heard them recently will attest they’ve grown beautifully into themselves – their duos are a match made in vocal heaven, and Byrne’s approach to the guitar is inventive, original, and engaging. Just try and pin them down.

The press release for this year’s lineup reads, “Celebrating All Kinds of Folk” and they truly are, including some great news for the cool kids – The Burning Hell, who were unable to land here and play the Lawnya Vawnya Festival last week, due to foggy weather, will be playing the Folk Festival this year.If you haven’t heard of The Burning Hell, here’s a catchy song wherein Mathias Kom introduces himself quite well through lyrics, it’s called “My Name is Mathias.”

Without further ado, check out this well-balanced, certainly exciting, and something-for-everyone lineup:

Gord Downie
The Dardenelles
The Masterless Men
Fortunate Ones (Andrew James O’Brien and Catherine Allen)
Steve Maloney
Matt Andersen
Basia Bulat
Zhambai Duo + Patrick Boyle
Fiona Shea
Kat McLevey
A Few Yarns
The Blue Drop
Allan Ricketts and Mike Mutrey
Rik Barron
Fellows with Bellows
Duane Andrews and Craig Young
Jesse Lege, Joel Savoy, and the Cajun Country Revival
A Crowd of Bold Sharemen
De Temps Antan
City on the Coast
Ryan Borgeois and Julia Bowdring
Sheesham & Lotus
Terry Kelly
Kevin Burke
The Burning Hell

Gonna be a hoedown: here’s a song from Sheesham & Lotus: