Posted by: Leah Morise | October 24, 2010

OCFF – Saturday

We got up around noon and went to eat breakfast at Eggspectations (Mike, Dan Henshall, Allison Brown and Candace Shaw and I). Well, let me tell you that this was not the best restaurant experience I have ever had because there was a BUG in my crepe! It made it inches from my mouth and then I realized that it was not a mushroom but had a leg. That isn’t the best way to start the day!
One of the highlights of the afternoon was an OCFF song swap hosted by Eve Goldberg. I thought that it was a campfire style sing along but didn’t realize that we were supposed to sing a tune from another OCFF member so I didn’t end up playing a song. I sure sang harmonies to a bunch of tunes. I think that it is a great idea and I hope that they keep it for next year. The turnout was excellent and there was just enough time to go around the circle once.
That evening was the Gala dinner. It was quite delicious and we had an pleasant evening chatting with friends (old and new). They did a bit of OCFF business and awarded Grit Laskin the Estelle Klein Award. There was a video by Rootsmusic.ca (Andy Frank) about Grit. They fooled Grit (because he would normally have hosted it) and instead had Shelagh Rogers from CBC do it.
After the dinner, we watched several of the Official Showcases in the Penthouse including: David Leask, Twilight Hotel, Harrison Kennedy and Shane Koyczan. Twilight Hotel played songs from the new album (When the Wolves Go Blind). A-mazing! They just keep getting better! I had never heard Harrison Kennedy before and quite enjoyed it. He was playing vintage Stella guitars (Dan, who works part time doing guitar repair, gave me the scoop on the history of the guitars). Shane Koyczan’s set was mind-blowing. We sat in the front row and were completely captivated. Shane is a spoken word artist. There is a video of Shane doing a piece about being Canadian that aired during the Olympics. We had first heard him in a podcast where Dan Mangan played a song and Shane did spoken word during it. Mike and I both loved it and and were looking forward to hearing him in person. We were not disappointed. You can clearly visualize the scene as he tells the story. He rips your heart out and makes you laugh all at the same time. I hope to hear him again.
After that we toured the music floors again listening to a variety of music. Mike was quite in demand and was asked to play trumpet with several people in their showcases. I ended up helping schedule him for 3 different rooms within a 45 minute period. He played with Kirsten Jones, Anna Atkinson, Janine Stoll and then finally played a 30 minute set with me. What a blast!  Anna’s set was filled with her original songs as she bowed, plucked and strummed the violin. Her playful storytelling style was delightful. Janine is amazing and I have seen her play a few times in London. She is pro!  I did a set in the Red Gum Room (hosted by The Little Stevies from Australia) and Mike joined me on the trumpet.
The last showcase of the night was Scott Cook. If you have not had the chance to hear this guy – do it! Look him up. His songs are so honest and from the heart. I could listen to him for hours and hours. We have had his CD since we saw him play at a Songwriter’s Unite show in Toronto. I really really enjoy listening – seriously – you should check out his stuff.
The wonderful thing about going to a conference like this is to be able to hear and experience so many talented musicians from all over Canada (and beyond). We are introduced to people who we might not otherwise be able to hear as they tour (and may not always come to our town).
We somehow ended up in Rick Taylor‘s room again to finish off the night – it didn’t go quite as late (so tired!)

Most of the photos from OCFF blogs are used with permission of Mike Bourgeault. Thanks Mike!

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