Sunday, October 17, 2010
The International Accordion Festival
Last night Kandie and I went to the 10th Annual International Accordion Festival down on the River Walk in San Antonio.
Admission was free - is free, I should say because there is another day of it today.
People were enjoying the music, dancing, clapping, and tipping back a few - a generally happy time. We sat across the river from the stage on rock steps. It was fun to see the river boats go by the stage as the performers played.
The first band we saw was a newly formed composite of two groups who are apparently going to be touring together now - a Cajun duo called Jesse Lege and Joel Savoy, and a country band called the Caleb Klauder Country Band. They were terrific, but it was hard to get a decent shot of the whole band because we got there late and the place was completely packed and I had to elbow my way through the crowd to find a place to stand.
Fun, high energy performance.
The second band we saw was called "Solas" - they came in from Ireland for the festival. They played a variety of Irish music with terrific presence and energy as well. It really just felt like they were genuinely having a good time performing.
(they are actually in the first photo of this post, too, but it's so far back, it's hard to see them)
The guy on the left played at least 5 different instruments during the performance - banjo, guitar, sitar, and two different flutes that I remember.
They had a new vocalist with them who had a lovely Irish voice.
Here's a very muddy recording I made with my cell phone (without the vocalist).
But perhaps the most entertaining member of the band to watch was the fiddler,
who you could just tell was entirely a part of the music from the way she jumped and stomped while she was playing, and tapped her bow when she wasn't.
I have to admit, at first I wanted to go to the International Accordion Festival out of a strict sense of irony. But being there, it's hard not to get caught up in the passion these people have for their music. It was a genuinely good time.