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Local Acts Shine At 49th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival


The Philadelphia Folk Festival in Schwenksville, PA never disappoints when it comes to displaying a multitude of rich musical acts. There's something for everybody at the Folk Fest.Whether you're into blues, rock, or folk music, you're in for a full day of eclectic tunes. The annual music festival is nationally known and respected for sticking to it's roots while appealing to not just youngsters, but to families and "old heads" as well. To out-of-towners it's known as the Folk Fest, but to locals it's simply known as philadelphia folk fest"the fest."

Philly2Philly was there Saturday at the Old Pool Farm from the time the action started at 11:00 A.M. and our photographer Aileen Bannon stuck around for the late-night acts including the legendary Taj Mahal. Check out Aileen's photo gallery right here.

This year the local acts were on display at The Camp Stage, which was hosted by 88.5 WXPN's Helen Leicht.

The Philly Local Showcase featured Jake Snider, Tin Bird Choir, Dave Quicks Trio, Mason Porter, and finally Ben Arnold Band.

Jake Snider, a 19-year-old local musical prodigy kicked things off at 11 A.M.and was followed up by Tin Bird Choir and Dave Quicks Trio. Then Mason Porter was scheduled at 1:15 before Ben Arnold took the stage at 2:00.

If you were out of town you could tell that Jake Snider is a local guy as he had many of his friends in the audience who let it be known they were there. It's always great when you know somebody who "makes it." How many of us can say we went to highschool who is an incredibly talented musician who breaks through?

The band I was most impressed with, was Mason Porter, a blues/folk band from West Chester. We were fortunate enough to arrive back to the Camp Stage at 1:15 after a brief break to catch their first song. If you like the Allman Brothers, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Gov't Mule, then Mason Porter is for you. If you don't like the aforementioned then shame on you! Mason Porter features Tim Celfo on upright bass, Joe D’Amico on mandolin, and Paul Wilkinson on guitar. They are backed up by Brad Hinton (Dorbro), Kiley Ryan (violin), Pat Hughes (drums), Bob Beach (harmonica), and Isaac Stanford (pedal steel). It's not often you see a band with so many musical talents on one stage. If you get a chance to see Mason Porter don't miss them for the world.

The Ben Arnold Band wrapped things up at 2:00 and left the audience wanting more and more. Arnold stressed to the audience to support the local artists as much as possible. Helen Leicht hammered that point home as well. After all, these are the artists who aren't millionaires and do this just to get by. Below are some clips of performances from Jake Snider, Mason Porter, Ben Arnold Band, and Jeff Tweedy.

philadelphia folk fest 2010Over at the main stage at 4:00, indie/folk band Horse Feathers led things off before the headliner of the afternoon Jeff Tweedy took the stage. Jeff Tweedy, the frontman for Wilco played solo for a little over an hour. He even worked the crowd conversing with a guy in the audience and poked fun at himself for making the guy seem uncomfortable. He then yelled out, "you're alright man!" Tweedy also told a quick story about how his nephew threw up pizza all over him the night before and getting pizza all over your beard is "rock and roll."

Tweedy played many well-known Wilco songs during his set and delivered a great acoustic performance. For diehard Wilco fans he played some familiar tunes such as "I'm the man who loves you."

All in all it was a great experience at the 2010 Folk Festival. It's hard to top the Decemberists' powerful performance of their album Hazards of Love at the 2009 Folk Fest last year, but "the fest" certainly delivered once again.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

For more of Dennis' work, check out his regular column The Water Cooler.

Check out Aileen Bannon's Lens Gallery of photos from the 2010 Folk Festival at http://www.philly2philly.com/culture/lens