Chicago Folk and Roots Festival: Photo gallery
All is Welles on a July weekend, if only the lightning could stay away.
As usual, the 2010 Folk and Roots fest was a mellow, family-oriented affair with music and activity reaching every corner of Welles Park. Saturday, there was Brazilian capoeira percussion and dancing in one pocket, gospel in another, student ensembles blasting through Who tunes on the west side and the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International on the main stage, featuring its new singer, Samba Mapangala. Slightly overcast conditions tempere the heart—with the sun occasionally poking through to heat things up. Occidental Bros got the crowd dancing; Shemekia Copeland followed with soul-drenched blues before the Budos Band took the stage by nightfall—Staten Island kids delivering funky Afrobeat jams. The entire crowd was bouncing to the shekere rhythms by the end of the night.
Sunday night’s good times ended abruptly when lighting cut short a set from Etran Finatawa, electric-guitar toting nomads from Niger. Not a perfect ending, but we’ll be back for more next year.