Home Music festival Allison Russell, Josh Ritter, Spoon announced for Calgary Folk Music Festival

Allison Russell, Josh Ritter, Spoon announced for Calgary Folk Music Festival


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Critically acclaimed singer-songwriters Allison Russell and Josh Ritter and American indie rock favorites Spoon will be among the main performers at this year’s Calgary Folk Music Festival, returning in full glory to Prince’s Island Park from May 22 to July 24.

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After a cancellation in 2020 and reduced Summer Serenades in 2021 due to COVID-19, the 2022 edition will see artists perform on seven stages. The food vendor alley, beer tent, arts market, chat tent and family entertainment area will also be back this year.

On Monday, the festival offered a taste of its lineup by announcing eight artists who will perform. A total of 70 artists are expected at the festival in June.

This includes Allison Russell, a folk festival favorite who made guest appearances alongside husband JT Nero as Birds of Chicago. The Montreal-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter is touring for her solo debut album, Outside Child, which was three-time Grammy nominated, Polaris Award nominated, and up for two Juno Awards. The album contained a number of autobiographical songs that recounted the abuse Russell suffered as a child.

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“I knew her story before the album came out and had read a lot about her story,” says folk festival artistic director Kerry Clarke. “It’s about tough stuff but it’s done so well.”

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter. Courtesy of Laura Wilson. Photo by Laura S. Wilson /Calgary

It’s been a long road to the Calgary Folk Fest for American singer-songwriter and novelist Josh Ritter. He should finally take the stage in July for his first appearance at the festival. He was scheduled to perform in 2020 before COVID-19 shut down the festival. He was also supposed to play the festival’s Block Heater in February before COVID-19 concerns led to the event being scaled back and Ritter being canceled.

This year will also mark the folk debut of cult indie-rockers Spoon from Austin, Texas. The band, which formed in 1993, released their 10th album, Lucifer on the Sofa, to critical acclaim.

Other artists announced on Monday include Winnipeg soul pop singer Begonia, Portland-born indie folk singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx, Brazil’s Josyara and North Carolina folks Watchhouse, formerly called Mandolin Orange.

DJ Shub, formerly of A Tribe Called Red, will present War Club Live, which will feature traditional dancers, songwriters and other DJs including Phoenix Pagliacci, Boogat and Fawn Wood.

The full lineup will be announced on April 27. Tickets go on sale April 28.