Fire Muster

Our town held a fire muster a few weeks back. This is a competition between fire departments in several communities. The events based on fire fighting and rescue skills past or present. Due to other commitments, I was only able to attend one event: the bucket brigade. Team of six competed in matches to see which can transfer enough water from a holding tank to fill a barrel perched on a scaffold many meters away. There were teams from several towns and even our town’s women’s auxiliary gave it a try. Fun times!

Lowell Scenes

Some picturesque scenes from Lowell during last week’s folk festival.

Mali Meets Mississippi

Super Chikan and Bassekou Kouyate 1

My two favorite artists at the Lowell Folk Festival James (Super Chikan) Johnson and Bassekou Kouyate did a short set together because their music is related.

The traditional African instrument that Bassekou Kouyate plays (the ngoni) was adapted into the banjo and early primitive guitars by Africans brought to America and their descendents.

Eventually, these instruments were used to create the Blues style of music played by Super Chikan and his band.

Today, Bassekou Kouyate and his band use the influence of the Blues and other music in how they play the ngoni in some very non-traditional ways. (He can wail on that thing.)

After the set, I managed to sneak backstage during the press shoot. =)

Musicians of the Lowell Folk Festival 2015

These are some scenes from the musical part of the Lowell Folk Festival. Unfortunately, photos do not convey the music well, but as you can see, it is an international affair. My favorites were George (Super Chikan) Johnson and his band The Fighting Cocks, and the group Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba. We heard many more bands than the ones you see here, but this will give you a flavor of what we experienced.