Monthly Archives: July 2015

Lowell Scenes

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

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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.

The Festival Begins

A parade led by the Original Pinettes Brass Band begins this year’s Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts. (Lowell is about 30 minutes north of Boston.)

Blackstone River Bike Path

This bike path from Woonsocket to Providence, Rhode Island is one of our favorites. Much of it is on dedicated bike baths and then the last part is along bicycle lanes on the street. It goes through some beautiful and historic sections of the area. Come visit us on a nice day and we’ll take you on a ride. Cheers.