Live Show: 8/23/97


Schwenksville, PA

Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Zard Snodgrass, Chris Traugott

The Details

Well, it's definitely been an intersting time. I'll see if I can remember all the "gory details".

I stayed at my Aunt and Uncle's in Scranton, PA (North of Philadelphia) on Friday night, so when Saturday morning came, I didn't have far to go. I left their house at eight in the morning, and got to Schwenksville (a *very* small town North of Philly) by 9:30. The main gate didn't open till eleven, so I had some time to wait.

After the gates opened, I ran to the Craft Stage, where Fruvous was supposed to be doing their first workshop at 11:45. I met up with Sharilyn and Katie, and also saw Laurie, Erica, and others. Well, Fruvous wasn't on site yet, so the workshop, entitled "Northern Exposure", went on with just one group, Malaika, a four woman Canadian acappella group. They were pretty good, but I kept wondering, "Where's Moxy?"

Moxy's second workshop was scheduled for 1:00 at the Tank Stage, called "A(lmost) Cappella". At that point, everyone started showing up. Chris T, Zard, Rob Johnson, Jenn, Jered, Lisa, Dan J, and many others I know that I'm forgetting. Right when the workshop started, Moxy arrived. Moxy along with Cordelia's Dad and Malaika did round-robin for about an hour. During the set, Jason R and Colleen showed up. Moxy did Marion Fruvous again, which is always good, and were very well received by a crowd who acted like they'd seen Fruvous before.

After the workshop, we all hung out near the stage, some watched the next workshop, some talked to Murray and Jian, and we basically passed the time for an hour or two. Sharilyn, Katie and I took my car in an attempted caravan back to the hotel, in King of Prussia, PA. However, we all got separated and we got totally lost, but we eventually did find it (actually, the last five paragraphs were typed in the hotel room while Sharilyn talked on the phone to her folks :-)

Jason, Colleen, Nicole and Chad came back to the hotel shortly thereafter; Jenn and Caiti showed up as well. Around five, a bunch of us went to dinner while some stayed behind and caught up on sleep. After dinner Colleen, Nicole and Chad headed back to the festival, while Jason, Jenn and I sat around and chatted for a few hours. Once everyone who was sleeping finally roused out of bed, we all decided we were hungry again. :-) We grabbed some Chinese food and headed back to the hotel and waited for everyone else to come back from the festival.

Everyone started trickling in around midnight, and we all went to sleep at various times. We had to get an early start the next day, in order to get good spots for the Sunday shows.

From Zard Snodgrass:

During that 1 pm workshop (which they came cruising into just at 1 pm), when they did Boss, and Jian says "One day I came to work too late," he sort of gestured with a crooked smile at the workshop...oops.

That was the A(lmost) Cappella workshop, which they shared with Malaika (great! from Ottawa, was it?) and Cordelia's Dad (very minor-chord, chantlike). They also did Moon and Gulf War (IF I remember correctly - a big if that is..), and ad-libbed a truck song, for the truck that came by (right in front of the stage) and there was a big production about lifting wires up (to make a big croquet wicket, as Dave said) to let the truck under. Also, during one of the workshops, a musician walked right between the stage and the audience with a guitar case, etc.. and Jian said don't worry about him, it's just a stage he's passing through (big groan....). (have to appreciate good jokes where we find them, folks :)! And Chris came up with a "massage a trois" when Colleen and our DC friend Dave were both working on our friend Ellen's back!!)

For the rest of the day we Fruheads dispersed to go follow our respective passions, and I ended up jaunting between the blues workshop, and the one with Salamander Crossing/Cordelia's Dad. Of the blues, apparently Saffire was the greatest hit with folks I know, and their mainstage that night was great! (BITCH stands for Being In Total Control of Herself)

After a trip with DC friends back to our hotel for a 40th birthday celebration (not mine, thank you!), we came back to settle in for mainstage. It was a magical evening with stars out in abundance, and the remnants of the Persead (sp?) meteor shower giving us falling stars from time to time. I never actually saw one, but it was fun kicking back and watching the stars in the hopes of seeing one, while listening to heavenly music.

Natalie McMaster was quite a hit, although the cameraman could have shown more of her feet than he did, and apparently her CD's were a hit too, as they were sold out on Sunday - unfortunately! (I heard the UPS strike put a cramp in the CD availability - bummer for the performers, who could only get so much shipped to them in advance. That's my big advice for anyone who wants to perform at a folk fest - make sure you have enough CD's with you!! Selling out is great, but if you bring more, it's better for you! And us!)

As I already said, Saffire was terrific, and then Laura Love turned in another fantastic set, although after the longer, more intimate set the night before, it was hard to see her from so far away. And I wanted MORE!! But she jammed, and Amazing Grace in front of all those people was a hair raiser! We crept out as a great banjo player (name forgotten) was jamming at tremendous speeds, but my friends aren't quite as banjo crazy as I am, so I followed them out reluctantly.

Can I just say something about those jokes in between sets - who comes UP with those?! Or better, who lets them get on stage?!?! Wow! I did like the "get involved" singing guy who did "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" with the hand motions - he got everybody going, even if we did feel silly, and it was nice to move around and warm up a bit!

From Chris Traugott:

When your life Monday through Friday feels like a Dilbert comic strip, sometimes it is nice to take a weekend trip to Bloom County. Zard, Ellen and I arrived in Bloom County, aka Philly Folk Festival, around 11:30 on Saturday morning, and, in a moment of Fruvous synchronicity which my non-fruhead friends are only beginning to understand, met up immediately with my non-fruhead DC friends who had left at a different time and from a different place. Moments later we ran into a fruhead contingent, leaving my non-fruhead friends wondering what supernatural forces were at work. Having missed (or so we thought) the Fruvous workshop at the craft stage (Fruvous did not, in fact, make that workshop) we headed over to the mysteriously named "Tank Stage" and settled in for the A(lmost) Cappella workshop. Fruheads from around the festival began to gather and Fruvous arrived to cheers minutes before the workshop was to begin. Fruvous shared the stage with Malaika, who I enjoyed, and Cordelia's Dad, who I didn't really. It was a fairly standard Fruvous a cappella set, including Boss and Gulf War Song; what made it fun for me was listening to my non-fruhead friends hearing Fruvous for the first time and giggling over the lyrics. Once the workshop was over, they sheepishly admitted that they had enjoyed the show and that Fruvous was not what they had thought the band would be (quoth one, "They aren't a bit what I had expected, I thought it would be more like Peter, Paul and Mary." Um, no.) After the workshop we munched our way through a picnic basket and I headed over to hear an unscheduled workshop on the blues, where I was introduced, to my immense satisfaction, to a group called Saffire and had an opportunity to hear Les Sampou again. My group of DC friends had agreed to meet up again for the four o'clock mainstage, which we did. I'm embarrassed to admit that despite the plethora of good music to which to listen, as soon as I sprawled out on the picnic blanket I was fast asleep and didn't awake until shaken by a friend who had decided it was time to go back to the hotel.

Once there we had a little birthday celebration for a friend of mine who turned forty over the weekend, had some cake (complete with candles) and headed back to the festival for the evening show. Enjoyed the opportunity to hear Saffire and Laura Love again, and finally saw Natalie McMaster. Also had the pleasure of *finally* intorducing ceecee to my buddy Dave, who had studied massage therapy, and before long the two were trading massages and comparing techniques. Ellen soon became the beneficiary, as they used her to practice, and indulged in what I termed a "massage a trois." And yes, I was quite pleased with myself for coining that one. :-) So as my fru-head friends began to get to know my DC friends, we all shared good music and a beautiful night sky replete with falling stars and fire works courtesy of a neighbor of the fair grounds. On the shuttle ride back to the cars, the whole bus sang Happy Birthday to Dave who was suitably embarassed but not so secretly happy about the attention. :-)

From the Philadelphia Folk Festival program (pg. 27):

Diversity has always been one of Moxy Fruvous' strongest calling cards. Hailing from Toronto, Mike Ford, Murray Foster, Jiam Ghomeshi and David Matheson are skilled songwriters and energetic performers who have been entertaining across Canada and the United States since their first release, Bargainville, in 1993. This spring saw the release of You Will Go to the Moon on Bottom Line Records. As those who have seen this band in action can attest, You Will Go to the Moon and back!

The Pictures

Click the description to get the pic:

2nd Workshop - "A(lmost) Cappella"

The Set

Misc. Info

Some other tidbits from the performance include:

Back to the tour dates 1997 page