Folk Fest: The Celtic rumble of Tim Robbins

James Cotton's Superharp didn't disappoint, but then, the approximately 200 year old bluesman is a bit of a legend. He played with Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters if you need some bona fides, and his band cooked through numbers like "Midnight Caught Me Cryin'" and "Rocket 88". Ninety percent of the turkeys out there playing blues music get it wrong. The other 10 percent sound like this.

Tim Robbins and his Rogues Gallery followed. The gigantic Robbins recently released his first iffy record, but good Christ, what a band. Opening number "You're My Dare" was a monstrous Celtic rumble, weakened only by Robbins' flavourless vocal, and some feedback from the double bass. During sound check, multi-instrumentalist Roger Eno (Brian's brother) amused himself (and me) with a Hitler mustache made out of electrical tape, sang "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", and asked "the hippy in the tent" for more feedback in his monitor, "please." Be careful what you wish for, Roger!

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Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2011

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