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Cumako provides a preview of this year's South Country Fair

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Cumako flautist Ai Hagiwara was a highlight of the band’s May 30 show at the Slice. L.A Beat Photo by Richard AmeryThings are good to go for the twenty-third annual South Country Fair in Fort Macleod, July 17-19 . There are three Lethbridge bands including this year’s songwriting competition winner Shaela Miller, Treeline and the Darby and Joan Club playing amongst a line up which not only has a broader world view, but also shares some acts with the Calgary Folk Festival.

Plus there are going to be several poets and musicians still to be announced.

“There‘s a big focus on Alberta music. We‘re sharing acts with the Calgary folk festival,” said publicity co-ordinator Trent Moranz observing they didn’t intend to broaden their musical  horizons or share acts with Calgary this year, but is pleased that‘s how it worked out.

On May 30, Calgary based energetic Latin/world/reggae act Cumako introduced a packed Slice to what  they have in store for South Country Fair fans, during their Friday, July 17 9:30 p.m. set during the this year‘s fair. 

Their hyperactive show featured wicked flute and saxophone interplay, some phenomenal bongo drumming and even  a dual bass solo.

Some of the highlights include Juno award winning singer-songwriter Jenny Whiteley who is on the bill, but Moranz is especially looking forward to seeing  Jah Youssouf and the Woodchoppers Association.

“This has been a longer process than usual getting the line up together. Last year we were done by March,” he continued adding Gordie Tentrees is going to be another highlight. Other highlights include Cam Penner,  the Swiftys, the United Steelworkers of Montreal, Woodpigeon, Scott Nolan and Edmonton based Latin-jazz orchestra Bomba, not to mention Dustin Bentall, Barney Bentall’s son. Other acts include  The Hank and Lily Show, Mortal Coil, the U of L Steel Drummers, Sean Brewer and the Switchmen, Louis Pezzani, Tarhana, the Screamin’ Jimmies, the Secretaries, Mark Sadler Brown and numerous others.

“It‘s looking  very good. We have  wide and diverse organization and lots of new, fresh faces helping out,” Moranz continued, adding there is about the same number of acts as in the past and the layout of the fair remains constant. There will be a new food booth, Ty Foods, as well as a Shisha bar. A Shisha is a non tobacco pipe which operates by water filtration and indirect heat.

“We’ll also have our usual plethora of different arts and crafts in the mall. It usually focusses on artisans but instead of just having the artists standing next to their work, they will be actually doing what they do there,” he enthused.

Tickets cost $65 until July 12, $80 after that. Check out the South Country Fair site at for more information.

—Richard Amery 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 June 2009 17:46 )  
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