We took off north for Maillardville and Festival du Bois, having missed it last year, partly because Anna loves Quebec traditional music, partly because I just like festivals, and partly just to blow this joint.

Let’s be honest: when the supervillain thinks the crazy is getting a bit thick? The crazy is getting a bit thick.

On the way, thanks to the Elfquest fandom revival as of late, I finally got Anna to take a picture of this street sign near the festival that I’ve been meaning to shoot every time I’ve been by it:

If this means nothing to you, that’s okay, the Elfquest fans will like it

We didn’t really have goals – there were bands Anna wanted to see, but mostly I just like the show, by which I mean the festival. I like festivals, particularly ones that are in that little sweet spot of busy and energetic without being swarmed by too many people for the space.

We did play for several hours on Saturday – a few during the day as sessioneers, then another couple at the afterparty in the musician hotel.

2016 Session Musician Pin, Festival du Bois, Maillardville, Coquitlam

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a French traditional music player, I don’t know any of it, and I’m mostly there on Anna’s coattails. But I’d had the sense to bring along my mandolin – which in this environment is very quiet – so I could fake it about half the time, only getting loud when I’d figured out what I should be doing. Plus I was surprised to discover that in fact I did know one or two of these, so that was a nice discovery.

That didn’t stop me from hiding under the table during the evening jam. I was playin’! I was just playing very quietly as I tried to pick these things up. 😀

I think of the performances we saw, MAZ – an EDM-traditional fusion band with some jazz influence – was the most surprising. I like how they are reinterpreting this music. Réveillons was fun too – Richard Forest showed up a lot at the sessions, as did Lisa Ornstein. And I met a really nice new fiddler there too – Jocelyn Pettit. She’s got an album! And, of course, Anna’s large session crowd.

We also brought up a bunch of East-Coast Girl Scout Cookies that our friend Angela had bought, making us her COOKIE MULES.

Then on the way back, this happened:

What Could Lay Behind This Innocent-Looking Cookie Box?


If this was 1923 and Victory Boulevard was still the only improved road north from Seattle we would be on this shit. COOKIES NORTH! CIDER SOUTH!

(fructose and ethanol)

I need a smuggler accent. I keep trying to go into pirate. That really doesn’t work.

Anyway, that was fun, and if you’re in BC, or close enough, you should go to Festival du Bois next year. It’s small but everybody’s relaxed and happy and they have maple ice candy, which is fantastic.

Which reminds me, actually, that was one of the little fun highlights, because there’s part of making that candy which involves smacking beds of crushed ice with a paddle, and that’s loud, and we were right next to them, so they would work in time with our playing, just like they would’ve and should’ve, since some of these were also work songs. It was one of those yes this this is right moments where small things fall together to make a moment of nice.

And that’s really what I kind of needed.

eta: Anna has a bunch of photos on her writeup over here.