Allow Me To Introduce Myself
I’m Teal Neal. I was just eight months old when I had my first Winnipeg Folk Fest experience. I don’t remember much from that weekend (obviously) but my mom, dad and grandparents insist that I had the biggest smile on my chubby little face listening to the likes of Connie Kaldor, James Keelaghan, Wally Landreth, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt & Johnny Lee Schell serenade me at my first Fest in ’88.
My love for folk music began with my grandparents – my mom’s parents – who are huge fans of music of the American folk revival. As a little kid, playing with my toys on the floor of their place in Oakbank, MB, I would listen to my grandpa tell farm stories with the songs of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Susan Reed and Oscar Brand playing on the old record player in the back room.
It was my mother who taught me a how to pick the banjo – an art she learned from my grandma – and the three of us would sit on the porch and try to outdo each other in speed and skill. Grandma always won (still does, to be honest). But that didn’t stop me from trying my hand at the guitar and plenty of other stringed instruments. I started busking at The Forks as a teenager and slowly added more musical devices to my repertoire. I’ve learned to play so much over the years, that I now proudly call myself a one-man band! Teal Neal & The Turquoise Noise, is what I go by.
So, I have a confession to make: I’ve missed the past three Folk Fests (*cue gasps*) I’ve been spending my summers in northern BC tree-planting. I’ve had amazing adventures, but it’s been so hard to miss my favourite festival.
Year-round, I work as a substitute teacher and I’m overjoyed to announce that I’ll soon be starting a job teaching summer classes here in Winnipeg; not only because I love teaching, but because working in the city will allow me to come and camp at Folk Fest in July!
The folks at the Winnipeg Folk Festival are letting me take over their Facebook and Twitter over the next few months so I can keep you in-the-loop on my preparations for Folk Fest this summer. I hope you join me on my journey! You may also see me busking around town too and I’d love it if you’d come say ‘hello.’
I’m so excited to be coming back!
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