The Adventures of Teal Neal at Folk Fest, pt 2
My Grampaw (yes, that’s how we spelled it) in Oakbank would bring out an instrument he made for birthdays and holidays made out of a VW hubcap and a chunk of hockey stick for the neck. He called it his Diddley-bow. It only had one string, but it made a good noise when we sang Happy Birthday or Auld Lang Syne.
The reason I'm telling you about Grampaw's home made instrument is that you can enjoy the same sense of odd wonderment right here at the Winnipeg Folk Fest, or just "FolkFest" which is how us Manitobans refer to it. A wonderful bearded man named Lorne Collie has a gaggle of hand built instruments right by the front gate, behind the tent that sells the programs. He has a triple axe Guitar/Bass/Bouzouki. Yes, it's made out of three axes. He found a huge antler in the bush and slapped a pick up and some strings on it. I think one is a moose and another is a deer antler, and another is a log rolling hook attached to a log chunklet, and has become a Cello! I helped tune up the A string for a talented girl who then cranked out some J. S. Bach. Sweet!
People ask Lorne to sell them the instruments but he always says no. They are for everyone to share. "The people at the Fest got me a good spot this year! Treated me good." He says. When he was here in years past he set up in the parking lot and people just "discovered" him. Now he has a more visible spot and hopefully people can find him and plink away on some guitars made from pitch forks and shovels.
These random meetings are why I love Folk Fest. As I was leaving A young lad with a cast on him arm jumped at the Cookie Tin violin. Mitchell Baker is an Irish Fiddle aficionado and didn't let the BMX accident slow him down. Rock on!
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