Back 40 Folk Festival nears

Steve Bell. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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In less than three weeks the 30th annual Back 40 Folk Festival will be underway in Morden Park, featuring some of Manitoba’s best musicians, artisans, and food from noon until dusk on Sunday, June 2, 2019.
This year’s performers include:
Steve Bell
Steve Bell is a songwriter, storyteller, and troubadour for our time. Over the course of a 30 year solo career, he has been sharing a message of love, hope and faith through songs, stories, and writings. He is a purveyor of truth and beauty and champion of kindness, on a focused mission for “refreshing Christian faith and spiritual tradition for the weary and the wary.” He is a mentor to many, and an advocate of numerous meaningful causes.
Big Dave McLean
Winnipeg Manitoba based guitarist/harmonica player/songsmith, Big Dave McLean is a highly acclaimed Canadian Roots and Blues artist. A multiple award winner and recording artist, with a career spanning nearly four decades, McLean has become an influence on many Canadian players. His gruff raspy voice, with a feel for the traditional acoustic and electric Blues has established him as a stalwart on the Canadian Blues scene.
Jayme Giesbrecht and the Soul Revue Band
Aretha Franklin…Etta James…Ike & Tina Turner…Ray Charles…voices that shaped a generation of music. The era comes to life with the Soul Revue Band. A group of musicians from the Morden/Winkler area, who have a common goal – to learn and perform soul music the way it should be done. The band features JP Lepage (guitar), Scott Bell (keyboard), Gil Dudgeon (drums), Dave Hildebrand (bass), along with horn section (Ryan Aubry, Doug Wilson), and back up vocals (Jeannie Nickel, Karen Doell). With Jayme Giesbrecht’s power-house singing leading the way — the Soul Revue Band has the music within them, and aims to bring out the soul in YOU!
Link and the Moustaches
Link and the Moustaches are a raw electric blues group hailing from Southern Manitoba. Their live show is foot stomping, high energy blues inspired from a variety of sources including Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, Canned Heat, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, and others. Link Neufeld leads the group with his blistering harp playing and vocals. Steve Dueck handles the guitar, and shares lead vocal duties. The rock-solid rhythm section features Scott Bell on bass and Gil Dudgeon on drums. Link and the Moustaches have a deep passion for the history of the blues and love to share their energy with the crowd.
Sean Burns & Lost Country
From dancehall shuffles and the electric honky tonk of the Bakersfield sound, all the way down to belly rubbin’ ballads, Sean Burns plays his brand of Country Music with unparalleled enthusiasm. Continuing to tour relentlessly, the Winnipeg based country music enthusiast delivers from-the-heart performances of songs written with highway miles and heartbreak. March 2018 saw Sean Burns & Lost Country release “Music for Taverns, Bars, and Honky Tonks” to favourable reviews and extensive national touring. It’s a country music soundtrack for all of your dancing and romancing pleasures.
An Unexpected End
An Unexpected End is an indie folk band from the Winkler/Plum Coulee area. They formed in 2018 and released their self-titled debut EP in April of this year. Inspired by artists such as Bon Iver, Novo Amor, and Gregory Alan Isokov, they seek to provide their audience with an easy listening experience and an atmosphere of peace and hope. Their EP was recorded through Arcade studios in Niverville MB, and can be found digitally on all platforms.

The Osmond-Davis Band
In a place as flat as their prairie home, The Osmond Davis Band ensure mountain music thrives by keeping that Appalachian connection with their southern neighbours. This group of five Manitoba pickers have a common passion for bluegrass and honky tonk music. Guitar flatpicker Simon Davis and 5 string banjo/dobro player Tim Osmond sing a repertoire of music from the likes of the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and other traditional and contemporary bluegrass standards. Joined with them on fiddle is the extraordinary Jeremy Penner, the driving mandolin of Dan Simpson, and the solid backbone upright bass of Karl Ratchinsky. Fans of bluegrass music and supercharged country will love the blend of harmonies and dynamic picking between these fine musicians.
Roger Roger
Roger Roger is a sibling folk/roots duo from Winnipeg, Canada. Twins Lucas and Madeleine Roger are both singer-songwriters who have joined forces, each playing guitar and shamelessly harmonizing all over each others’ songs. They wholeheartedly embrace their differences, fusing her magnetic sweetness alongside his unruly charm. The offspring of producer/engineer/musician Lloyd Peterson, the twins have a knack for songwriting that must have something to do with growing up in a recording studio. They are quickly becoming known for the blend of their vocals, compelling storytelling, and genuine vibe.
Also coming will be Linda Hiebert and Cate Friesen.
Festival Emcee / Children’s Entertainer
LuLu and the TomCat perform an energetic and highly interactive stage show, composed of sing-alongs, storytelling, puppetry and audience participation. They create a wonderful atmosphere of fun and laughter, with a colourful catalogue of tunes for any occasion and have a fresh and fun approach to family “edu-tainment.” These two-time winners of the Western Canadian Music Awards have produced nine award-winning albums (six nominations for WCMA in addition to three Parents’ Choice Awards) and entertain audiences locally and internationally in schools, libraries, festivals and community centres across Canada and in Cuba.
Songwriters Workshop
As per tradition, a Songwriters Workshop will be held mid-day on the festival stage. The workshop is a collaboration between festival musicians to build off each other for a spectacular display of musicianship.
Tweeners
The Back 40 will feature four talented local musicians as tweener acts throughout the day: Steve Keys, Mika Dawn, Marcel Desilets, and Bill Dowling.
Children’s Tent
The Back 40 Folk Festival is a family-focused festival and continues to plan an afternoon full of interactive activities in the kids’ tent.
Artisan Village
Artisans from across the province set up inside the Morden Park bowl to offer a variety of crafts and hand-made items, which is possible in partnership with the Pembina Hills Arts Centre.
Fill the Bowl Campaign – Group ticket package
With a contribution of $150 you will receive 10 festival passes to give out to employees, family, and friends, or to purchase as a group. This discounted ticket offer is only offered in advance and must be purchased directly from a board member. Contact 204-823-8388 or email info@back40folkfest.com.
Ticket Information
Advance tickets are $20, tickets at the gate are $25, ages 13 – 18 are $10, and ages 12 and under are free. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Co-op Gas Bars in Winkler and Morden, or online at www.back40folkfest.com.
The Back 40 Folk Festival has a vision to elevate homemade music in southern Manitoba to provide world-class development and performance opportunities to local musicians and to attract the nation’s finest artists into southern Manitoba to perform in our backyard.

Big Dave McLean. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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