Old Songs, young spirits

Plucked strings and stomping contradancers vibrated the humid air over the Altamont fairgrounds for the Old Songs Festival from June 28 to 30. Visitors from far and near listened to and sang with performers of traditional, early, and world music made mainly on acoustic instruments, like the shawm, a Renaissance wind instrument, held by Marita Krujswijk of Kapriol’!. Molly Andrews played a lap dulcimer and Jeff Davis of The New Boys of Old New York played the spoons during the Sunday main stage concert, held inside to avoid rain, with a strong breeze blowing behind.  The participatory nature of the festival was seen at the contra dance as smiling dancers quickly exchanged glances and visiting performers demonstrated their instruments and techniques, as with the jaw harp.

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