WINTERFOLK 2003 January 31 to February 2. Check www.winterfolk.com
With 100 artists at six venues, even the most hardcore folk fan can't have it all. Here are what we think are Winterfolk's best bets
ERIN SMITH BAND
Saturday (February 1), 11:30 pm, El Mocambo
Cute local jazzy funk-folk dynamo is an explosive firecracker in performance, drawing audiences in with a supergrrrl stage presence and a percussive guitar attack. Think Kinnie (Starr) or Ani (DiFranco), but with less righteous indignation and more dancing.
JACK DE KEYZER
Saturday (February 1), 12:30 am, Silver Dollar
A favourite on the blues festival circuit, de Keyzer's newest disc, 6 String Lover (Blue Note), dropped last year. Guzzle bourbon on the rocks and watch him dazzle at the blues-tastic Silver Dollar.
JOSH WHITE JR.
Friday (January 31), blues guitar workshop 7:30 pm and fingerpicking styles w0rkshop (w/ others) 8:30 pm at the Comfort Zone; 9 pm Rancho Relaxo; 10:30 pm Silver Dollar
The scion of a musical family, White melds genres from gospel to jazz to folk into a right-on rootsy brew. An accomplished songwriter (Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte have sung his songs), he's encountered a staggering array of performers -- including Billie Holiday and Burl Ives -- through his career.
Sunday (February 2), 2:45 pm, Convocation Hall
Part of the formidable Guelph folkie scene, Slimmon's won raves for her work with the rootsy Bird Sisters and as a vocalist with folks like Black Cabbage's Nick Craine. Last year's debut solo disc, Oak Lake, shows off her gorgeous voice and well-crafted phrasing. Charming live.