Saturday: Fourth Annual Baltimore Folk Fest

Oct. 24

In this issue of City Paper, there is a great cover story by Geoffrey Himes about the origins of bluegrass and Appalachian music and the role Baltimore played in its inception and success. Our favorite part is where he ties it to Bmore Club because like Bmore club, "recognition was denied [for some of these innovators] because this accomplishment was created by the state’s poorest and least credentialed artists." It's important to locate these connections between disparate genres and it's necessary that we not allow folk music, which has been caught up in an authenticity canard for too long, to be separated from other kinds of working-class art. The Baltimore Folk Fest, back for its fourth year, finds some of the more forward-thinking folk musicians who continue tradition but don't retreat into the past. Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides are worth looking into in particular. Their album from this year, "Parts and Labor," as the statement on the group's Bandcamp page says, "work[s] hard to illuminate the workings of privilege by removing the invisibility of the human cogs in the machine, to give them the distinct personalities and irrefutable dignity that should be their birthright." If that sounds heady, the songs are good too. Start with the track 'Master Plan.' 6 p.m., the Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St., (410) 662-0069,, $20.

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