Pat Blythe – Mariposa 2019 …Day Two …and Music!

I’m burnt. A brilliantly sunny day spent covering 10 stages and finding shade. I forgot my hat and to tell the truth, it’s really challenging trying to take photographs while chasing an airborne hat or evening lifting the brim to see what the hell you’re focusing on.

First appointment of the day…..what has become my yearly traditional Mariposa hair wrap by Magpie Bead. This year’s thread colours are lime green, deep purple, turquoise and black with a tiny angel tethered to the end. It will last about five months. Just a little something…a playful touch of froo froo that matches the fun, freedom and lightheartedness of the festival.

Mariposa has ten stages scattered throughout Tudhope Park. All uniquely positioned so one doesn’t “interfere” with the other. Depending on who you want to see it’s great exercise bounding from one to the other as long as you don’t take a shortcut through the alley of food. If you do, keep your head down, plug your nose and don’t look up or that poutine will end up balanced in one hand while you grip your worldly possession in another as you wend your way through the crowd looking for a place to quietly stuff your face. Food alley does not help the waistline and that exercise you get stage hopping is all for naught. Did I mention the homemade ice cream or the Pow Wow’s Indian Tacos……..

Always a lineup…..

Shawn Adler

By the way you can enjoy the Pow Wow’s Indian Tacos and much, much more here in Toronto. The always busy cafe is located in Kensington Market on Augusta Ave. and is a favourite stop for food tourists. Say hello to owner and chef Shawn Adler.

Many of the artists team up with other performers and spend the weekend participating in various shows and workshops at the different stages. Lucky for me I always seemed to be selecting shows that were a good distance apart so I think I managed to run off some of those calories. After getting my hair threaded and beaded I wandered by the Estelle Klein stage and caught Deeps, Còig and Terra Lightfoot. A little side note….Estelle Klein was a huge advocate and avid supporter of Canadian folk music. She was influential in the way the festival is set up and organized today. Her idea of different musicians sharing a stage and putting them in close proximity to the audience continues. Klein incorporated indigenous content into the Festival in 1966 and also brought American blues artists to the Mariposa stage. She was the artistic director for Mariposa Folk Festival from 1964 to 1980.

Members of Còig 

Then I dashed over to the Bohemian Embassy Stage at the other side of the park to catch Steve Poltz, Danny Michel, Birds of Chicago and Shakura S’Aida. Michel has a wicked sense of humor. Combine that with Poltz’s storytelling and their talents for writing songs about anything…..on the spot…..and they’ll keep you in stitches all day. My ears got their first taste of S’Aida….a rich and soulful voice that penetrates right to your core. I was pumped to hear her on the main stage the following night.

Shakura S’Aida and Steve Poltz with the green tape still on his guitar

Bassist Roger Williams and Danny Michel

A 30-second respite and it was over to the Mariposa Pub Stage to catch Freddie & Francine, Còig  and A Leverage for Mountains. The tent was packed and too airless to stay long. It was rapidly turning into another “flypaper day”. Just thinking would produce rivulets of salt water running down my back. However, A Leverage for Mountains, or rather their soulful harmonies, caught my attention. This indie folk trio from La Belle Province keep their music simple, relying more on the vocals with the instrumentation playing second fiddle (so to speak). Beautiful, romantic, almost peaceful, I could close my eyes and listen to them all day curled up on a blanket under a tree.

Far left – A Leverage for Mountains with Freddie (far right) and Francine at the mic

The rest of the afternoon was the Barnfield Stage with Julian Taylor and Digging Roots, then over to the Ruth Stage to hear Richard Flohil, Christine Lavin, Fred Penner and Shakur S’Adia talk about their “war stories” in the music business. I meandered by the “Petting Zoo” of instruments sponsored by Long & McQuade and was thrilled to see the tiny people testing out and playing the various instruments L&M had donated. Music should be a part of every child’s life and the pure joy that radiated on their faces when they produced a sound or played a tune was delightful to watch. Budding guitarists were chuffed to play the electric guitars and a few couples sat together singing and playing their hearts out.

Jamming with big brother

Bongo baby….she reminded me of a friend’s granddaughter

Yes…..even the accordion

My harp beats f or you…..

The Main Stage events were outstanding!!! Following is a pictorial review. I’ve written many words about the Julian Taylor Band and Tom Cochrane with Red Rider. Stellar musicians all and I was beside myself with excitement and anticipation at seeing and photographing them at Mariposa.

There was something in the air (and not just the bugs) that night. A crackling electricity of sorts that seemed to surge through the evening (or maybe it was just me and my overexcited inner 5-year-old) but everyone was on fire. The music flowed, echoed and reverberated through the night air, carried far beyond the boundaries of Tudhope Park. Apparently Davide DiRenzo’s drums (Red Rider) were so loud someone tweeted they could hear them eight miles away. They are certainly one of the more powerful sounding set of drums I’ve heard and DiRenzo is a beast on them. I recognized their thundering resonance instantly at soundcheck (first thing in the morning) before I even turned around to see who was on stage. Cochrane and Red Rider’s “opening act”? ……Gordon Lightfoot……who performed, appropriately, Sundown as the sun was sinking into the horizon. What a fantastic surprise! At eighty, Lightfoot’s voice is strong and silky smooth still with those golden tones….it never changes and I too was over the moon to hear him perform this song.

Taylor is an extraordinarily gifted performer….his love for making music spreads like a blanket over the audience and they are with him all the way for the ride. He is both fierce and passionate and when the hat leaves the head…..look out! The crowd were up dancing, screaming for more. The best stage yet I’ve photographed these guys on. Trying to keep still was almost impossible.

Stars, Martin Sexton, Sharon and Bram and Terra Lightfoot rounded out the main stage events for Saturday night. I headed back to the hotel with 64G of photos, a huge grin on my face and dance in my step. A fulfilling day of music and seeing old friends… was perfect!

Julian Taylor Band…..

Tom Cochrane with Red Rider….


Terra Lightfoot……

Martin Sexton…..

Up on the big screen….

The man of the evening…..Gordon Lightfoot

The chair silently awaits……

The “chair master” himself…..

Memories – A Leverage for Mountains

Hush – A Leverage for Mountains

Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot

Human Race – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider

The Untouchable One – Tom Cochrane with Red Rider

Paradise – Terra Lightfoot

Glory Bound – Martin Sexton

Dead Hearts – Stars

Full Live Performance on KEXP – Stars

I found this on FB and thought it was an interesting take on a Canadian classic song and a lovely tribute to much loved band.  Brenda Hoffert seems to approve.

“I’ve never heard a woman cover this (for obvious reasons) but I thought I’d give a twist and sing it from a woman’s perspective.. I’ve been in situations similar to the lyrical content that’s why it hits me hard. I did everything here, vocals instruments, production and arrangement…I’m not saying it’s perfect but Skip and the rest of the Lighthouse Keepers this is for you.”

Pretty Lady – Rhianna Barr-Beaumont

I’m forever running out of time these days. Twenty-four hours is not nearly enough to acomplish everything that needs doing or that I want to do. This year brings more changes, more spice and variety into my life and sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. However, I love every minute of it….and my new roof.


All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-buttonIn “real” life Pat Blythe has spent the past 32 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry. After an extended absence Pat is now heading back to the GTA clubs, immersing herself in the local music scene, tasting what’s on offer, talking to people and writing once again — sharing her passions and her deep love of music. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda Little Red-headed dancing girland the Imps, Plateau, Buzzsaw, Hellfield….) as well as national and international acts,  Currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, Pat is currently compiling a photographic history of the local GTA music scene from 1975 to 1985. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance!

6 Responses to “Pat Blythe – Mariposa 2019 …Day Two …and Music!”

  1. Marlene Schuler Says:

    So much to see and so little time. You shine Ms. Blythe!

  2. Great post! loved the photos!
    Besides having my own music blog and social media agency I also look after Mariposa’s Social Media! We love to see and hear the festival talked about like this!
    See you in 2020!
    Joe Cornelisse

  3. Thanks for this Pat, my plans to be there got scuttled so this all made me feel a little bit like I was there. cheers.

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