When: Sat., April 30, 2 p.m. 2016
In Chicago, folk-music festivals—the kind with actual folk music as opposed to that bearded indie stuff from the aughts—are often corralled within college campuses, the burbs, or the Old Town School’s north-side stomping grounds. But for its inaugural run the new Maypole Folk Festival plucks some of the local scene’s most interesting and varied players for an afternoon celebration of traditional music very near the city center. Topping the nine-act bill are perennial favorites Henhouse Prowlers, who play a myriad of bluegrass and bluegrass-inspired styles, and the Sanctified Grumblers, who rep pre-war roots music, often with a washboard or sousaphone twist. My eye’s on the trio of multi-instrumentalists Glass Mountain, who weave our country’s folk and gospel traditions into a musical arras as jovial as it is apparitional, and Son Monarcas, a local quartet carrying the torch for son jarocho, a folk style that originated in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico. Sink even further into the past with Spitzer & Mareva, a vocal-centric duo consisting of members of Old Town-approved collective Old Lazarus’ Harp, who specialize in the yo-ho-hos of sea shanties and traditional ballads of the British Isles.