Montana Folk Festival

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Montana Folk Festival needs our help


Editor’s note:  Anybody who has followed Last Best News since our founding knows that I am a big fan of the Montana Folk Festival in Butte. I believe I once referred to it as the coolest event in the history of Montana, and I was not exaggerating. I’ve written about it on more than a few occasions, and I have also posted lots of photographs of the festival, mine own and those of Anna Paige. And now the folk festival needs our help. Here’s the whole story, in the form of a press release from the festival. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Notable venues put Montana on musical map


Montana doesn’t have any concert venues with the wide renown of places like the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado or the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state. But how many states have three venues as cool as the White Sulphur Springs cow pasture that is the home of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival; uptown Butte, with its Montana Folk Festival; and Montana Avenue, site of the Magic City Blues festival? (more…) Continue Reading →

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At Your Service: Reflections, regrets at the end of a series

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It was with a pang of regret that I published the 24th and last chapter in my At Your Service series last Monday. I began thinking of such a series something like 20 years ago, figuring it would be fascinating to visit some of the many churches in Billings and hoping that my “reviews” of the services might be of interest to others. At the time, though, and for many years after, I couldn’t imagine where I might publish such a series. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: What did we do to deserve all this music?

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Looking back at the summer of 2015, these are the things I’m most likely to remember. There was Sheila Kay Adams, a storyteller and musician from Sodom, N.C., giving a brief history of the past 400 years as told by her Scottish grandmother, whose people have been living in the same corner of North Carolina since 1731. (more…) Continue Reading →

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More attention for a worthy artist


I’ve been meaning to post this since Friday, when the Billings Gazette featured Ben Pease in a story about the Yellowstone Art Museum’s annual auction. I wanted to draw readers’ attention to a story I wrote about Ben in the earliest days of Last Best News. We had a lot fewer readers then, naturally, so I wanted to give current readers a chance to catch up. I also wrote a short blog item about how I stumbled onto Ben’s great work at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte and just knew I had to write a story about him. As a bonus, the story contains some fine John Warner photographs. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Refining the Montana bucket list


Excuse me for being late on this, but I just discovered (on Facebook, the unsleeping recycler of pop culture) that the Great Falls Tribune published a Big Sky bucket list in December. The Tribune presented “100 activities every Montanan should have on a bucket list of things to do in a lifetime.” I found it impossible not to read the article from start to finish, and impossible not to keep a running tally of how many of the activities I had already done. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Folk Festival brings the magic to Butte


Tom Staples was not delivering a warning or throwing down a challenge, just making an observation on how difficult it is to describe the Montana Folk Festival in Butte. “I don’t know that anyone has captured the flavor,” he said. “You have to be here to capture the experience. There is nothing like it.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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