Montana Folk Festival

Recent Posts

Prairie Lights: Music’s power prevails in troubling times


Marty Stuart, the one-time boy wonder of country music who is now one of its grand old men, did a few surprising things during his performance Friday night at ZooMontana. He told the audience he first visited the Little Bighorn Battlefield on a trip to Billings a couple of years ago, when he played the Alberta Bair Theater, and he was inspired to write a song called “Custer Wore an Arrow Shirt,” which he sang at the zoo. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Butte folk festival a success, planning underway for 2018


In a press release issued Wednesday, the people behind the Montana Folk Festival in Butte declared that the 2017 festival, which concluded on Sunday was a “tremendous artistic and economic success.” This will come as good news to all the thousands of devoted fans of the peerless festival, which has been going for 10 years now—three years as the National Folk Festival, produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts, and the past seven as the Montana Folk Festival, produced by Mainstreet Uptown Butte. “The festival was a success on every metric we use to evaluate it,” festival director George Everett said in the press release. “This was the best and most beautiful Montana Folk Festival we have produced in a decade.” Everett gave much of the credit to more than 850 festival volunteers, with whose help they were able to “properly greet and entertain thousands of guests this past weekend, including friends and family from throughout the world.” Continue Reading →

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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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