Music Interview: Carolyn Mark’s big ol’ hootenanny

As much as One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo is known for avant garde, artsy types prancing around pretentiously, it also hosts a lot of simple, fun people and performances. One such individual is the lovely and talented Carolyn Mark who is coming to Calgary to host an old fashioned Hootenanny.

“It’s a bunch of people playing together,” says Mark.

Poets, musicians and songwriters will all play a few songs and collaborate on the works of their fellow performers. Guests are expected to include Calgarians Kris Demeanor and Peter Moller, former Rheostatic Dave Clark and many more, all led by the charismatic Mark.

Though she’s known primarily as a mover and shaker in the burgeoning Canadian alt-country scene, Mark, who sometimes tours with The New Pornographers’ Neko Case as the country duo The Corn Sisters, does not compartmentalize her music as particularly country or folk.

“None of those words mean anything,” she explains. “Or they do, but my definition of them means something different than anyone else’s. It’s 2006 for God’s sake, just come and see [the show].”

Country or not, the audience is in for a good time. Running from introspective to mischievous, Mark’s music is full of rollicking drinking songs and romantic entanglements. Her characteristic wit and ease on the stage combine to create the perfect package to host a huge, collaborative hoedown.

“You can’t [go wrong],” says Mark. “Or rather, you can, but then you can write a song about it.”

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