Friday September 25, 2009
We have something for everyone this week, and we would love it if every one of you came to a show. We really need your support.
There are three shows at St. James Hall this week, with two old time string bands, a hot celtic / Quebecois trio, a delightfully quirky songwriter from the Great White North, an inspirational songwriter from Scotland, and a Classical / Latin / Spanish guitarist! Then there's the start of the new Cap Folk & Roots Series as well!
Yukon Fest, Sunday September 27th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
It might sound like a line from a Police movie or a Catholic Church, but no, it's Yukon - Fest, and it brings four great acts from Whitehorse to town. Winters are long and dark and cold up there. That means plenty of time for music. It also means plenty of competition for gigs, so you have to be good! You need to have something special to say, and be really entertaining to cut the mustard during those long nights. Only the strong survive, and the cream of the crop is heading south this weekend.
When Yukon songwriters Kim Barlow and Anne Louise Genest discovered a shared joy in the stringband sounds and story songs of Southern old-time music, they joined their considerable musical forces to form Annie Lou (Barlow on clawhammer banjo/vocals and Genest on guitar/vocals). The fine skills of the lovely Nadine Landry on upright bass and vocals, and Hannah Goa on fiddle, round out the band. In performance they gather around one microphone in the tradition of old time music. Website: www.myspace.com/annielouyukon
A mutual love of bluegrass, old-time, and roots music brought the members of the Done Gone Stringband together in 2006. Based in Whitehorse, and playing vintage sounding originals as well as a selection of the finest traditional old-time music, the Done Gone Stringband includes two generations of the Hamilton family: Bob on mandolin, dobro and vocals, Sarah on fiddle and vocals, and Patrick on banjo. The band features Anne Louise Genest on guitar (and probably Nadine Landry on bass too, she played here a couple of years ago - with Bob Hamilton - in the excellent bluegrass band, Hungry Hill). Website: www.donegonestringband.com
Kim Barlow is a leaf set in stone: jagged as a Yukon horizon; tender as spring. Her songs are wry and impassioned, deft distillations of the beautiful and absurd world she inhabits. Playing guitar, banjo, and cello, the Juno nominee uses her training as a classical musician to create complex and unexpected settings for her fables of lost children, plaints of lust, and songs of protest. She'll have a band of accompanists too. Website: www.myspace.com/kimbarlow
Ryan Enns joyfully treads the line between the "classical" and "folk" genres. As a classical guitarist, Ryan performs virtuosic guitar music from South America and Spain with all the technical fluidity and precision you might expect. Added to that expertise is an energy and down to earth goodness that you normally find in the jamming tent of a folk festival. Ryan's own songs are simple, telling stories about love, fatherhood and the Northern way of life with grit, honesty and humour. Website: www.ryanenns.com
It's going to be a great night. Tune in to The Edge On Folk on Saturday for a live set by the Done Gone Stringband, plus recorded music from the other acts on the bill. (see item 4, below.)
Dougie MacLean, Wednesday September 30th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Scottish songwriter Dougie MacLean was dubbed "The wee Highland heartbreaker" by CKUA DJ Andy Donnelly at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival a few years ago. It was meant as a tongue in cheek, back-handed compliment, but it does have a ring of authenticity about it, for Dougie writes songs of his love of the land and his family and his roots in Scotland and Scottish culture - and many of his songs will bring a knowing tear to the eye of even the most hardened of highland hearts.
This concert was originally scheduled in March. However, Dougie was left stranded in Anchorage, Alaska when Mt. Redoubt erupted several times, covering the town and the airport with volcanic ash. Dougie finally made it out of Anchorage, just in time to catch a flight to Scotland to perform "Caledonia" for 45,000 soccer fans at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Scotland won their World Cup match against Iceland that night, but it doesn't look as though they will qualify for the finals in South Africa next summer. Maybe he should sing for them every night... Fortunately, we were able to arrange another show exactly 6 months later. Tickets for the original show are valid for this one. If you booked them on line we will have them waiting for you at the door. If you bought them on line and had them mailed to you - and can't find them now, let us know, and we'll print you another.
"Dougie MacLean is Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriter and a national musical treasure" (TimeOut UK)
"...a Scottish phenomenon...with his exquisite guitar style, expressive voice and honest performance, his songs conjure up remarkably vivid imagery of our world" (The Performing Songwriter, USA)
"Dougie MacLean is a Celtic-infused singer-songwriter who has established one of the strongest cult followings of any performer on the contemporary scene" (SingOut USA)
2008 marked 25 years since the release of Dougie MacLean's album Craigie Dhu, on his own Dunkeld Records label which launched him as a solo artist after his early career as a member of the pioneering Scottish bands Silly Wizard and the Tannahill Weavers. And it was a stunning song from that album called "Caledonia" which made his music known to literally millions, when Frankie Miller's version topped the Scottish charts in 1992, prompting its widespread adoption as Scotland's unofficial national anthem. During this time MacLean's resonant voice, melodic craft and timelessly soulful songwriting have been heard in formats ranging from full-scale orchestra to one man and his guitar, in concerts and festivals world-wide including New York's Carnegie Hall and London's Festival Theatre. His songs have covers by Paolo Nutini, Cara Dillon, Amy Macdonald, Kathy Mattea, Mary Black and Dolores Keane, among many others. His own most recent studio album, 2005's Inside the Thunder, was praised by Dirty Linen as "a delectable palette of colours and moods... sometimes wistful and melancholic, and at other times blissfully uplifting and rejuvenating." He has featured in 3 BBC TV Specials, has written for TV Drama and film (his tune "The Gael" featured in 20th C Fox "The Last of the Mohicans"). He is touring North America with his recently released double-disc compilation "The Essential Dougie MacLean", which includes tracks from 'Thunder'. Website: www.dougiemaclean.com
De Temps Antan, Thursday October 1st 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
De Temps Antan is made up of André Brunet on fiddle (Grand Master of Canada fiddle champion! Stalwart member of the Celtic Fiddle Festival ensemble), Pierre-Luc Dupuis on accordion and vocals and Éric Beaudry on vocals, guitar and bouzouki. Together, these excellent and exuberant young musicians (all either current or former members of the Québec supergroup La Bottine Souriante) make up the extremely entertaining De Temps Antan. The band's name means "Yesteryear", and they deliver a rich blend of traditional French-Canadian and Acadian songs as well as original compositions. The songs are interspersed with instrumentals and all are driven by the energetic beat of podo-rythme or foot percussion heard in the traditional music of Québec. In their twenties and thirties, the band members have been collecting old melodies and singing and playing tunes learned through an oral heritage that is still alive and thriving. They offer a fresh and vibrant perspective on the music of their ancestors and on the joie de vivre that has come to define the music of their province.
I saw them at the Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis in February, headlining a showcase of music from Quebec and Ontario. They were fabulous! Such power and drive, yet every nuance of every note is highlighted - even when they are playing those crooked reels at hyper-speed! De Temps Antan performed at Festival du Bois in March, and made their Rogue debut the following night. What a show they put on! Definitely the most powerful and exciting Québecois band we've heard in a long time. Maybe all time. When we heard that they were coming back to perform with an orchestra to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the French community of Maillardville in October we jumped at the chance to present them again at St. James Hall. Not to be missed! Website: www.detempsantan.qc.ca
The Edge On Folk, Saturday September 26th 8am - 12 noon, CiTR fm 101.9 (www.citr.ca)
This week I'll have some new releases by Cajun bands Bonsoir Catin and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole; English singers Ruth Notman, Rachel Unthank, Jackie Oates, and Bella Hardy; Afro-Celtic fusion from Baka Beyond; Colombian diva Toto La Momposina; Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar; a retrospective collection from English folk dance / reggae combo Edward II; more from the new Steve Dawson-produced tribute to the Mississippi Sheiks; Eastern European music - from Ontario's Beyond The Pale; Harry Manx's new CD, Bread & Buddha; and lots more.
Yukon's Done Gone Stringband will perform live in the studio at 11am
And there'll be music from lots of performers coming soon to the Rogue and Cap Folk & Roots.
Please join me for four hours of the best in Roots, Folk, Celtic, and World Music - every Saturday from 8am to 12 noon on CiTR 101.9 fm. We are also streamed live on www.citr.ca and podcasts are available too.
Debashish Bhattacharya, Saturday September 26th 8pm, Capilano Performing Arts Theatre (2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver)
Debashish Bhattacharya is an undisputed master of the Hindustani slide guitar, a custommade, 22 stringed instrument of his own design that has features of the Veena, Sitar, Sarod and Kannur. Hailing from Calcutta, India, Bhattacharya was nominated this year for a Grammy Award for his recording Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey in the traditional world music category. Joining Debashish on tabla will be his brother Subhasis, considered a leader of his generation of Indian percussionists. Known for his lightning-fast playing and spectacular interaction with his brother on tabla, Debashish Bhattacharya's music, spirit and generosity have won him devotees the world over. For fans of guitar and world music, Bhattacharya's music brings a new accessibility to both classical and popular Indian songs. Debashish has a great new CD, O Shakuntala! on Riverboat records. It will be great to see him back again. Check him out on You Tube www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r_mRktR-68
Next weekend there are two great shows at Cap - Eric Bogle & John Munro on October 2nd, and Chris Smither on the 4th. They each have new CDs, and they are amongst my favourite performers of all time.
There's also a Contra Dance at St. James on the 3rd
On October 8th we have traditional Irish music played with great exuberance and skill by Tipperary's Rattle The Boards. Opening for them will be Boston fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger, whose latest CD, Song, features New England versions of traditional songs from the British Isles and Appalachia.
On October 9th, California singer Corinne West returns to town with BC dobro guru Doug Cox, who also produced her fine new CD, The Promise.
Full details of all concerts can be found on our concert calendar where you can also buy tickets on-line.
See you at The Rogue!