Steve's Blog
Thursday October 15, 2009

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Hi everyone

We have a fine concert for you tomorrow night, and then on Saturday I'll have some amazing new music on The Edge On Folk, including a live interview with Spanish flamenco guitar legend Juan Martin - and a pair of tickets to give away as well.

Garnet Rogers, Friday October 16th, 8pm at St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

We've been booking Garnet Rogers on a fairly regular basis - about every 18 months to two years - since 1987 in our nascent days at the old Savoy in Gastown. Why? Because his voice, his guitar work, his humour and his sheer presence have made him one of Canada's very finest touring artists for over two decades. Like Richard Thompson, an artist he and I admire enormously, Garnet is constantly reaching beyond his latest achievements, constantly moving forward as an artist and as a songwriter. While not so prolific of late, Garnet has created an impressive body of work with some monumental extended pieces like Night Drive, Stormfront, A Row Of Small Trees, and The Lost Ones amongst them. Few of his songs have a chorus, and once a regular attendee at our shows complained to him that he wasn't able to sing along as Garnet had changed the arrangements. As Karen Savoca sings, some people just don't get it!

Penguin Eggs magazine ran an interview with him a few years back. It gives a rare insight into the man's creative muse. "There's a sort of moment of clarity I had a few years ago where I realized commercial radio for me is a dead issue. It's not going to happen. I don't fit anyone's format. And that was tremendously freeing. It was just like, "Well screw it. I can do whatever I want. I don't have to worry about format and all that crap. Or where's the single? Or any of that stuff. I've always loved longer pieces where there's a little bit of orchestration. I think the first long one I did was A Row of Small Trees on From A High Window. I don't want to sound pretentious, if you're a songwriter and you say you're heavily influenced by classical music, but you know I am. I'm a string player and I listen to a lot of orchestral music. So I love to put these instrumental passages in and they tend to pad the song out a lot. I like to build a long piece and try and paint a picture and create moods. I like being free to tell long stories. There's also my background in traditional music, you know. Somebody sits there for three hours and sings you every verse of Tam Lin. And that's perfectly acceptable for some people."

You only have to join him on Night Drive, the impassioned account of his endless journeys across this great nation along roads haunted by memories of his late brother, Stan, to see - and feel - what he means. It's a real emotional roller-coaster ride that runs for anything from 10 to 20 minutes, but never loses focus or its command of the audience's attention. Dirty Linen magazine calls him "a master musical storyteller, often dealing in songs of the heart. Rogers digs an emotional well and invites the listener in for a long, refreshing drink." See you tomorrow night, then. Cheers! More info, visit and don't forget to check out the Q&A section if you want to know what makes the big man "tick."

Volunteers are still needed for this show. We feed our volunteers with excellent food from Lavender & Lotus, by the way, and tomorrow night the featured soup will be African Peanut Soup, a recipe I found for them and which has proved to be quite popular. It's delicious!

And please bring an item for the Food Bank. For those less fortunate than our volunteers, for example, these are very hard times. Your donation of a non-perishable food item or two, or useful things like toothpaste or shampoo, could prove vital, and the work of Food Banks all across Canada is absolutely crucial. Thanks!

Lee Harvey Osmond, Sunday October 25th 8pm at St. James Hall

This concert is our first co-presentation with Shore fm 104, the impressive new radio station whose motto is Roots, Rock & Rhythm. We teamed up with them in the summer to present Shorefest, with 4 nights of music as a curtain-raiser to the Celebration of Light fireworks shows. Now they are helping us to develop a stage - and a broadcast presence - for emerging Canadian talent, in what promises to be a monthly series of concerts at The Rogue. The first of these features the Vancouver debut of Ontario "supergroup" Lee Harvey Osmond, led by Tom Wilson of Blackie & The Rodeo Kings and legendary singer / actor Brent Titcomb. The band released its debut CD, A Quiet Evil, early this year - including contributions by Margo Timmins and other Cowboy Junkies, plus members of The Skydiggers and more. I got to see Tom perform a lot of the material from the CD at the Folk Alliance in February with Colin Linden. It's truly stunning stuff! They call it "Acid Folk", and while it may not be for the faint of heart it's some of the most intense and powerful Roots music to come out of Ontario in many years. Opening for the band will be Vancouver's "tractor jazz" combo, Headwater, who will play a short set of songs from their very fine, melodic CDs Lay You Down and My Old Friend. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on Shore fm, and is a real landmark event for us, so please come along and hear some amazing Canadian roots, rock & rhythm at The Rogue. More info on and Check out Shore fm, too, and become a member of the station - it's free, and you get a chance to win some great prizes.

The Edge On Folk, Saturday 8am to noon, CiTR fm 101.9 and

On this week's show I'll have new releases by Le Vent Du Nord, Alex Cuba, Black Umfolosi, Najma Akhtar with Gary Lucas, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Mamaku Project (NZ), Blues singer Samuel James, and Rosanne Cash (when she started out as a singer 30+ years ago her father, Johnny Cash, gave her a list of 100 songs she should sing. The new CD, The List, contains 13 of them. All gems.) I'll also have Solo, the new CD by flamenco guitarist Juan Martin who will join me at around 11am. He's performing next Friday, October 23rd at the Kay Meek Theatre in West vancouver as part of the Cap Folk & Roots series. I'll have tickets for that show to give away, so tune in for a chance to win them. Please join me for four hours of the very best in Roots, World and Folk music - and previews of all our concerts.

Rogue Folk Review

We'll mail out the October / November issue of the Review next Tuesday evening, so if you're a fully paid up member you should receive it in the mail next week some time (unless you've opted to download it from the website, of course). Meanwhile we'll have an updated flyer at the Garnet Rogers show tomorrow night, and you can keep up to date with our events on the concert calendar. Thanks for your support. It is much appreciated, and so vital to our continued existence.

Other events around town

West Coast Guitar Night plays the newly-reopened Van East Cultural Centre on Saturday October 17th, and the Vancouver Folk Song Society celebrates its 50th anniversary at St. James Hall on Sunday October 18th. The following night there's some excellent bluegrass at the Anza Club, 3 West 8th Avenue, with Seattle's Downtown Mountain Boys.