Steve's Blog
Friday November 13, 2009

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Hi everyone

What a great week we've just had! Two very good shows at Capilano Performing Arts Theatre and a packed Contra Dance at St. James Hall in between - followed by a stellar concert by Connie Kaldor and her band on Tuesday.

We're certainly keeping the good music flowing this month, with two more great shows this weekend, two more next week, and two the week after that. We have two shows in December, plus a Dance, and then January has some exciting concerts. We won't have any concerts in February, and not much in early March - the Olympics, and the two month long Cultural Olympiad, will see to that. Meanwhile, as they say, let the music play ...

Tim O'Brien with special guest Old Man Luedecke, Friday November 13th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Tim O'Brien has long been one of my favourite performers, dating back to when I first saw him at Christchurch Cathedral, I think it was, with his first bluegrass band Hot Rize and its alter ego, Red Knuckles & The Trail Blazers. He's a Grammy Winning bluegrass performer, and has won numerous IBMAs, but there's much more to Tim O'Brien than bluegrass. He's also recorded two CDs exploring his Irish roots, worked with Nashville songwriter Darrell Scott, with his sister Mollie O'Brien, and he made s superb collection of Dylan songs - Red On Blonde. His latest CD, Chameleon, sees him taking huge strides as a songwriter. This is brilliant stuff, with contemporary themes and traditional roots. He is a master of just about anything with strings and a fine singer too. Tickets are selling fast, so get there early!

Paul Pigat Quartet, Saturday November 14th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

This CD Launch concert was chosen by The Province's esteemed music critic Stuart Derdeyn as his Pick for Saturday Night: "There's always a few players in any scene who are looked up to by the rest. Guitarist Pigat is one such figure. Besides burning up the six-strings in his band Cousin Harley, the Gretsch guitar-sponsored picker can unplug and amaze with his crooning folk songs. One of the most consistent and enjoyable local albums to come across my desk so far this year."

Paul Pigat played in Jim Byrnes' band this summer at Shorefest and is Jim's regular go-to guy whenever Steve Dawson is unavailable. His new CD, Boxcar Campfire, is his first solo CD and you can tell right away that he is a big fan of Dave Alvin. There are shades of that soulful voice, fine guitar picking, and Alvin's trademark laments for lost loves and times recently past. Paul's band includes Jesse Zubot on fiddle and mandolin, Tommy Babin on bass, and Chris "The Wrist" Nordquist on drums.

The McDades, Thursday November 19th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

This Juno-winning quintet combines Celtic music with jazz and world rhythms, and is becoming rightly renowned as one of Canada's most exciting and innovative roots music combos. Formed around brothers Solon McDade (bass) and Jeremiah McDade (wind instruments) and their sister Shannon Johnson (fiddle, vocals), the band also includes hand percussion and rhythm guitar. They are currently working on their 4th CD, so should have plenty of new material to add to the tunes from Bloom, which won a Juno a couple of years ago: "We've always drawn inspiration from the workshop jams we heard as kids at Canadian folk festivals," says Solon. "You might get artists from Scotland, Africa, the US, and Asia on the same stage mixing things up with a kind of reckless abandon, making music that could never be replicated. Some of our favourite memories are of hearing these hybrids. We think of that sound when writing - like 'what would happen if you mixed a percussion groove from North Africa with an Irish reel, then had a big jam in the middle with a jazz flavour?'" Heady stuff! Check them out next Thursday, and visit them on the web at

Van Django, Friday November 20th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Come check out and dance your butt off to one of Vancouver's hippest old-timey jazz groups! The core members of Van Django - gypsy jazz frontier explorers - are: Cameron Wilson: Violin, Budge Schachte: Guitar, and Finn Manniche: Guitar. "These guys are ridiculous players! And good-looking too!" -Evan Arntzen. They will be joined by special guests: Evan Arntzen: Clarinet/Vocals, Brent Gubbels: Bass, and Benji Bohannon: Old-timey drum set (yes, he has a low boy) The band was recorded by CBC at their August show during Musicfest Vancouver. Check it out at CBC's Concerts On Demand

The Edge On Folk, CiTR fm 101.9 and on Saturday from 8am to 12 noon

CiTR is currently holding its 4th annual Funding Drive to raise money for new equipment and improved delivery / reception. The station has been broadcasting for well over 70 years, and over 25 years on the fm dial. Programming is diverse and ground-breaking, with a host of dedicated, unpaid DJs sifting through the vast plethora of available music to bring you only the very best that's out there. I've been hosting The Saturday Edge / Edge On Folk on Saturdays since June 1985! How many of you can say where you've been every Saturday morning for the past 25 years or so?

This week I'll be playing shorter sets than usual, and asking for your support, as the station needs to raise money to keep going. It's not all one way, of course. We give you this amazing array of music and information every day and ask for a little something from you to remind us that we are providing a valuable service to the community as well as keeping you entertained and excited by the great gift of music. Every pledge of $30 or more gets you a CiTR Members card, entitling you to discounts at some of the best right-on-thinking stores in town. The more you give, the more we give back to you.

For every pledge to The Edge On Folk of $60 or more I'll add a ticket to one of the next few shows at The Rogue. For every pledge of $101.90 or more I'll add a Mix CD - either The Edge Of The World 2009 (17 new tracks from Africa to Mississippi to BC to Scotland) or The Edge On Roots (19 new tracks featuring the best in Celtic music, singer / songwriters, and more) or Radio Rarities (18 tracks from the annals, some of which has never been released, and none of which is readily available on CD or even old vinyl any more. Some of it is very new. Most of it isn't.) Or you might prefer a CD / DVD combo by Eric Bogle, or a copy of Boxcar Campfire - the new CD by Paul Pigat, who will be my studio guest at 11am, or Callithump - the brand new CD by Los Paperboys, who will be playing the Rogue's final concert of 2009 on Saturday December 12th at St. James Hall (you heard it here first!) Tom Landa might swing by this week - or next - as well.

So please join me for four hours of great music and surprises and call in and join is in our quest to bring the very best music to Vancouver - and the world - from our little studio perched on the edge of the western world.

Finally, I'm working on the next issue of the Rogue Folk Review and hope to mail it out on Wednesday November 18th (it should be available on the website for download some time on Tuesday). I might need some help ... email me!

See you at The Rogue!