Steve's Blog
Thursday May 8, 2008

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Hi everyone

May is bringing sunshine, and maybe it will even start to get warm soon as well. The Rogue music scene is hotting up, at least, with four fabulous shows for your delectation. We guarantee you won't find better music - or a better deal - anywhere this month.

Friday, May 9th, it's our Annual General Meeting and 21st Birthday Party at St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

The AGM is at 6:45pm in the meeting room downstairs.

The concert is in the Hall at 8pm, with Pied Pumkin playing the music.

Rick Scott (vocals, dulcimer), Shari Ulrich (vocals, piano, mandolin, fiddle, flute) and Joe Mock (vocals, guitar, piano) have been making music - and making music history - for 35 years. The trio that pretty much invented the Home Recording industry on the Left Coast became darlings of the college crowd in the 70s. Circumstances led them on separate musical journeys for a while, but happily they reunited 20 years ago at the folk festival and we were thrilled to hear that they still had that special brand of magic. They unearthed a cassette of lost recordings that year - The Lost Squash Tapes - and had so much fun that they decided to make reunions a regular thing. A compendium CD - Plucking Devine - was issued in 1997, followed by Pied Alive - a triumphant live recording of some of their BC dates in 1999. Last year they issued a Children's Album, Pumkids, which won several awards for best Canadian Kids Album of the year.

On this occasion they will concentrate on their very danceable, highly musical, music for grown-ups and those of who refuse to grow out of our love of musical mayhem! Their music blends folk, soul, celtic, blues, and even klezmer influences into a fun-filled package of glorious harmonies, fine picking, lots of grinning - and a fair bit of gurning (that's an obscure art form based on facial contortions, by the way.) The Lotus Eaters Blues band, the lost soul singers of the rain forest, mushroom madrigal mayhem with strings. Pied Pumkin celebrate 34 years of decidedly orange-tinted folk music with a 34 date tour of BC., and they start the tour right here!

The evening commences with our Annual General Meeting, where members are asked to come and vote for the new slate of directors and review our Annual Report. If you are a member, please come to the AGM and stay for the show - and the cake! There is a special deal for members who attend the AGM, by the way. If you need to renew or sign up first, come early. Sign-ups start at 6:30pm. The meeting runs from 6:45pm.

N.B. Whilst the AGM is only open to members, the party is open to everyone. There are still tickets available. Remember: Rogue Folk Club members who come to the AGM beforehand get a very special deal!

Thursday, May 15th, 8pm - Norah Rendell & Brian Miller, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Next week we have a great show for fans of Celtic music when former Cleia flute player and singer Norah Rendell comes back to town with Brian Miller on guitar and vocals, and special guest Django Amerson on fiddle. Norah & Brian met at the University of Limerick, where they were both enrolled in the Irish Music program. Rather than cram more into the first long weekend for months, we present this show on the Thursday evening.

"Norah Rendell, the Canadian, takes lead vocals with calm authority." — The Telegraph

"A fabulous lead vocalist" — Rock 'n Reel Magazine, UK

She started out as a Baroque recorder player with a degree in early music. She went on to make a name for herself as part of the esteemed Vancouver Celtic ensemble Cleia and the a cappella quintet the No Shit Shirleys, then she earned a Canada Council grant to further her Irish music studies in the music's homeland. Now, armed with a Masters degree in traditional Irish music from the University of Limerick's Irish World Academy of Music and Dance – the only place in the world to offer such a thing – and having toured extensively in the UK with the band Outside Track, Norah Rendell is returning to B.C. to launch her new duo project with guitarist Brian Miller. Wait There Pretty One is a collection of ten traditional Irish numbers – plus a traditional Quebecois piece and two covers of contemporary pieces – performed with both a reverence for tradition and a decidedly North American voice. Rendell notes that, as a Canadian who is used to emotive singing styles, she couldn't help but inject her vocals with a level of expressiveness uncharacteristic of true Irish interpretations. Her passion for the music comes through in her plaintive rendition of "In the Town of Castle d'Oliver," her reflective cover of the instantly recognizable "Oh, Can Ye Sew Cushions?" and her powerful delivery of Maria Dunn's "Heather Down Road." She also performs a wonderfully Celtified version of Iris Dement's "Let the Mystery Be," the other non-trad cover on the album.

Rendell, of course, is also a virtuoso flautist, and she shows off her chops magnificently on Wait There Pretty One, both on bridges in the vocal tracks and on stellar instrumentals like the "Dinny Delaney's / Limestone Rock / Lad O'Beirne's" medley. Vancouver's Stephani Custer and Minnesota's Nathan Gourley guest on fiddle on a couple of tracks, and Miller provides solid guitar accompaniment throughout the album. Miller's work as an accompanist has been called "superb" by no less an authority than the Irish Times. A highly visible character in the Twin Cities Irish music scene since 1998, he often sneaks away to his adopted home ofIreland, where he has been featured on TG4, RTE television and RTE radio. He is also a member of a number of international touring groups and duos including The Tommie Cunniffe Trio, Bua and 5 Mile Chase.

Rendell met Miller in Ireland in 2005, and the two began playing together shortly thereafter. Best of all, the pair of North Americans seems to be winning over discerning Irish music authorities. Daithi Sproule of the seminal Irish group Altan praised Wait There Pretty One for "the clarity, skill and honesty in the playing and singing and the great repertoire of material chosen." The Munster Express said Rendell and Miller "bring sunlight into your heart and set your feet a dancing."

Two more shows this month

Danish fiddle / guitar duo Haugaard & Hoirup play St. James Hall on May 22nd as part of their 10th anniversary world tour. They have a brand new double CD / DVD, and are an absolute must-see for any fans of acoustic / world / fiddle music. You will not hear better fiddle playing anywhere this year, and the guitar accompaniment is equally stunning.

Kansas City's The Wilders are one of the most danceable bands on the bluegrass / old time / acoustic country music circuit. Their concerts are fun, and exceptionally entertaining. They too have a new CD, and the last time they played St. James the venue was a hotbed of dancing. Don't miss their return engagement on Friday May 30th!

Edge On Folk, Saturday May 10th, 8am to noon, CiTR fm 101.9 and

Please join me for 4 hours of the best in folk and roots music. I'll have some new releases by the likes of Canadian duo Stewed Roots, Israeli singer Mor Karbasi, Tennessee bluegrass combo The Dixie Bee-Liners, and lots more.

Rogue Folk Review

The next issue of the Review will come out next week. All being well. If anyone would like to contribute a preview or review, that would be excellent!

Patty Larkin Show

The concert last Sunday was great. The attendance was very disappointing. Peter Mulvey's set was a real bonus! A wonderful communicator and an excellent songwriter. he'll be back for sure!

For those of you who missed out on seeing Patty, here's a link to a review of the show, from Riveting Riffs e-zine. The review appears on the front page at It is the lead item near the top of the page.

Cheers for now
See you tomorrow!!