Steve's Blog
Monday March 11, 2013

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Hi everyone

It's a HUGE week at The Rogue (actually a HUGE fortnight!)

It occurred to me the other day that what we have at The Rogue is something rather magical. St. James Hall is a lovely old building with great acoustics. We have some of the best sound guys on the planet with a sound system tailored to the venue. Our volunteers are a dedicated group who do amazing work every night to make your concert experience as comfortable and friendly as possible. And the music we present, while not exactly "mainstream", and certainly not widely known - gives us some truly wonderful musical events. The Rogue may not be the highest profile venue in town, and Folk Music may not be everyone's idea of a good night out, but we are proud of our 26 year history. We have presented over 50 shows per year since 1987. Our musicians are some of the most creative and talented performers in the world.

It also occurred to me that we have / need a very circular definition of folk music: or Roots Music as I prefer to call it.

African -> Blues -> Cajun -> Old Time -> Bluegrass -> Country -> Singer / Songwriters -> Trad. Folk -> Celtic - >Gypsy -> Jazz and back to Africa again (with a few side-trips to Scandinavia, France, Spain, The Balkans, and Latin America thrown in somewhere along the road. Not to mention Australasia, Asia, etc. !)

If you have EVER experienced a magical night at The Rogue, we'd love it if you would share your memories in our Guestbook.

AND please join our Facebook group

Special Events this week:

1. Bruce Molsky & John Reischman, Tuesday March 12th at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Two CD Launches in one night!!

Bruce Molsky is a superb fiddler, banjo player, guitarist and singer with a true Appalachian soul - even though he hails from The Bronx and only discovered Old Time music a decade or so back. On his new CD, If It Ain't Here When I Get Back, Bruce covers a myriad of styles from Blues to Bluegrass / Country to Old Time fiddle and banjo tunes and very soulful songs. He is one of the most popular and in-demand musicians and arrangers on the planet, and one of his most recent guest appearances is on the new CD by Vancouver-Based mandolinist extraordinaire, John Reischman. John is best known as the leader of the wonderful Bluegrass combo The Jaybirds. His third solo CD, Walk Along John, brings in a new band, and a broader range of musical styles. Joining him tonight will be Eli West (guitar), Trent Freeman (fiddle) and Patrick Metzger (bass) - plus a Jaybird or two! Oh, and of course, Bruce Molsky! It will be an amazing show. If you're at all interested in brilliant musicianship and any kind of acoustic stringed instruments you need to be there!

More information on the concert can be found here.

Tickets can be purchased online at the above link or at the door.

2. Stephen Fearing, Thursday March 14th at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Now living in Halifax, Rogue Folk co-founder Stephen Fearing makes a welcome return with a brilliant new CD, Between Hurricanes. There are 10 new original songs on the CD, plus a stunning cover of Gordon Lightfoot's classic Early Morning Rain. Stephen was here in November with the very wonderful rockin' Blackie & The Rodeo Kings at The Vogue. This time it's just him. No less soulful and captivatingly intense, but a lot more acoustic with rather more subtle power. You can read all about Stephen's new CD - and pretty much his new life - here.

Again, tickets can be purchased online at the above link or at the door.

3. Archie Fisher & Ballyhooley, Sunday March 17th at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day evening with one of Scotland's most celebrated songwriters and a very fine local Celtic trio! Archie Fisher possesses one of the richest, warmest voices in contemporary Celtic music and folk song. He rarely tours this far from home, so don't miss this chance to see him. He is a totally captivating performer and raconteur and an evening of his music is like sharing a glass or two of Single Malt with friends in front of a roaring fire on a cool winter's night. Ballyhooley play fiddle, uilleann pipes and guitar and offer up spirited renditions of traditional Irish and Scots dance music and song. They might even join Archie on one or two of his most famous compositions (Witch Of The Westmoreland, Dark Eyed Molly etc.) Whatever happens, we guarantee you a fine ending to the Big Day!

More information can be found here.

And again, tickets can be purchased online at the above link or at the door.

Coming next week!

4. New Country Rehab + Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, Thursday March 21st at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

This will be an amazing evening of new "folk" music! Toronto's New Country Rehab features John Showman on fiddle and vocals and Champagne James Robertson on pedal steel and National guitars. They have just released their second CD, Ghost Of Your Charms. Their music is a stunning mix of old, real, blue collar country music with acid folk overtones and searingly hot fiddle.

The first half of the program features young Vermont singer / songwriter Anais Mitchell with ace guitarist / singer Jefferson Hamer. The duo teamed up last year to record a very special CD of Child Ballads - the ancient story songs of Scotland and England - giving them a refreshing new feel, while staying true to the roots of the music. I saw them in Toronto the other week at the Folk Alliance and their set was one of - if not THE - most impressive and compelling events at the entire conference.

For more information, visit the concert page.

5. Tom Russell, Saturday March 23rd at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Tom Russell is credited - along with his good friend Dave Alvin - with creating the genre "Americana". They recorded a tribute album to Merle Haggard, and thus a new genre was born! Tom made his performance debut at clubs in Vancouver and around B.C. 4 decades ago. His travels have taken him to Africa, to Norway, to Ireland, and beyond. Exploring his own family roots and writing story songs about the characters, the real people, often the forgotten ones, on the wrong side of the tracks or just down on their luck. Inspired by writers like Kerouac and Ferlinghetti, and of course, Dylan - and Ian & Sylvia - Tom has created a masterly array of songs over those 40 years. His latest two CDs, Blood & Candle Smoke and Mesabi, are his most powerful and impressive yet. He will be accompanied by the brilliant and versatile Portland guitarist Thad Beckman.

This show is almost Sold Out, so act fast if you want to see it! Go to the concert page for tickets and details.

and this just in!

6. Tom Russell, Sunday March 24th at 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Yes! A second show has been added, but this is not a mere repeat of the previous night. Far from it! Tom recently published his first Songbook, and it contains not just the words and music of no less than 120 of his songs, but also short essays and anecdotes about those songs and their origins. Tom will read excerpts from the book and take requests all night long, striving not to repeat any of the songs he plays on Saturday! So it will be an equally memorable show, and if you can't make it on Saturday - or if you are a devotee and want to hear EVERYTHING (in which case you have extremely good taste!) come to BOTH shows!

We will have tickets for this show on sale on the website from Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. There will not be any tickets available at the door on the Saturday, but there likely will be on Sunday; I wouldn't advise risking it, though. Please book your tickets to avoid disappointment!

7. Coming Soon

and don't forget next month we present our 7th Annual Festival of Gypsy Jazz - April In Paris (April 12-14) - full details will be announced next week - and Blues Night Out with the legendary Taj Mahal Trio and special guest Shemekia Copeland, the new Queen of the Blues (April 25th at The Chan Centre, UBC. Tickets for Taj Mahal are going fast. They are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, or in-person at The Chan Centre, and at all Rogue Folk events. Full details here.

8. Also going on this week

CelticFest Vancouver 2013! March 9 - 17 around Downtown Vancouver

For lovers of all things Celtic (and who isn't?) the 9th Annual CelticFest Vancouver, March 9-17 delivers the best celebration of Celtic music, dance and culture to date, with over 70 free and ticketed concerts and events over 9 days.

Tickets are still available for CelticFest shows. Get your seats today for three of the hottest (and most affordable) Celtic concerts around!

Cape Breton's Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac and Scotland's Maeve Mackinnon Thursday, March 14 @ 8:00 pm Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St.

Hear the glorious musical partnership of Cape Breton Gaelic singer Mary Jane Lamond and fiddler Wendy MacIsaac, currently making big waves for their album Seinn, as well as a rare visit to Canada from the fabulous Maeve Mackinnon, twice-nominated Scotland's "Gaelic Singer of the Year".

Regular ticket prices $30 advance / $35 at the door

St. Pat's Rocks with The Town Pants Friday, March 15 @ 8:00 pm, The Venue, 881 Granville St.

Kick-start your St. Pat's weekend with a band known for their rollicking shows full of passion, power, and spirit. The Town Pants bring their blend of traditional, folk & roots-rock called West Coast Celtic home for this special show. Put on your dancing pants and come on down! Tickets: $20 advance / $25 at the door (must be 19 years+) To purchase:

CelticFest Ceilidh Saturday, March 16 @ 8:00 pm Vancouver FanClub, 1050 Granville St.

Let down your hair & kick up your heels - it's time to Ceilidh! Host Tim Readman welcomes Qristina & Quinn Bachand, Mairi Rankin, Allan Dionne, Oliver Swain's BIG MACHINE (Oliver Swain, bass, banjo, vocals; James Whital, mandolin, guitar; Patrick Boyle, trumpet, slide guitar) plus some surprise guests. Tickets: $25 advance / $30 at the door (must be 19 years+) Available at:

PLUS there are many great FREE events, with lots of Celtic music to enjoy, including:

Mahony & Sons CELTIC VILLAGE - March 16 & 17 weekend on Granville St. between Robson & Nelson


The 9TH Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade - Sunday, March 17 at 11 am (starting at Howe & Davie, proceeding north on Howe to Georgia St., ending at Georgia & Granville)

For full information on free & ticketed concerts and events, including shows in participating pubs & restaurants, plus tickets to all concerts, go to:

CelticFest Program Guides can be picked up at Blenz Coffee outlets in the Lower Mainland and at participating venues.