Steve's Blog
Thursday March 21, 2013

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Hi everyone

Tonight's concert at the Rogue promises to be a leading contender for Concert Of The Year! Then, on the weekend, we have two nights with the remarkable songwriter Tom Russell. Saturday's show is just about sold out; there may be a few tickets left at Highlife or Rufus, or even on our website, but not for long! So we added another show on Sunday, and it is already selling well.

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

New Country Rehab's powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. Canada's answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons Nigel Williamson, UNCUT (Jan. 2012)

Spearheaded by lead singer and fiddle player John Showman joined by "Champagne" James Robertson on guitar, Ben Whiteley on double bass and Roman Tome on drums, the Toronto based collective is poised to be the next big thing in Canadian music Tom Power, CBC. They have a new CD out for this tour, and they were absolutely amazing at The Rogue last March - and again at Island Musicfest and Edmonton Folk Festival last summer.

Anais Mitchell is an American songwriter with a difference. Not content with writing songs of her own experiences, last year she created a masterpiece, Young Man In America. She will be joined by guitarist Jefferson Hamer, who last played The Rogue with fiddler Laura Cortese a couple of years ago. Anais & Jefferson have just released an album of Child Ballads, the ancient story songs of Scotland & England. It is monumentally gorgeous and compelling! They were a huge hit at the recent Folk Alliance conference in Toronto. Not to be missed!

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

One of America's very best songwriters, Tom Russell lives near the Texas border town of Juarez (close to El Paso). He has performed 15 times at The Rogue and has released a string of amazing albums over the past few decades. He cut his teeth in the bars of Vancouver's skid road in the 1970s, quit performing for a while, and was famously convinced to resume his career when Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter was a passenger in his NYC taxi cab. Tom's 1999 album, The Man From God Knows Where, traced his family roots to Norway and Ireland and tells of his ancestors' troubles during the pioneer days in America. From that point onwards he has released some of the very best lyrical work this side of Bob Dylan. His songs and stories tell the tales of the victims and vagabonds living on the soft underbelly of America's forgotten towns; the down and outs with the most poignant epic experiences. His latest album, Mesabi, continues his fabulous discography, and this will be his first Vancouver concert in over two years - and only his second in the past five years.

3. Tom Russell, Sunday March 24th 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!

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

On this week's show I'll have new music from Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Brass Monkey, Taj Mahal, Rokia Traore, Billy Bragg, Salif Keita, Battlefield Band, Niyaz, Sekouba Bambino, Boz Scaggs, John Wort Hannam, New Country Rehab, Harry Manx, Bob Brozman, and lots more (that should give you an idea of just how eclectic the show can be!) Plus heaps of surprises, and plenty of music from artists who will soon be appearing in town. I strive to make it the most comprehensive - and entertaining - guide to the local scene - and the global scene - available on the airwaves. Please join me for four hours of the very best music; music that isn't available anywhere else, either! You can listen live on 101.9fm or Telus TV channel 3717, or better still, live over the internet on Podcasts of the show are available for download or streaming on that website as well (filed under The Saturday Edge)

5. Taj Mahal & Shemekia Copeland, Thursday April 25th 8pm, The Chan Centre, 6265 Crescent Road, UBC

It's Blues Night Out with a Living Blues Legend and the new Queen of the Blues in a remarkable bill that marks the biggest concert ever undertaken by The Rogue! Taj Mahal's career spans over four decades now, and Sony Music has just released a double CD, The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal, containing previously unreleased songs from the studio and a full-length concert from London's Royal Albert Hall from 1970. With dozens of albums to his credit - including gems like Natch'l Blues (1968) and Maestro (2008), not to mention collaborations with the Culture Music Club Of Zanzibar, Toumani Diabate, Eric Bibb, and a prominent role in the blockbuster movie O Brother Where Art Thou?, Taj Mahal has had a huge impact on the music scene - and on all of our lives. Now he comes to Vancouver for the first time in years; and he's bringing his regular bandmates, Kester Smith (percussion) and Billy Rich (bass) for this incredible night at The Chan!

Shemekia Copeland narrowly missed out on the Grammy the other week for Blues Album of the Year for her latest CD, 33 1/3 (both her age at the time of recording, and her favourite recorded medium!) She is the daughter of the late Blues legend Johnny Copeland, and a worthy successor to Koko Taylor as the new Queen of the Blues. She will open the evening with her fine band.

You can buy tickets in person at all Rogue concerts (if you are a Van City member you can save 10% on the tickets at our Sales Table; just present your Van City member card or visa card), and also at The Chan Centre Box Office at UBC. They are on sale at Rufus' Guitar Shop and Highlife Records. Tickets are also available online on and at all Ticketmaster outlets. We will soon have tickets on sale on our website, so keep checking the concert page.

See you at The Rogue!