Steve's Blog
30 Years of Radio History with Strings, Goatskins, and musical merriment!
Friday May 29, 2015

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Saturday May 30th 8pm
Ten Strings & A Goatskin (PEI)


Bon Debarras (Quebec)
St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Tickets $20 ($16 members) on sale at Highlife Records, Prussin Music, Red Cat Records, Rufus' Guitar Shop, and at the door up to showtime. Also available 

This will be a unique evening of exciting music by two great young acoustic trios, presenting Celtic & Roots music from the Maritimes and Quebec! 

Described by The Guardian as “A seamless, polished, barrel-drum-tight, rhythmically innovative & wildly entertaining traditional music powerhouse”, Ten Strings & A Goatskin won the 2015 East Coast Music Award for World Music Recording Of The Year for their debut CD, Corbeau. Playing Irish, Acadian, French & original creations, infused with modern and world rhythms, they have created a fiery, contagious & unique sound that has them touring throughout Canada, the US & Europe.  Industry heavyweights reference their rare musicality as belying the members' young ages of 19 & 21 years. With seemingly ceaseless energy, Jesse Périard and brothers Rowen and Caleb Gallant, ignite onstage as Ten Strings And A Goat Skin. The Ten Strings are played by Periard (guitar), who was born and raised in a Fench-speaking musical household in Quebec, and Rowen Gallant (fiddle.) Rowen's brother, Caleb, plays the goatskin drum, the bodhran. They are nephews of Lennie Gallant, the famed PEI songwriter from Rustico, who produced their CD. The trio have made a huge impression in their short career, earning a spot at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and garnering rave reviews in England and France. We saw them at the Folk Alliance in Kansas City in February, and were mightily impressed with their exuberance and musical skills. Check out their 
website for more information. 

Bon Debarras will make a special guest appearance, courtesy of the Vancouver and Surrey Children's Festivals, who have graciously allowed them to perform at The Rogue while they are in town. Bon Debarras make their final appearance at the Vancouver Children's Festival on Friday May 29th at 12:30pm at Granville Island's Performance Works. Our show will be their only evening concert on this tour, and we hope you will enjoy their Rogue debut. Bon Débarras’ folk music is deeply rooted in the memory of French-speaking America. On their guitars, banjo, uprightbass, accordion, washboard and harmonicas, and integrating foot percussion, jig and body percussion, the trio creates musical atmospheres that transcend boundaries and ages. For more information, visit

Don't miss this amazing double bill, featuring two of the most exciting bands in the country!

Friday June 26th and Saturday June 27th
Tom Russell
St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Tickets $32 ($28 members) on sale at Highlife Records, Prussin Music, Red Cat Records, Rufus' Guitar Shop, and at the door up to showtime. Also available online
We just received a copy of Tom Russell's latest CD, The Rose Of Roscrae. I've been playing songs from the downloads for a few weeks, but this week I managed to hear it in its entirety. What an incredible album it is! It is a history of the American west, taking in Tom's family roots in Ireland, and incorporating cowboy poets, the ghosts of Walt Whitman, A.L. Lloyd, and Crazy Horse, and guest singers including Gretchen Peters, Maura O'Connel, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Ian Tyson, Bonnie Dobson, Rambling Jack Elliot, and Finbar Furey. It tells the tale of Irish cowboy John Dutton, starting in Roscrae from whence he was banished by his sweetheart (Rose)'s father. He moved to America, with his brother and became a notorious outlaw. He married Rose - who had moved to California - then cheated on her and lived a life of crime. Escaping the gallows with the help of crooked frontier judge Augie Blood, he worked as a rancher and a card shark and eventually moved back to Ireland, to be reunited - platonically - with Rose, who had by this time returned to run the family farm in Roscrae. Meanhwile the songs take in such unlikely elements as Fr. Damien from Belgium, who founded a leper colony on Molokai, Mexican saints, Indian wars, a buffalo hunt, and many tales of lost love and infidelity. The double CD, which runs over 2h 40m, has a companion book - a libretto with lyrics, stories and bios of the guest performers. Even by Tom Russell's standards, this is a monumental work! Tom cut his teeth on Vancouver's skid road bars in the early 1970s, having worked in Nigeria during the Biafran war in the 60s. An educated criminologist, novelist, compelling story teller, painter, and an avid historian with a compulsiuve fascination for the "soft underbelly" of American society, Tom has recorded dozens of albums, each progressively even more impressive than the last! His writing seemed to take a quantum leap forward with 2009's Blood & Candle Smoke, conciding with his marriage to Swiss beauty Nadine Russell, who is also his manager these days. Mesabi was his next award-winning CD (2011), and now comes The Rose of Roscrae. We can't wait to hear some of the new songs, performed Live, accompanied by the brilliant Portland guitarist Thad Beckman. The last time Tom played at The Rogue, his two concerts each featured an entirely different repertoire, and included readings from his story-songbook. What will he do this time, we wonder? We know for sure they will be wo incredible nights at The Rogue! Tickets are selling fast, so book yours now to avoid disappointment. For more info, check out

Folk Festival Ticket Deals
We sell Early Bird weekend tickets to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival to our members every year. Members can purchase as many tickets as they like at the discount rate of $135 (regular Early Bird tickets are $149) up to June 14th. If you would like to purchase Seniors' tickets, please email us first to confirm availability. The price will be $80. (We have not done this before, but it occurs to us that everyone is getting older, every day! We need to have at least 15 Seniors purchasing tickets in order for us to get the discount, so please do email us if you're a Rogue member and over the age of 65. Please note: proof of age ID will be required at the gate.) Click here to purchase from the Rogue website.
We will also be selling Mission Folk Festival tickets - just as soon as we receive confirmation on the ticket prices for Rogues. 

Update on St. James Hall
The latest news on saving St. James Community Square is that the church that owns the building will only sell it to the Society that has been running it as a Community Centre for the past 21 years. It will not be demolished to make way for condos. This is great news!! We will begin Fundraising just as soon as we get an official purchase price and agreement on paper. Stay tuned!!
Trip to Ireland
Margaret & I head to Ireland for a couple of weeks next week. It's a holiday, but we will also be taking in the 3rd annual Doolin Folk Festival in Co. Clare, featuring the likes of Sharon Shannon, Paddy Keenan, We Banjo 3, Aldoc, NoCrows, and many more. It will be an amazing trip, and the festival comes with a great reputation! There are no Rogue concerts while we're away, but the final Contra Dance of the summer takes place at St. James Hall on Saturday June 6th, and the latest instalment of Ralph Shaw's hugely enjoyable monthly Roguelele Nights takes place at St. James Hall on Tuesday June 16th.

Radio Waves
This Saturday's edition of The Edge On Folk - 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and - just happens to be the 30th anniversary show! Hard to believe I started this radio show on June 1st 1985, with a backpack full of LPs! On this week's show I'll spin a few old favourites from the past 3 decades, preview some Rogue concerts and local festivals, and I will have two live bands playing in the studio! Ten Strings & A Goatskin and Bon Debarras will both join me! I hope you can join me, too! Tune in and turn on to 30 Years of Radio condensed into 4 hours of musical merriment!
Heather McCain will host the show while I'm away (June 6 and 13). All being well, I'll call in from Doolin with a report on the folk festival on the 13th! 

Some time next month CiTR will move into new studios in the new Student Union Building at UBC. How exciting! There will be a concert space too, so perhaps Tom Russell might come out to CiTR on the 27th ....

Radio Rogue features a special mix of musical memories from 30 years on CiTR as well as new releases, festival previews, and Rogue performers. It's available 24/7 on our website, and I'll update the playlist again over the weekend. It will be "amazingly amazing" (Zaphod Beeblebrox)