Steve's Blog
Happy Vernal Equinox / Rogue News / De Danann
Monday March 21, 2016

Keep in Touch

There are two ways you can receive these updates automatically:

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!

1. Rogue News Round-up
  • We have been very busy here at Rogue Towers, I must say! We just switched our business internet from Telus to Shaw - tripled the speed and halved the price! Not bad! Don't worry. All our contact information stays the same. We are busy with grant reports and applications, and conferences, and festival planning. Oh yes, and booking shows, too!
  • We had a fabulous concert with Sharon Shannon last week! She was so impressed with the atmosphere and the venue that not only does she want to come back next year, she also said that if she lived here she'd love to come to shows in such a nice venue.
  • CelticFest Vancouver is just about over now, bar one co-presentation we have for you tomorrow night at St. James Hall: the venerable Irish trad. sextet De Danann! (Details below).
  • We have also been very busy assembling our concert calendar for April, May, and June (even into September and October too!) Shows are being added to our website Concert Calendar every day! 
  • The David Francey concert on April 7th will definitely sell out, so book your tickets as soon as possible! David just added mandolinist James Whittall to his band for that night - joining Chris Coole (banjo) and Mark Westberg (guitar). David has a great new CD - Empty Train - with a whole bunch of memorable new songs for us. {That's David above, with Mark Westberg at The Rogue in 2013]
  • You might want to check out Bluebird North on April 6th at the Roundhouse, with Cara Luft & JD Edwards (see photo above - aka The Small Glories) giving us a sneak preview of their Rogue show on Saturday April 9th (a shared bill with Vancouver's Jenny Ritter, whose band includes Adrian Dolan of The Bills.) Also at BBN are Coco Love Alcorn, T. Buckley, and host Shari Ulrich.
  • Coming to the Blueshore Stage at Capilano U are two great shows: The Black Hen Travelling Road Show (April 2nd) - featuring Steve Dawson, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Russell deCarle (photo above from Rogue show in 2014 in White Rock), and Roxanne Potvin. Steve Dawson has a great new CD called Solid States & Loose Ends. Ontario's Lemon Bucket Orchestra plays the Blueshore Stage on April 14th. This 11-piece combo is always a big hit! A mind-blowing fusion of Balkan styles - and so much more!
  • Canadian string quartet The Fretless are playing their Rogue gig on Friday April 15th at The Revue Stage on Granville Island (St. James Hall is not available that night.) Their previous shows have both Sold Out (2014 and 2015) and The Revue Stage is only 200 seats, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment! The venue used to be affiliated with The Arts Club, and later became home to The Fringe and Theatre Sports. In 2017 it will be swallowed up by the expanding Granville Island Public Market, but for the remainder of this year it will be a live music venue. The last time we presented there was in 1988 when Newfoundland's Figgy Duff sold out two nights! 
  • Our 10th annual April In Paris festival of gypsy jazz runs from Thursday April 21st to Saturday April 23rd at St. James HallVan Django and Company B Jazz Band play on the 21st; Deanna Knight & The Hot Club Of Mars present their annual Cabaret night on the 22nd; and Marc Atkinson Trio and newcomers this year, Black Gardenia (featuring Daphne Rubini and Andy Smith with Paul Pigat and co.) play the 23rd. 
  • On Sunday April 24th we present a bonus concert - Mighty String Thing - celebrating many styles of guitar with an impressive cast featuring Doug Cox, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Mark Stuart (Stacey Earle's partner), Sam Hurrie, Bill Kirchen, and Kevin Breit! Six amazing guitarists in-the-round. 
  • Tickets and details of all these shows can be found on our website
  • This week, though, we are focusing on the first appearance of De Danann in Vancouver for many's the long year. Tickets are going fast. I hope you can make it!

2. De Danann, Tuesday March 22d, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

De Danann
 was formed in the mists of time (around 1980 or so) by Galway fiddler Frankie Gavin, and Dublin-based guitar / bouzouki player Alec Finn. They were joined by Mairtin O'Connor on accordion and Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh on bodhran in those days. The line-up recorded several albums with guest singers like Dolores Keane, Mary Black, Maura O'Connell, and the lineup - and band name - underwent several changes down the years. 

Singer Eleanor Shanley (above) took over the singing duties and when the band last appeared in town (1991 at the Celtica Festival, I think, although they may have played subsequently at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival,and they were definitely at the Mission Folk Music Festival a few years ago.) The band broke up in the 90s, and two groups were later formed: one with Frankie Gavin, and this one with Alec Finn and Eleanor Shanley, joined initially by McDonagh and former Four Men & A Dog banjoist Brian McGrathDe Danann released a wonderful comeback CD, WonderWaltz, in 2010 and they complete a tour of Western Canada with our show tomorrow night. New members Ronan O'Flaherty (fiddle) and Neill Lyons (bodhran - replacing "Ringo") embellish the band's sound, which is primarily instrumental - featuring some blistering reels and jigs, and very sophisticated arrangements of everything from Hey Jude to Mozart. On WonderWaltz, Eleanor Shanley sings three songs: two in English and one in Irish. Expect about 1/3 of their repertoire to be songs, the remainder will be instrumentals. 

De Danann continue to be musical pioneers, and amongst the best-loved and most widely respected trad. bands in Ireland. We relish this rare chance to hear them at The Rogue! Tickets on sale here

We hope to see you there... 


3. Radio Waves
The new CD by Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming arrived at Rogue Towers on Friday, and I featured three songs on The Saturday Edge On Folk last Saturday. I'll spin some new tunes from it over the next few weeks. Argentine twins Las Hermanas Caronni and Haitian group Lakou Mizik were featured on the latest sampler from English magazine fRoots and I was so smitten I just had to download the rest of their latest recordings. Tune in this Saturday to hear Las Hermanas covering a Doors' classic on cello and bass clarinet! I'll also have new music by Malian guitarist Delimady Tounkara, Steve Dawson, David Francey, Mavis Staples, Corin Raymond, Aziza Brahim, Eileen Ivers, Winnipeg's Small Glories, English trio Leveret, Welsh combo Calan, and Swedish trio Ode - plus some Easter songs and much more. I hope you can join me on CiTR fm 101.9 and on Saturday from 8am to noon.

Meanwhile, Radio Rogue is broadcasting from our website, 24/7, with a playlist of 1,000 or more songs.