Steve's Blog
Two Amazing Shows This Weekend! And More To Come!!
Thursday April 14, 2016

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1. The Fretless, Friday, April 15th 8pm, Revue Theatre, Granville Island

The Fretless is a young and innovative band that melds the worlds of Celtic, folk and chamber music into an amazing and unique sound they like to call rad trad. They are: Trent Freeman – violin and viola, from BC. Karrnnel Sawitsky – violin and viola from Saskatchewan. Eric Wright – cello, from Los Angeles, California, and - on this tour - Ben Plotnick - brilliant young fiddler from Ontario.

The band has won three Canadian Folk Music Awards (2012 and 2014 Instrumental Group of the Year and 2012 Ensemble of the Year) and two Western Canadian Music Awards (2012 and 2014 Instrumental Album of the Year - i.e. for each of their two recordings to date!) They are set to release a new CD this summer and have heaps of new material, mining the rich motherlode of fiddle styles from all across Canada and around the world, revitalizing many tunes and traditions by adding their own compositions and arrangements to the medleys they weave on stage and in the studio.

Their previous Rogue appearances (in 2014 and 2015) were both sold out, and on each occasion they added guest vocalists to the show. They will have one or two guests this time. as well.

They may look like a string quartet, but with innovative arrangements and roots deeply based in Celtic and Canadian fiddle styles, The Fretless is creating their own unique path in the music world.

For full concert details and to purchase tickets click here

N.B. St. James Hall is not available this evening, so the venue is The Revue Theatre next to The Arts Club Theatre and Granville Island Market. We will have a limited selection of beer and wine and soft drinks and chips for sale in the lobby before the show and at intermission. Only bottled water is allowed inside the theatre. Parking is free on the Island after 4pm, just make sure you park in one of the 3-hour Parking stalls (i.e. most of the outdoor parking spaces on the Island.) There is a bike rack at the door of the theatre, but bike thefts are not uncommon around here. The Number 50 Bus stops just off the Island under the Granville Bridge at Anderson and West 2nd, and the Granville Street "cloverleaf" bus stop is only a couple of blocks to the south. The Aquabus Ferry stop is just steps away from the Revue Theatre, and they run till 10:30pm to Hornby Street, 10pm to Yaletown / David Lam Park / Stamps Landing and Spyglass, and 9:45pm to Plaza of Nations / Olympic Village. The concert will probably run to around 10:30.

2. Corin Raymond & Jonathan Byrd, Sunday, April 17th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Corin Raymond is a singer/songwriter in the style of Johnny Cash who often draws comparisons to John Prine. Like Johnny Cash, Raymond is a troubadour whose robust veracity of soul appeals to old folks and children alike. As with John Prine, Raymond’s material appeals to other songwriters as much as to his cross-generational fans, and his songs have been covered by the likes of Dustin Bentall, The Good Lovelies, The Strumbellas, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and a far flung community of roots musicians and enthusiasts. Corin famously funded an album with Canadian Tire money a couple of years ago, and his one-man show about it was a big hit at last year's Fringe Festival! His songs are very Canadian, slightly apocalyptic, and suggest criminal activity. Judges quote his lyrics when handing sentences down. Truckers cry. He has the words you’ve been looking for. He will be accompanied by Toronto's Brian Kobayakawa on acoustic bass.

To celebrate the highly anticipated release of his new album Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams, Corin is touring with long-time friend & songwriter, Jonathan Byrd (above), from North Carolina. Jonathan has become one of the most respected troubadours of our time since recording his first "folk" album at the turn of the millennium. I highly recommend you read his Auto-Bio on his website. You will learn a lot about the man and his musical roots. Then come and hear him sing with guitarist Johnny Waken.

Here is what singer Mary Gauthier says about Jonathan: “Wonderful songwriting, deeply rooted in what makes American Roots Music great: Deep Southern Pain. It’s the hurt that brings the songs, and it’s the songs that heal the hurt."

For full concert details and to purchase tickets click here


3. April In Paris , Thursday April 21st to Saturday April 23rd 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Don't forget that next week we have our 10th Annual Festival of Gypsy Jazz - April In Paris (Thursday April 21st with Van Django and Company B Jazz Band; Deanna Knight & The Hot Club Of Mars' annual Cabaret / Burlesque show on Friday April 22nd; and hot guitarist Marc Atkinson & his Trio plus AIP debutantes Black Gardenia on Saturday April 23rd.) This 3-day celebration of the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli is always a highlight of our year. There will be fabulous music, singing, dancing, and all manner of merriment, transforming St. James Hall into a Parisian-style cabaret from the 1930s. More details are on our website, and tickets may be purchased or reserved there.



4. A Mighty String Thing, Sunday April 24th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Come celebrate the Guitar in a unique show called A Mighty String Thing - featuring 6 guitarists in the round: Bill Kirchen ("The Titan of the Telecaster"), Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, Natalie MacMaster etc.), Cecile Doo-Kingue (Cameroon-born, NYC raised, Montrealer - a huge hit at the VFMF last July), Doug Cox (master dobro / slide player), Sam Hurrie (rock and blues guitar hero who spent 35 years working at a Powell River pulp mill before returning to music), and Mark Stuart (Stacey Earle's partner and former guitarist with Steve Earle's Dukes.)

For full concert details and tickets click here



5. Radio waves

Tune in to The Saturday Edge On Folk (hosted by me, Steve Edge - pictured above) every Saturday from 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and to hear music by Rogue performers, new releases, themed selections, and whatever else shook my world this week!

You can also hear great music all hours on Radio Rogue - an ever-expanding playlist of over 1,000 selections, coming to you from somewhere beneath the Granville Bridge! Just point your browser here