Steve's Blog
Spring Season's Stunning Finale - and our AGM Notice
Tuesday June 7, 2016

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We finish our Spring season with two incredible concerts this week, marking the Vancouver debut of the quartet voted DC area's Bluegrass Band of the Year in each of the past four years - Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen - and one of Canada's most eclectic and acclaimed songwriters - Danny Michel.

1. Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen plus Annalisa Tornfelt, Wednesday June 8th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Frank Solivan
is a wonderful mandolinist who hails from Alaska and who relocated to Washington to form this very hot bluegrass combo. Frank is also a fine tenor singer, and the band's 2014 Cold Spell CD was nominated for a Grammy last year. He brings the band to The Rogue hot on the heels of his newest recording, which was just released on Compass Records.

Here's a snippet from a recent review in Raleigh-Durham's Indy Weekly:
It should come as little surprise that Family, Friends & Heroes opens with a blistering rendition of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" before winding through takes on standards and hit singles alike. Surrounded by collaborators including Sam Bush and his own mother, the spirited mandolin player chases "Leaving on a Jet Plane" with "Wayfaring Stranger." With his hotshot quartet Dirty Kitchen, Solivan has consistently tested the dividing lines between bluegrass and newgrass. The band packs dazzling solos into dizzyingly small spaces, funnelling bluegrass's love of dexterity into pop's love of brevity. There are occasional psychedelic flourishes and dips into smouldering ballads, but, at its best, Dirty Kitchen harnesses the most urgent aspects of the four-minute rock song format and bluegrass's technicality at once. It doesn't hurt that Solivan keeps Mike Munford, one of the sharpest banjo players in the business, and fresh-faced guitarist Chris Luquette for company.

As an extra treat there will be an opening set from Annalisa Tornfelt - last seen in town with Black Prairie at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 2014. Annalisa is a fine fiddler who also plays the Swedish keyed-fiddle, the nyckelharpa. And what a voice she has! Like liquid honey, sweet and seductive. She released two CDs last year, one of original songs and one of covers. They are both gorgeous collections of songs.

For tickets and information click here


2. Danny Michel, Friday June 10th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

We are delighted to be able to present one of Canada's most celebrated singer songwriters, Danny Michel, at The Rogue for the first time. Danny has just released a new album, Matadora (Six Shooter Records). It contains a gorgeous song he wrote for Italian cosmonaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who was aboard the International Space Station when he sent her the song by email, hoping she would like it. She did! She sent him an instant reply, which is probably mounted in a frame on his wall by now; after all, how many of us receive email sent from outer space? Amongst his previous albums is Loving The Alien - a remarkable collection of David Bowie songs. When Bowie passed away earlier this year I was trying to find folk-friendly versions of his songs. This is it! Apparently Danny is one of Bowie's biggest fans. A couple of years ago Danny spent several months in Belize, writing and recording with the Garifuna Collective - some of you may have seen some of them, including Aurelio Martinez, at The Rogue earlier this year. Blackbirds Are Dancing Over Me is a stunning CD that came from his time in Belize. We saw Danny performing with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield at the Folk Alliance in Kansas City last year. His performance at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival last August was incredible, too. I especially enjoyed his workshop with Tuvan folk-rockers, Hanggai, when Danny was so stunned by their heavier numbers that he hopped off the stage to film them on his smart phone. As you can tell, Danny Michel is one of the most adventurous and eclectic songwriters around! Don't miss his concert this Friday!! Get there early; it will be a full house - oh, and there will be a special beer-tasting too!

Click here for more info and to buy tickets - while there are still some left!


3. Brian Robertson CD Launch Concert, Saturday June 25th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Described as “a songwriting treasure”, Brian Robertson is perhaps best known for his well crafted songs about the Canadian west coast, and some fine songs about love, travel and the blues. His working life has been varied - as commercial fisherman, mill worker, cabbie, engineer, economist and historical consultant to First Nations - and from that springs the range and depth of his subject matter.

Brian’s new CD Times and Places is an eclectic compilation of tuneful music and imagery, bare emotion and story-telling that all will enjoy. Joining him at St. James Hall are some fabulous backing musicians: Amy Stephen, late of the folk super group Mad Pudding and well known choir conductor; Jeremy Holmes, the great all-rounder bassist; young fiddle sensation Michael Burnyeat and the wonderful multi-instrumentalist Victor Smith.

We have just added this concert to help Brian launch his new CD. Tickets will be on sale on our website later this week.

4. AGM Notice, Saturday June 25th, 6pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
As a registered non-profit Society in B.C. we are a democratic organization with an elected Board of Directors. We hold an Annual General Meeting in May or June each year, and this year it will precede Brian Robertson's CD launch at St. James Hall (in one of the rooms downstairs. Just follow the signs.) We would really appreciate a good turnout of Rogue members to elect the Board, and we have one vacancy - preferably for someone with extensive fundraising experience. Details of the election will be posted on our website later this week. If you are interested in joining the Board, please email Dan Bowditch, Board Chair:

5. Job Vacancy Update
We have received quite a few applications for the position of Admin Assistant / Marketing Support Specialist, and are interviewing candidates this week. There are some very talented people out there who want to help keep The Rogue at the forefront of Folk & Roots Music in Vancouver. Thank you! Applications are now closed. We will announce the new team member on our website later this week!