Steve's Blog
Read On For The Very Best Folk / Roots Music in Town!
Monday September 26, 2016

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1. Connie Kaldor, Thursday, September 29th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Connie Kaldor
is one of Canada's best-loved singer / songwriters and a supreme entertainer! Music pundits have tried to define the essence of the prairie-born acoustic performer for over two decades, but even the most eloquent have fallen short of perfection. Fact is, Connie Kaldor is a performer without borders. A contradiction in terms. She is a Juno Award-winning singer who has flourished on the folk music scene for over two decades, yet her repertoire of original material blurs musical boundaries, embracing elements of gospel, rock, country and western, folk, bluegrass and adult contemporary.

“A masterful performer, wildly funny one moment, deeply personal the next.” - The Boston Globe

She is an artist of substance without pretension, witty and urbane without condescension. She is a fearless chronicler of the human experience without the folk song angst. She has recorded nine albums, sold tens of thousands of copies, but has never had a commercial hit. Her live performances are legendary and her fan base broad and fiercely loyal. People come back to see her again and again because a Connie Kaldor performance is about more than just the power of music. It is also about the power of personality. What she says between songs is as intriguing as the lyrics she sings.

Tickets are selling fast! Don't miss out.

2. Marin Patenaude, Friday, September 30th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

is the sister of Pharis Romero (of Juno-winning duo Pharis & Jason). She opened for them last year, and we were blown away by her gorgeous singing! Marin has just released her debut CD, Follow Through, and the official CD launch is at St. James Hall this Friday. She will feature an amazing band, including jazz cellist Peggy Lee and drummer Kenton Loewen, who produced the album. She will bring her superb band, which includes Scott Smith (pedal steel), Cole Schmidt on guitar, Darren Parris on bass, and Tyson Naylor on keys - and a fiddler, possibly Jesse Zubot. Whilst this is not a Rogue show, per se (i.e. no members discounts and no Parcels of Rogues), we are more than happy to help out such brilliant local musicians whenever possible by staging the show. We hope you can make it. Tickets are selling fast! They are on sale at Highlife Records, Tapestry Music, and online at

3. Barrule, Sunday, October 2nd 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

The unique sound of traditional Manx music is the Celtic world’s best kept secret. This is set to change with the introduction of Barrule, the award winning trio hell-bent on taking the Isle of Man’s music to a much wider audience. The trio’s award winning debut album, self-titled Barrule, showcases a diverse collection of material from rousing marches, jigs and reels to sorrowful slow airs and beautiful songs sung in the Manx Gaelic language. Their follow up album, Manannan’s Cloak, was recorded in December 2014 in the historic St. Bridget’s Chapel, in the Isle of Man’s Nunnery grounds.

Named after the famous Manx summit where legend says the ancient Celtic God Manannan MacLir stalked his mighty fortress, Barrule fuses three distinct musical forces – gifted fiddle-player Tomas Callister, accordion wizard Jamie Smith (of Welsh band Mabon) and versatile accompanist Adam Rhodes (Mabon and Manx band King Chiaullee) on bouzouki. Together this versatile acoustic unit creates a powerful and wholly distinctive sound. While sharing common ground with its Celtic cousins, as well as the English tradition, Manx music has retained its own particular and inherent Manxness: an atmosphere evoked by the music that speaks of the natural beauty of the island and the lives of its inhabitants.

Come on down to The Rogue this Sunday to hear one of the most exciting young Celtic bands on the planet making their first ever appearance in Vancouver! We guarantee an incredible evening of exhilarating music. Click here for tickets and more info.

4. Guy Davis, Thursday, October 6th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Guy Davis
is an American blues guitarist and banjo player, and actor. He is the son of the actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. While carrying the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, Guy Davis came back with some fresh inspiration and new stories to tell. Kokomo Kidd, his first all-­new album in two years, finds the blues ambassador visiting fresh territory. “It’s a new beginning for me,” he says, “The first time I've produced myself. What I‘m showing here is a side of me that’s deep inside. It’s needing air and light, and here it comes!”

Davis says his blues music is inspired by the southern speech of his grandmother. Though raised in the New York City area, he grew up hearing accounts of life in the rural south from his parents and especially his grandparents, and they made their way into his own stories and songs.His deft acoustic playing and well-­â€crafted lyrics are here as always. Some songs find Davis calling on his gifts as an actor and storyteller, while others are as personal as it gets.

"The ghost of Pete Seeger is present throughout Guy Davis' new album. Davis hits all the high marks on Kokomo Kidd, releasing his best album to date, to my ears. Casting an eye over his shoulder, he finds the juice to move forward with a batch of songs that represent the breadth and depth of his remarkable career, showcasing his strength as a songwriter, performer, and producer. Davis is in full storytelling mode here, with compositions that paint portraits of politicians, dealers, victims, and lovers. A few of the numbers unfold like scenes from a movie -- you can see the secret late-night dope drops, watch the heartbroken son hang his head and weep over the loss of his mother." - J. McSpadden, No Depression

For tickets and information click here

5. Birds Of Chicago, Friday, October 7th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Birds of Chicago
is a collective based around JT Nero and Allison Russell. Whether touring as duo or with the full family band, Nero and Russell have emerged as two of the most compelling new voices in North American Roots music.

For several years Russell's and Nero's respective bands, Po' Girl (Vancouver) and JT and the Clouds (Chicago), have collaborated extensively, but in 2011's Mountains/Forests, released under the JT Nero banner, they tapped into the true, bewitching power of their voices together on an entire record. It also featured the full cast of characters that would round out the Birds of Chicago ensemble -- the Clouds and Michelle McGrath, the luminous singer and picker from the hidden hills of Southeast Ohio.

More recently they released their 3rd CD, Real Midnight, and were the biggest hit at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in July.

"Real Midnight, their Joe Henry-produced second studio album, finds Russell and Nero memorializing the intense, freewheeling, all-too-fleeting attachments of youth , eulogizing fellow dreamers and meditating on mortality. Really, though, they devote most of their creative energies to imagining a richer, more sentient present against that temporal backdrop."- Jewly Hight, NPR.

This show is almost sold out. We don't have any more tickets left online, and have cut off reservations and Parcels. Do not despair, though! There are still tickets available at Highlife Records, Red Cat Records, Rufus' Guitar Shop, and Tapestry Music.

6. Bumper Jacksons, Friday October 14th 8pm, CBC Studio 700 (700 Hamilton Street)

Like an old-time barn dance in downtown New Orleans, the Bumper Jacksons pull together a vast array of early American traditions into a deliciously cohesive sound that strikes you right in the heart. It’s a sound that’s pure passion…. joyous ragtime dances and roadhouse drinking songs are complemented by delicate waltzes of loss and regret. They will be making their second trip across their northern border to perform at the Rogue Folk Club - this time at CBC Studio 700 (St. James Hall is not available this night.)

The Bumper Jacksons started out humbly in 2012 as a country-meets-city duet between Jess Eliot Myhre (clarinet, vocals, washboard) and Chris Ousley (guitar, vocals, banjo) in the backyards, living rooms and front porches of DC and Baltimore. They soon ventured out and honed their chops in the dark jazz clubs of New Orleans as well as their favorite old-time fiddler’s conventions throughout the southern Appalachians.

Chris and Jess built the core of the Bumper Jacksons’ sound through these diverse and unassuming beginnings. It has matured quickly over these few short years and caught the interest of the rest of the Bumper Jacksons members. Dave Hadley (pedal steel), Alex Lacquement (upright bass, vocals), Dan Samuels (drum kit, suitcase) & Brian Priebe (trombone) masterfully amplify the diversity of tone, rhythm and power that defines the band’s core sound. The success of the band’s last two albums - Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy Come In (2014) and Too Big World (2015) – demonstrate the ongoing refinement of their scrappy-yet-elegant, familiar-yet-reaching sound that explores a full spectrum of human emotion in its goal for the caramel core of Americana.

So whether it’s a packed house in a historic amphitheatre or a fireside in the hills of western Maryland, the intimate ballads, growly blues, and fast paced two-steps will call you into another world that’s at once like home and the road. Theirs is a truly Americana sound that grabs at your soul and connects you with over 150 years of human passion. If you’ve got lips, they’ll smile… if you’ve got feet, they’ll dance… if you’ve got a heartbeat, it’ll quicken… all when you hear the sounds of the Bumper Jacksons!

Tickets and info. here

7. Fred Eaglesmith, Saturday, October 15th 8pm, Rio Theatre (1660 E. Broadway at Commercial)

Fred Eaglesmith
is a veteran of the music industry and at the same time is about as far away from actually participating in today’s music industry as one could be. Never operating within anyone’s boundaries, he continues to set the standard for independent artists everywhere. Fred can talk to you about almost anything. Chances are, he's had that car, tractor, job, relationship, idea, and hat. But throughout his life and experiences there's always one thing that's remained the same: his undeniable gift for writing a song. Aspiring songwriters and performers of all ages call and write Fred with questions on how to have a career like his and what can he say?

"Start writing songs when you're 10 years old. Grow up with poverty, agriculture and religion and 8 siblings. Run away from home. Hop freight trains. Start a business. Lose a business. Struggle to get any gig. Drive to Nashville with no money & pockets full of songs. Get a record deal. Lose a record deal. Win a Juno. Break down on the side of the road every day for days on end. Become a cult hero and amass a following of self-proclaimed Fred Heads. Tour relentlessly. Become everyone's favourite. Becomes nobody's favorite. Follow your gut. Smarten up. Don't care what anybody thinks. Be fair. Be loyal no matter what. Keep going. Soften up. Give people a break. Expect nothing. Give everything. Keep going. Allow yourself to be happy. Find out who you are & deal with that. Don't stay in fancy hotels. Write good songs."

After all these years touring USA, Canada and Europe – having his songs covered by some of the biggest names in music, and appearing on “The Late Show” with David Letterman – the enigmatic, countrified, Rock n' Roll troubadour: Fred Eaglesmith, is touring with musical wife Tif Ginn!

Tif Ginn is a gutsy, amazing singer and a transcendent songwriter who has spent most of her life touring and playing music. Her impressive, sultry vocals and glorious harmonies with Fred, along with her multiple instrument additions to the show will have you in awe. This girl has it all - including Fred!

Don't miss this special duo show at the Rio Theatre!

8. Future Shows

Jez Lowe
is one of England's most prolific and relevant songwriters. He makes a rare visit to The Rogue on his way home to Co. Durham from a tour of Australia, stopping off for a couple of gigs in Alberta after our show, which takes place on Wednesday October 19th at 8pm at St. James Hall.

BC Country / Folk legend Roy Forbes returns to St. James Hall on Saturday October 22nd at 8pm.

Another of Canada's finest songwriters, James Keelaghan, comes back to St. James Hall, on Friday October 28th at 8pm.

Cape Breton fiddle music will fill the rafters at St. James Hall on Sunday November 6th with Wendy MacIsaac and Mairi Rankin accompanied by pianist Mac Morin.

We have two great nights of Canadian music for the November long weekend: Winnipeg vocal trio Sweet Alibi (above) with Toronto songwriter Jadea Kelly on Thursday November 10th and PEI's young powerhouse trad. trio Ten Strings & A Goatskin (below) the following night.


9. Update on St. James Hall and Fundraising
St. James Hall was saved from the wrecking ball earlier this year when the City of Vancouver purchased the building for the community. The City will be making some improvements to the building in the next few months, including a new roof and installing an accessible washroom on the main floor. The Community Square Society, which has operated the facility for over 20 years, is responsible for all other venue enhancements. New floors, ventilation, repairs and improvements to the stage and improved security are amongst the renovations needed. The City has agreed to match all funds raised dollar-for-dollar for the next year or two. We have added a temporary $2 Improvement Fee on all tickets, and are staging a Fundraising Concert on Friday November 18th at 8pm in the hall, with The Paperboys and the Gabriel Dubreuil Trio. Full details will be announced later.

10. Radio Waves
On this week's edition of the Saturday Edge On Folk on CiTR fm 101.9 I'll be spinning new music by The Fretless, Seth Lakeman, Gabriel Dubreuil, Nancy Kerr, The Bombadils, Coco Love Alcorn, Tom Russell, Nua, Claire Lynch, and more, as well as previewing music by upcoming Rogues and more sounds that grabbed me in Denmark and from Flanders. I hope you can tune in and join me from 8am to noon on Saturday. The show is also streamed Live on Podcasts and playlist of all shows can be found here

Radio Rogue runs 24/7 on our website. There are 1,000 songs on the playlist, shuffling amongst Rogues past, present & future, with some tasty new releases and old favourites added for good measure!