Steve's Blog
A particularly Good Friday concert & That Was The Week That Was!
Friday April 14, 2017

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1. The Small Glories plus Evie Ladin & Keith Terry, Friday April 14th, 8pm at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

We get Easter weekend off to a special start with an exciting double bill: two duos who have often shared the stage around North America in recent years. Winnipeg's The Small Glories are Cara Luft (vocals, guitar, banjo) and JD Edwards (vocals, guitar, harmonica). Their debut CD, Wondrous Traveller, has been in heavy rotation on Canada's campus and community stations - and CBC - for the past couple of years. Their songs have strong roots in traditional music and also make an excellent blend of upbeat and mellow. Local choirs have adopted Home into their repertoire and they deliver an excellent cover of Woody Guthrie's Way Over Yonder In A Minor Key.

Evie Ladin (vocals, banjo, percussive dance) and Keith Terry (bass, percussion, vocals) blend Appalachian clawhammer banjo with songs and dances from the African-American tradition. We reckon these duos will collaborate on stage - and maybe dance on it - and off! Evie's latest CD is called Jump The Fire, a figurative call to arms (or rather, legs) to get up and move to the music that moves us! Even if you don't move your body, your spirit will most definitely be uplifted - and your imagination will dance to the groove!

For tickets and information click here

2. That Was The Week That Was!

The Last Waltz Remembered
. We made an impulsive decision to attend the Band tribute night at The QE last week. What a show! Matt Andersen, Amy Helm and Corb Lund led Corb's band and special guest Joey Landreth on a wonderfully nostalgic yet contemporary slalom through the songs made famous by Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel all those years ago. They were joined by Barney and Dustin Bentall for a few songs, too. We had seats near the back, but since nobody sat in the front 4 rows in the first half we moved down to the 2nd row, right in front of Matt Andersen, for the second set. Good idea!!

Andrew Collins Trio & The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc

These two amazing acoustic trios graced the Rogue stage last Thursday. Toronto's A.C.T. demonstrated their prowess and underlined just why they won a CFMA last December for Instrumental Album Of The Year. The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc combined Olav's Norwegian hardanger fiddle with Kevin's Shetland fiddle, and Anders' Swedish octave violin to conjure up amazing arrangements of tunes from all the Nordic countries. Totally compelling stuff!

Carlos Nunez at The Vogue

Last Friday, Galician piper Carlos Nunez led his trio with brother Xurxo on drums and Pancho Alvares on bouzouki plus guest singer Maria Berasarte (vocals) and fiddler Carmen and a stunning young Basque trikitixa (accordion) diva whose name I couldn't quite catch (it means "the sea"). There were pipers from the Triumph Street and SFU Pipe Bands as well as Rene Cusson from Nanaimo, and dancers including A Drop Of Scotch.

It was an incredible show at The Vogue, presented by Celtic Performing Arts from Nanaimo. Something went awry with the ticketing, however, for when one Googled the show, the first site reached proclaimed it "sold out". It was definitely not sold out, but some shady types would appear to have resold a few tickets and grabbed the pole position on the web search engines. Once their profiteering had ended only the persistent few would have found their way to the "real" tickets. I spoke to several people the day after the show who had given up on tickets. Someone else had asked about the sold out messages two weeks earlier, and I alerted the concert presenter but the "erroneous" website message still remained. Such a shame.

Karen Savoca & Pete Heitzman w/ Shari Ulrich

This was an amazing concert at The Rogue on Saturday night. Some really fine funky Motown / R&B style guitar from Pete, and Karen's vocals as smokey and soulful as ever. Tasteful fiddle and mandolin from Ms. Shari and a decent sized crowd to relish the experience. 

Jack Broadbent

This young English blues man was an unknown quantity to me until I received a download link to his new CD, Along The Trail Of Tears, last week. Wow! Stunning slide guitar and a unique approach to old style Anglo blues. He came by it honestly: his Dad toured with American blues bands in Europe for years and raised Jack on the legacy of such legends as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Davy Graham's seminal 1964 LP Folk Blues and Beyond. When asked about the slide he was using, he held up his metal hip flask and stated "I'm an alcoholic!" Well, I don't think so, but I'd never seen anyone use a hip flask as a slide before. Brilliant idea, and so well played too!

Bluebird / Songbird North
We got to see Karen & Pete join Ms. Shari again at The Roundhouse on Tuesday. What a treat! Also on the bill were Montreal couple The Bombadils and Edmonton songwriter Ben Sures. It's a wonderful series but they have to change the name to "Songbird North" as Nashville's Bluebird Cafe - which started the idea of songwriters sharing their songs and stories in the round - has been sold to a big corporation with a nasty protective streak. So, in future, keep an eye out for "Songbird North" at The Roundhouse. Same series, new name.

3. Looking ahead as we celebrate 30 Years Of Roguery!!

There's a Roguelele (ukulele jam night) at St. James Hall next Tuesday April 18th, then BC songwriter Michael Averill takes the stage to launch a brand new CD next Friday night. He did a stellar job with The Acoustic Guitar Project last November and we look forward to hearing his new songs and his new CD. Tickets and info can be found here

On Saturday 22nd Doug Cox & Sam Hurrie lead the way with the 2017 edition of A Mighty String Thing at The Rogue. The duo of eclectic blues musicians have just released a great new CD on Black Hen Music, "Old Friends". They will be joined by a very diverse cast including Brazilian guitar / percussion sensation Celso Machado, Cameroon-born Cecile Doo-Kingue, and Tex Mex musicians Max and Josh Baca of the very fine band Los Texmaniacs. A highlight of the Bacas' show at Island Musicfest last year came when they paid tribute to the late Doug Sahm(Sir Douglas Quintet, etc.), who spent most of his last few years living in the Comox Valley. At the mention of his name five herons began circling above the stage. Spine-tingling stuff, and the music was just as exhilarating! For more details click here

Our 11th Annual Festival Of Gypsy Jazz - April In Paris - runs from April 27th to 29th at St. James Hall. This year there are three distinctly varied evenings: on Thursday April 27th we celebrate the guitar-meets-violin legacy of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with two bands - Van Django and Marc Atkinson Quintet; on Friday April 28th we venture into the big band sounds of the 1920s - 1940s with Company B Big Band and the Josh Roberts Orchestra (with a few dozen Lindy Hop dancers leaping around the dance floor), and on Saturday April 29th we step into the Moulin Rouge (Moulin Rogue?) for Deanna Knight and The Hot Club Of Mars' annual Cabaret / Burlesque show. When I think of Paris between the wars I think of Django and Grappelli inventing gypsy jazz, I think of Django expanding the line up to incorporate the big band sounds from America, and I think of the eternal imagery of late night cabarets and dancers and variety shows. All these visual images are underpinned with the music that Django conjured up out the old dance hall music and the new sounds of hot jazz. Come visit our Time Machine at April In Paris! (HG Wells would be proud, I think!)

Tickets for all our shows are on sale now - and remember, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing...

4. Radio Waves
Tune in to The Saturday Edge On Folk on CiTR fm 101.9 and this Saturday from 8am to noon to hear music by all the above performers, plus hot new releases from the likes of Tinariwen, The Eisenhauers, Andy Hillhouse, Gary Comeau & The Voodoo All Stars, Alex Cuba, Welsh quintet Calan, BBC Folk Award winner Daoiri Farrell from Ireland, BC's Steph Cameron, Winnipeg's Kayla Luky, and the new Guy Davis, Eric Bibb, and Orchestra Baobab recordings. Plus some old favourites and a few easter eggs and bunnies - and some Indian music for Vaisakhi -  to sweeten and spice up the show!

Radio Rogue runs 24/7on our website from our Granville Island "studio", so if you want to hear something new - or old - and exciting, you know where to turn!