Steve's Blog
Chris Smither / Fraser & Haas / Annie Lou / Carlos del Junco and more!
Friday March 9, 2018

Keep in Touch

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1. Chris Smither, Saturday March 10th 8pm at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

This show is presented by Capilano University's Global Roots series, and is Sold Out. I'll be there, though! The Rogue is running the sound and the bar and the raffle. Chris will be accompanied by a drummer. I've never seen him other than playing solo before, and he has a tremendous new CD, Call Me Lucky, which will be available at the show. If you don't have a ticket there may possibly be one or two tickets on sale at the door if someone can't use all their tickets. It's up to you if you want to take a chance on getting in at the last minute, but there will be a standby line, and first there will be first in line for any tickets left over. Please note, Parcel O'Rogues are not valid for this show.


2. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Sunday March 11th, 3:30pm workshop; 8pm concert at St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)


Since their last visit in February 2017 the amazing Scottish fiddle and cello duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas have released a new CD, Ports of Call, which features tunes from Spain, Brittany, Quebec and lots more ports of call. As they did last year, they will host a participatory workshop in the afternoon. It will take place downstairs at St. James, in the back room, from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Pay at the door. $30. Last time there were over 50 participants, of all ages, and by the end they were playing a new (to them) tune in perfect unison, with Alasdair and Natalie as conductors and admirers! It was a stunning experience, I have to say. Last year we also showed the movie, The Groove Is Not Trivial, which traces Alasdair's music to its roots in Scotland and explores the influence of the various Celtic regions. Mostly it reflects on the essential groove of Scottish music, driven by the cello back in the 18th century, and revived in all its inherently funky glory by these two brilliant musicians! We may show the film at around 7:15 in the hall, so get there early. And, of course, there will be a full concert with Alasdair and Natalie at 8pm. Essential listening for all fans of Celtic music. Tickets and information here

3. Next Weekend at The Rogue!

  • Annie Lou, Friday March 16th 8pm, at St. James Hall
  • Anne Louise Genest, aka Annie Lou, releases her fourth album, End Zone, a gorgeous collection of new songs that draw deep from the well, filling the bucket with rich melody and wry wisdom. With humour, grace, and warmth, Annie Lou takes the stage with banjo and guitar, and invites you in to a colourful world of original music rooted in melodic traditions and delivered with an inspired energy and spark. Old folk, oldtime, country and bluegrass is the palette upon which she paints vibrant landscapes, where you can laugh, cry, dance, reflect and connect with ballads, tunes, and songs inspired by lives and times and ups and downs. She will be joined by her fine band: Andrew Collins on mandolin and guitar, Max Heineman on upright bass and vocals, and Sarah Hamilton on fiddle and vocals. Together they are a tight vocal and instrumental unit that offers superb musicianship and an infectious delight in their craft. In live performance the band gallops along with joyful danceable precision, enticing audiences with fiddle, banjo, three and four part harmonies, call and response, and compelling instrumental solos. Tickets & more info here.


  • Carlos del Junco, Sunday March 18th, at St. James Hall
  • “A model of focus and urgency…a true virtuoso” Brad Wheeler - The Globe and Mail                 To say Toronto-based, Cuban-born Carlos del Junco plays the harmonica is like saying that Jimi Hendrix plays guitar. Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz. The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock. The brand new CD, Hang On, is Carlos’ first solo release in seven years, and marks his first acoustic release featuring long time band mates Eric St. Laurent on guitar (first time featuring Eric on a CD after playing together 11 years) and Henry Heillig on upright bass. The five vocal tunes and five instrumentals feature del Junco’s ongoing potpourri of eclectic roots music styles which embraces everything from folkier sounds, to elements of blues, jazz, world music, to Hendrix’ rock classic: Little Wing. The unique voice of del Junco's harmonica has garnered multiple national and international awards including 2 Juno nominations and an International Songwriting Award spanning a career of more than 25 years. Tickets and more information here.

4. Last weekend at The Rogue!


We've had quite the run of amazing shows this far into 2018, including two shows each with Jim Byrnes, Altan, and Tom Russell. Last Sunday I was able to video a fine rendition of Russell's Blue Wing - a duet Tom performed that evening with Vancouver's Colleen RennisonHere it is!

5. CelticFest Vancouver

The focal point of this year's festival is a big ceilidh at the Scottish Cultural Centre (8886 Hudson Street, in Marpole) on Saturday March 17th, with Blackthorn, The B.C. Regiment of Irish Pipes and Drums, and two dance troupes: A Shot Of Scotch, and the Eire Born Irish Dance Company. If you prefer to stay downtown, the award-winning Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir performs at Christ Church Cathedral that same night.



6. Festival du Bois

This wonderful event showcases the best of Francophone music and culture in Coquitlam / Maillardville's Mackin Park. It's running later this year, and the headliners are Quebec bands Le Vent Du Nord, Les Chauffeurs a Pieds, and Bon Debarras. All these bands - and more - perform on Saturday March 24th and Sunday March 25th, and there's a contra dance on the Friday night with the Sybaritic String Band - a special treat for those who missed having the chance to dance to them at The Rogue last week.


7. Radio Waves

Heaps of new music this week! Including some of the following: Aerialists, The Rheingans Sisters, Naomi Bedford, Bella Hardy, Jackie Oates, TootArd from the Golan Heights, Imarhan, Moh! Kouyate, Pearl Django, Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Pharis & Jason Romero, Anna & Elizabeth, Dom Flemons, Ranger & The Re-Arrangers, Annie Lou, Kaja from Denmark, The Infamous Stringdusters, Luka Bloom, Stephen Stills & Judy Collins, John Oates, Carlos del Junco, Chris Smither, Lunasa, Fred Eaglesmith, Tracy Grammer, Shauit, Raine Hamilton, Altan, I'm With Her, and a new song from The Arrogant Worms. Plus features on Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Lila Downs, Annie Lou, and more! I hope you can tune me in and turn me on this Saturday from 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and