Steve's Blog
The Rogue Presents Two Amazing Canadian Songsmiths and a Grammy-winning Soul Singer!
Saturday September 15, 2018

Keep in Touch

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1. Craig Cardiff and Raine Hamilton, Sunday September 16th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

It's been five years since the launch of Craig Cardiff's last full-length CD came out. The double albumLove Is Louder Than All This Noiseis a collection of songs he wrote by adapting notes from the audience at his shows; anecdotes, true stories, dreams, and personal memories written down in hisBook Of Truths. Since then he's sung these songs across Canada and beyond - including several visits to The Rogue. This year he paid tribute to one of his early influences -Bob Dylan- by recording four Dylan songs on the EP Upstream Fishing All The Words (the title is based on anArlo Guthrie quote about songwriting:"Songwriting’s just kinda like catching fish – you sit there and pull them out as they go by – though I think Bob Dylan’s up stream from me somewhere.” 

Craig has just released his second single of the year, Ymir, following on from Okay Cupid. So, he's clearly on a creative surge once again. 

I read an interview with Steve Earle the other day, wherein he stated that Canadian audiences really appreciate great songwriting, and that there are so many fine lyricists in Canadian music. Indeed there are. Craig Cardiff is one of the best of them.

Another impressive emerging artist will play the opening set: Raine Hamilton, from Winnipeg. I saw her with her trio at the Folk Alliance in Kansas City in February. She is a fine lyricist as well, with a soaring voice that evokes memories of early Joni Mitchell. She is an accomplished fiddle player and composer too. I'm keen to hear her solo at The Rogue, where words matter and the sound is always immaculate.

Tickets are available online and Highlife Records and Tapestry Musichave them too. They will also be available at the door. Hope to see you there!


2. Mike Farris & Paul Pigat, Wednesday September 19th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Mike Farris made his Rogue debut in May last year. The Grammy-winning soul / blues / gospel / R&B songwriter from Nashville came through some very tough times, and, much like Mary Gauthier, he overcame addiction and hardship and is now widely regarded as one of the top soul singers around. When he hit the stage at The Rogue he mentioned seeing parents and kids leaving the adjacent daycare and looking at the outside of the building he thought "this isn't going to be a good gig at all!" Then he walked inside and saw the beautiful arches and the rich, natural colours of the walls and ceiling - and the pews! He'd played with Paul Pigat a couple of times before, and the two soon settled into the groove and Mike realised that this is a very special place to make and to hear music! 

He's just released Silver & Stone (Compass Records) - a stunning collection of originals and covers that will surely win him heaps more awards and legions of fans. Don't miss this rare chance to hear him with one of Canada's top guitar players in the wonderful hall - which has been renovated extensively since his last gig here. Expect him to be full of delighted surprise once again - and then let his soulful voice and solid groove wash all over you.

Tickets are available online and at the doorHighlife Records andTapestry Music have them too.


3. Lonesome Town Painters, Friday September 21st, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

This Vancouver bluegrass quartet launches its second CD this night. If you love superb harmonies, fine picking, and a heap of original songs that fit the tradition like a glove, you'll love this band! Click here for more info about the band

4. Brishen, Sunday September 23rd, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Victoria's guitar-wielding prodigy Quinn Bachand first came to our attention accompanying Cape Breton's maverick fiddler Ashley MacIsaac on a Canada-wide tour. He was only 12 years old! Already right up there with the best Celtic guitar accompanists. Since then he's branched out into gypsy jazz, won a scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College in Boston, won countless awards at Django Festivals around North America, acquired an awesome command of the fiddle and the banjo, and blossomed into one of the nation's very best gypsy jazz guitarists. 

Last month we saw him lead his new band on the concert lawn at Butchart Gardens (a great outdoor venue, with music every night all Summer long.) Accompanied by Reuben Weir on rhythm guitar and vocals, and two exceptional musicians from Seattle: Greg Feingold on upright bass, and Eric Vanderbilt-Matthews on saxophones and clarinet. That horn player is totally incredible!! They had a drummer at the show we saw. If he's with them, great! If not, they will be amazing anyway; probably even more so! Here's the band's website

This concert is sponsored by Rogue Folk member Gerry Hamer, who has been coming to our shows for many years now. Thank you, Gerry! I hope we get a great turnout for this outstanding band.

All our concert information and tickets can be found on


5. Mary Bentley

We were deeply shocked and saddened this morning to hear of the sudden passing of one of our most loyal and popular volunteers - Mary Bentley. She had flown to London to meet up with two more stalwart Rogues - Charlie Richmond & Marilyn Williams - to head over to Europe for a few weeks. Imagine their dismay to find their best friend had passed away in their London flat. The Rogue won't be the same without her, and we send our deepest condolences to her family and friends the world over. I'll play a few songs for Mary on the radio tomorrow morning (see Radio Waves below.)

6. Mama's Broke

On Wednesday I opened up the latest issue of the U.K. magazine fRoots - which has been a principal inspiration for my show and The Rogue series since 1986 - and was delighted to find three articles about Canadian music. Tony Montague writes about Quebec bands Le Vent Du Nord, Genticorum, and Bon Debarras, and there is a feature on the string quartet The Fretless (who play The Rogue on October 13th.) The other band featured is a duo from Halifax called Mama's Broke (great name!) I was intrigued so I delved into their Spotify playlist and liked what I heard. 

So I went to their website to find out more, and lo and behold - discovered that they would play that very night in the Wise Lounge! So off we went to the old Rogue stomping ground. The place was packed with young revellers, resplendent with lots of hair, beards, tattoos, piercings, plaid shirts, band t-shirts, and torn jeans. I realized most of them probably weren't even born when I used to serve drinks in that downstairs bar and run the open mic back in 1989-90! No matter, we found chairs right next to the band and these two young women delivered an excellent set with mostly original songs displaying diverse influences ranging from Bessie Smith to Macedonian fiddle tunes. They even sang a Blind Blake song. Brilliant stuff! Thank you, fRoots, the Wise, and Amy Lou and Lisa Maria! Watch for Mama's Broke the next time they come to town. You might even see them at The Rogue.


7. Celtic Connection article
The September / October issue of the Celtic Connection newspaper is out now. You can pick up a copy at The Rogue. Here's a link to the online edition. You can read my latest column if you scroll down to Page 4. I'm quite chuffed with it.

8. Radio Waves
On The Saturday Edge On Folk this weekend I'll pay tribute to Mary Bentley by playing a few Mary songs. Algerian / French Rai musician Rachid Taha also passed away this week, so I'll have a couple of his songs. Plus new releases from Richard Thompson, Marc Ribot, Maria Muldaur, Kevin Burke, Mariza, and sensational Haitian singer Moonlight Benjamin. Plus music by all those Rogues mentioned above, including Mama's Broke and a few songs from Mike Farris's superb new CD. 

I hope you can tune me in and turn me on, this and every Saturday from 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and