LOCALS COFFEE HOUSE, Saturday October 13, 7:30 pm at the Studio / Stage Door in Cranbrook
Time flies when you are having fun and so for over 20 seasons that’s what it has all been about and on this particular Saturday night it was no different. There were some new performers (Stacy Oig from Oliver), seasoned performers (Daze of Grace), expatriates returning to the area (Ferdy Belland and Erin Dalton), performers trying on new roles (Barry Coulter), young performers (Angus MacDonald and Will Nicholson in LEATHER BRITCHES, and Connor Foote) and old performers who should know better (Rod Wilson). The night kicked off with MC Erin Dalton introducing Stacy Oig. Stacy is a new arrival fresh in from Oliver. “Do you like country?” – what he served up was country but with a difference. No the usual “whinny, cryin’ and hurting” staples but a series of songs by unfamiliar composers (at least to these ears) such as Jake Owen, Eric Church and Luke Brian. Stacy was very relaxed, with nice crisp guitar accompaniments and a good stage presence that garnered an immediate response from the audience. Local seasoned performers Daze of Grace, that included visual artist, vocalist and guitarist Sharon Routley, and Jubal Routley on guitar were joined by Rod Wilson on percussion. As I was part of the performing group I can’t really comment on how we went down. I was too busy trying to remember what drum comes next. Barry “Zimmerman” Coulter is a man of many talents and each time he steps on stage it is a revelation. Whether it is as an actor, jazz guitarist with the NOTABLES, on amplified dulcimer or, in this instance, as a 12 string guitarist / harmonica playing vocalist. Barry was sporting his latest prize – an Ovation 12 String guitar he picked up in a second hand store at a steal of a price. His performance was a “rootsy” take on “No Money Down”, “Motherless Child” and the Bob Dylan masterpiece “Every Grain of Sand“. Rumour has it that Barry is working on his blues piano chops so maybe some time in the future we will get to see and hear the “Dr John“ side of his musical persona. After the intermission young Connor Foote came on stage to bring to life the musical characteristics of Bob Dylan and John Prine. Connor has not been performing long but he has the essence of both of these performers absolutely nailed down. He also did Hank William`s “Never get out of this World Alive“, and a couple of his own originals including the one with the classic intro line “I met my wife at a family re-union“. Ferdy Belland and his wife Erin have returned to the Kootenays after a nine year sojourn in Vancouver. Ferdy plays bass and in Vancouver played in a million bands. Erin returned to Cranbrook to take over LOTUS BOOKS, Ferdy to once again enliven the local music scene. During their stay in Vancouver Erin acquired probably one of the prettiest hand made guitars we are ever likely to see. It was this magnificent guitar that Ferdy got to play on Tom Van Zandt`s “Pancho and Lefty“ and John Prine`s “Hello in There“. I was so mesmerised by the sound of this magnificent instrument that I forgot to take photos of Ferdy`s fine performance. The last performers of the evening were LEATHER BRITCHES, featured Angus MacDonald on fiddle and Mandolin, Will Nicholson on Irish rhythm guitar and myself, Rod Wilson, on Irish Bouzouki and Cittern. The intention was to bring the evening to close with some foot stomping down-East fiddle tunes that included The Creature Set, The Cheap wine Set and The Battle March Medley. They finished the evening with Angus switching to mandolin and Rod to Cittern for “Bonnie Ciara“ (a plagarised version of the old Scottish tune “The Bonnie Dundee“) and the Irish session tune “The Blarney Pilgrim“.
I am sure the performers and the audience would like to thank the many, many volunteers that make LOCALS COFFEE HOUSE series such a success. A special thanks to Mark Casey on sound and Jon Bisset for his deft stage management .