ALI SELLIN with DAVE CARLSON & BUD DECOSSE at BJs Creekside Pub, Saturday May 21, 2016, 8pm
One one hand I am not a big fan of Country Music. On the other hand I appreciate spontaneous music that’s professional and well crafted. So once you move away from the Star Spangled Hollywood music of Nashville, Country Music does have some thing to offer. Case in point is Ali Sellin on stage at BJs last Saturday night. The music was country but Hollywood and Nashville were way over the horizon, almost out of sight and far away from ear shot. Ali is from Medicine Hat and on this visit to Kimberley she renewed her acquaintance with mandolinist Dave Carlson and guitarist Bud Decosse. These two gentlemen (dare one use that word in this day and age of “Bad Dudes”) are probably two of the finest musicians in the area. They are both well known and highly respected in the Kootenays. With their smooth accompaniments and slick lead lines they were a perfect foil for Ali’s voice and her choice of material. All the more so when you realize that all of the evenings music was largely unrehearsed. Although Ali is a Singer / Song writer most of her material for this evening were covers of such classics as Red Wing (the Steel Wheels version) Anne Murray’s Snow Bird, Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, Gershwin’s Summertime, Willie Nelson / Patsy Cline’s Crazy, Take the Ribbon from Your Hair, Green Green Grass of Home, Banks of the Ohio, and Dolly Patton’s Joliene. That is just the tip of the iceberg. There was a sprinkling of her original material plus lesser known songs from the country repertoire. Dave and Bud did their bit with material from their own huge bag of songs and instrumentals. Ali obviously enjoys performing and it was reflected in her happy demeanour and rapport with the audience. It was an especially fine night of music and if, and when, Ali comes back to this area she should not be missed. Here are some images from the evening.
A musical Note (pun intended) is Ali’s guitar technique. She uses a right hand finger style technique with a thumb pick and plastic finger picks. While not that unusual it took a while for me to realize what she was doing. Her patterns and picking where appropriate and crystal clear and the picks were very pretty hard to see. I personally find it hard to use finger picks and the constant risk of getting tangled up on the back strokes has put to rest any ambitions I may have ever had on using finger picks. Good job Ali!