John Wort Hannam at Soul Foods

John Wort Hannam at Soul Foods Restaurant –  September 11, 2019

Over the past few years Mike Robinson has promoted a series of folk/roots music concerts at the Studio Stage Door. This is more or less a continuation of the old Swing Street concerts series that was originally promoted by Gord and Jill Johnston for well over ten years in the 1990-2000s. The musical philosophy remains the same with a focus on musicians that tend to perform acoustically and are largely off everybody’s musical radar. There is a lot of talent out there that does not fall into the usual pop/rock categories. Singer / Song writer John Wort Hannam is such a performer. He is based out of Fort McLeod, Alberta and his music is best described as  Alberta Roots Music. It’s country music without all the trappings of the Nashville Country music scene. It is “real” country music that is closer to the original concepts of the genre. There are no screaming electric guitars or massive production videos.

John has performed in Cranbrook in the past and, unfortunately, I missed him last time he was here. This time around he was accompanied by Scott Duncan on fiddle and Jason Valleau on upright bass. With the exception of Cyndi Lauper’s magnificent song Time after Time all of the songs performed were originals. The songs on the set list included Acres of Elbow Room, Old Flame, Gonna See My Love, Song for a Young Son, Love Lives On, Man of God, Wild Young Things, Quiet Life, Church of the Long Grass, Under the Stars, etc. I think you get the idea of where John is coming from. It is tough to pick out my favorite of the evening but my first choice would be Good Night Nova Scotia.  It had a strong Celtic vibe that was re-enforced by Scott Duncan’s foot stomping Cape Breton style fiddle playing. To round out the song Scott segued into the well known session tunes Saint Anne’s Reel and Dowsy Maggie. My other favorite (among many)  would be Ain’t Enough (I have added a video clip of this song at the end of the blog). The musicianship of this trio was exemplary. As a group they were super tight and as individual performers they all shine.  Here are some photos from this night of music……

      

Sound Tech – Ben Blomander

Mike Robinson – Concert Promoter

                   

I offer my thanks to the John, Duncan and Jason for their excellent music and thanks to Mike Robinson and Ben Blomander for the excellent production values and, of course, thanks to the management and staff of Soul Foods Restaurant. Let’s all do this again sometime.

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And now for the bonus – John Wort Hannam and some fine finger picking guitar and vocals.

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Kootenay Fall Fair – Dogs and Street Musicians

Fort Steele Fall Fair  is held in the shadow of Fisher Peak and the Southern Rocky Mountains. It is an annual event usually held on the second Sunday in September. The mornings are usually cool, sometimes a touch of frost, but there is always more than good chance of bright sunny day. This particular Sunday it was a little overcast but other wise still a beautiful day. It was, as usual, a good day to amble around the park, take in the sights and sounds and enjoy some of the best Cinnamon Buns on the planet. Also there was the sonic background of a variety of street musicians playing laid back “folky” country music. An added attraction this year was the dog show. Patrons of the Fair took the opportunity to show off their pets. From the tiniest of tiny dogs to dogs big enough to support a saddle. They were all there, running, jumping and just being dogs. For a pensioner the fee was $5 for a day of home spun entertainment  and it was money well spent. Here a just few shots of a laid back late summer day at Fort Steel.

                 

Steve Knowles – Musician

 

Steve Knowles – Musician

Rollie – Musician

       

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Gabriel Palatchi at SummerSounds

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In the countdown to the end of summer this was the second to last performance series in the free SummerSounds concerts in Rotary Park. “Tango in the Park” – there could not be a better way to spend a summer evening. After some initial Tango instructions for dancers The Gabriel Palatchi Trio took to the stage to get things rolling. Keyboardist Gabriel Palatchi is no stranger to the area. He is a frequent visitor to the Kaslo Jazz Festival and over the years he has performed in Kimberley on September 5, 2015 and September 8, 2018. Each time he was accompanied by crackerjack bass players and drummers. In 2015 he was accompanied by Nelson musicians  Doug Stephenson on bass and Tony Ferraro on drums; In 2018 it was Cameron Hood on bass and the brilliant Venezuelan drummer Luis Tovar on drums. This time around the bass player was JP Lopensee from Ottawa/Montreal and the Columbian (as in South America) drummer Juan Encinales . Gabriel is a somewhat itinerant musician wandering around the planet studying and picking up musical styles and fellow musicians as he moves from gig to gig and from place to place. He is originally from Argentina and currently is based in Mexico so it is no surprise that his music has a decidedly Hispanic flavor. Naturally that includes Argentinean Neuvo Tango, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Salsa, Funk, a little Flamenco, etc. Most, if not all, tunes are original compositions by Gabriel Palatchi. The tunes included Sefarad Roots, Le Vecindad, El Calefonk, El Matesito  and the only tune with an anglo title, What the Funk.  For Cranbrook audiences this is pretty unfamiliar music.  No matter. The trio quickly established a grove and dancers responded accordingly. Here are images from a night of “funkified” Latin music.

First – The dancers:

          

and now the trio:

                           For this summer evening of spectacular music we need to thank the Fisher Peak Performing Arts Society. It takes a lot of organizing and fund raising to provide the citizens of Cranbrook with this wonderful free concert series.

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