Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Raven’s Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, July 25, 2014, 2013 5-8pm.
Bill insisted that earlier in the day “it was so windy on the golf course that even the Ravens were walking”. I think that’s a story. There were a few gusts on the deck in the late afternoon but nothing more than just a little something to freshen the air. Once again Kootenay sunshine out did itself and patrons were able to kick back and tuck into the fine BBQ and listen to some great tunes. The attraction of “open mic” sessions for musicians is to escape from playing music in the basement and socialize with their compadres. And there are always surprises in the musical mix with well known configurations of players or, as on this day, new musicians on deck. The usual performers were there with host Bill St. Amand (Martin Travel Guitar and vocals), Gary Jacklin (guitar, vocals and effects), Sam Hornberger (guitar, vocals); from almost out of retirement – The Blarney Pilgrims – Wally Smith (Irish Whistle, Button accordion) and Rod Wilson (Irish Bouzouki and percussion), the duo JR Lives – Jon Bisset (guitar and vocals) and Rod Wilson (12 String guitar) and also Mark Casey (“the folk singer with attitude”). Mark was accompanied by Patrick Stohmenger on harmonica. Patrick is fresh out of Vernon and is just infiltrating the local music scene. Here are some images from “another day in paradise”.
Bill St Amand hosts the ‘Open Mic” session, Friday June 27, 2014, 5-8pm at the Kimberley Golf Club.
Last summer the ‘Open Mic” sessions on the Ravens Roost Deck of the Kimberley Golf Club were such a raging success that the club had no choice but to continue with the sessions for the 2014 summer season. Last year the weather was more than kind with many days of brilliant sunshine and limpid air. With overcast skies and the threat of rain the weather was not so kind for the first session of the 2014 season. Not to be deterred the session was moved indoors and true to form there was great music, good food, refreshments, the usual appreciative audience and a salubrious ambience (whatever that means – salubrious just seems to be the right word to roll off the tongue). Musicians from last season were back out in force (Bill St. Amand, THE HEARD – Chris Datson, Shanyne and Merridee Rodrigues, Rod Wilson, Sam Hornberger) with the well known local troubadour Tom Bungay on deck for his first session. It was an evening of old fashion Rock and Roll, a little Reggae, Country, Down East ballads, Canadiana (Valdy, Gordon Lightfoot etc), and some Celtic Ballads, Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs. The weather may not have been kind but the session appear to off to a roaring start.
Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Ravens Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, August 30, 2013 6-9pm.
The days are starting to shorten already and this session wailed on into the shadows of the evening. It was another memorable session of music on the deck of the Kimberley golf club. The usual performers turned up (Bill St. Armand, Rod Wilson, Shayne and Maridee Rodrigues, Jon Bisset and Gary Jaclin). They were joined by Gordie Blake serving up his well seasoned interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot classics. The most anticipated returning performers were Connor Foote and Clayton Parsons. Since their last visit to the Ravens Roost Bill St. Amand has been under a constant barrage of requests to have them back on the deck. The duo has undergone a slight re-branding and are now performing under the name of THE STEAMBOAT HOLLERS. These two young performers are the latest link in a roots musical legacy that goes way back past the beginning of the twentieth century. Over the past 100 years there have been a number of illustrious performers who have left their mark on a musical genre that includes folk, blues, bluegrass classic jazz, western swing and country. The legendary performers that come to mind are Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Big Bill Broozy, Doc Watson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and in more recent times, Bob Dylan and John Prine. In the never ending quest for fame, fortune and popularity most the younger performers of today have strayed from the true path of music rooted in earthy values. Not so The Steamboat Hollers. Their music reeks of an authenticity based on their personal experiences and honed by the musical craft handed down from their families. Connor’s grandfather is Ed King, a Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. It is hard to believe that such young performers have so seamlessly assimilated the craft and the essence of such a fine musical tradition. Along with well crafted songs – Connor’s Family Re-union, and the recently written Glory Bound (it commemorates a trip to Vancouver and Seattle in search of the holy grail of a John Prine concert in, of all places a zoo). Besides Connor’s Table For One there is Clayton’s Sun Shines Down on Me.Through out the performance there was a sprinkling of covers tunes of John Prine (of course). In response to Connor’s claim to be looking for “the ultimate romantic John Prine song” a member of the audience responded with “that’s an oxymoron” and as quick as a whip Connor rose to the occasion with “what did you just call me?”. The duo is quick on their verbal feet, fleet of fingers on their instruments, have a wonderful relaxed stage presence and are thoroughly entertaining. Clayton Parsons deserve special mention for he seems to have nailed a very personal interpretation of the Big Bill Broonzy style of finger picking. His playing is clear, strong and very rhythmic. Connor is no slouch either and together they demonstrate that they are not just another couple of strummers capable of singing and writing interesting songs. This a duo destined to go onto bigger things.
Here are some more images from the evening.
Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Raven’s Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, August 9, 2013 6-9pm.
Once again the Open Mic session at the Kimberley Golf Club lives up to its reputation as the best musical venue of the summer. Great scenery, great food, great refreshment and great music and a very appreciative audience. In a previous post I miss spoke. Not knowing that they already had a well established brand name I dubbed the Datson / Rodrigues crew as the The Margarita Mixers. In reality on the ski hill they are known as THE HERD and on the band stand they are also known as THE HEARD. Despite crushing schedules and lots of travel time and miles THE HERD made it to the RAVENS ROOST in time for an early set before Shayne and his family had to shuffle back to Calgary. Also at this session the regular musicians, Bill St. Amand, Rod Wilson, Gary Jacklin and Jim Marshall were augmented by a performance by the well known local blues player Joseph Alphonse. Here are some more images from another memorable evening of music.
Thanks to Bill St. Amand, the musicians, patrons, staff and the master of good weather for another stellar evening. Tentative date for the next session is Friday August 30, 2013, 6-9pm.
Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Raven’s Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, July 26, 2013 6-9pm
I don’t play golf. If the truth be known it was the reason I had to leave Australia. I neither played golf or drank enough beer. Both considered crimes against humanity or at least a distinct show of poor taste and bad manners. I chose Canada. After all it was the land of ice and snow and a non-golfer only had to fake it for half of the year. The rest of the time could be spent skiing. It is not that I dislike golf, after all I am married to a Scot, it is just that I have an addictive personality and I have seen what it has done to some of my friends; despondency when the game is not going well; unhappy wives coping with absent husbands, children left fatherless for inordinate lengths of time – but, perhaps, I exaggerate. By choosing not to play I have avoided the undesirable side effects of the game. Bill St. Amand on the other hand is an avid golfer and has managed to live a well adjusted life. He is what I call, “a high functioning golfer” that is he can play the game and live a normal life. To prove the point he has organized a series of open mic sessions at the Ravens Roost at the Kimberley Golf course. Bill assured me that golfers were not monsters and, by inviting me along it was at least, for me an opportunity to indulge my addiction to music in very pleasant surroundings. And that is has proven to be. This was the third of a very successful series of musical evenings. Some musicians who were there to dispense music to soothe the savage beasts included Bill St. Amand (of course), myself (Rod Wilson), Sam Hornberger and new faces Garry Jacklin and Jim Marshall. Bill’s chord melody approach to a number of well known melodies and songs is enjoyably familiar. I, myself, Rod Wilson introduced some original 12-string guitar music on an unsuspecting audience and later in the evening some Celtic songs and tunes on the Irish Cittern. Garry did the karoake thing as well as a solo set that had a couple of dancers up doing their thing. Jim Marshall is a master guitar player who has been wintering in Kamloops for the last few years and he is now back in Kimberley on a more permanent basis. I have played percussion with Jim on rare occasions in the past and his guitar playing and my percussion just seem to mesh when we get together. It was a real pleasure to once again play with Jim. So there we were on the deck of the Kimberly Golf course, kicking back, enjoying the food, refreshments, sunshine, shade, music and the great scenery. Yes, it is our little slice of paradise.
Every thing is getting a little fuzzy; either I have had to much sun, too much beer or to much golf………. or maybe Bill lied and this is what happens in paradise.
Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Raven’s Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, July 12, 2013 6-9pm
Bill St. Amand is an old hand at organizing and hosting Open Mic Sessions and his criteria for a good session is one in which he doesn`t have to perform much. The more musicians that show up the less there is for him to do. On that basis the open mic session on Friday was absolutely stellar. After that, the great variety of performers and excellent entertainment was a plus and on Friday the pluses were there in abundance. The first performers to be leveraged away from their supper were two musicians from the country/roots band Joshua Burning. The bass player John Gerlitz couldn’t make the gig but that master of political correctness and guitar picking dexterity Keith Larsen and BC’s most under rated country singer/ song writer Garnet Waites stepped though a selection of their repertoire that included In the Moonlight After Midnight, an original blues for science nerds called Roll Back the Years, the over the top guitar duet on Blue Sky and another Garnet Waite original called Angela. For more information on Joshua Burning check Joshua Burning
Rod Wilson (vocals and cittern) and Wally Smith (darbuka and mandolin) of The Blarney Pilgrims resurrected some of old tunes that included Bonnie Ciara (a plagiarised version of The Bonnie Dundee), The Blarney Pilgrim, Richard Thompson’s Dimming of the Day and the classic Canadian Folksong The Prairie Harvester. Sam Hornberger and his wife Marlene are refugees from the lower mainland who moved to this little slice of paradise last year. Sam is a welcome addition to the music scene with his fine interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Dave Loggins, Kenny Loggins and Valdy. When a group of musicians get together on a regular basis they need to have a band name. Chris Datsun, Paulette, Shayne Rodrigues and Maridee Rodrigues could be called the Datson / Rodrigues Collective but that is a bit cumbersome. Knowing their taste for margaritas I think they should be called The Margarita Mixers. Their selection of tunes include the world’s great song (I forget what it is called), the Rolling Stones Dead Flowers, Flip Flop and Fly and of course Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Undoubtedly the favorites of the evening were the duo of Connor Foote and Clayton Parsons both on guitar and vocals. These young Cranberries are putting together some great original material that pays more than a passing homage to the classic performers of Americana that include Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Big Bill Broonzy, John Prine and Bob Dylan. Along with the bass player Stew Driedger they were the band Slack Pines (or was it Pine Slacks?). Connor and Clayton are now back to performing as a duo and are looking for a band name. So I have already named the Margarita Mixers so I am throwing the name Forclosure into the hat for consideration. I think it has a nice ring to it with its overtones of the dirty thirties, dust bowl ballads, Woody Guttherie, Ramblin Jack, Dylan, Prine and the like. Help me out here guys, let me have at least one claim to fame as you climb the ladder of success. Here are some more images from the afternoon.
Despite the cool evening and the overcast sky this was a killer open mic session. There were lots of willing performers, lots of variety and a very appreciative audience. This is probably one of the best open mics in recent times (or at least Connor Foote thought so). The tentative date for the next Raven Roost Session is August 9, 2013, 6-9pm.
Open Mic Session at the Kimberley Golf Course (The Raven’s Roost), Hosted by Bill St. Amand, Friday June 28th, 2013, 5:50 pm – 8pm
Well, the monsoon was over and the big guy in sky threw the big switch, the sun came out and paradise was restored. Or at least our local version of paradise – the outside deck at the Kimberley Golf Course. This was the first of what we hope to be a number of musical events in this perfect setting. The crowd was small to start with but in very short order golfers were abandoning their compulsion to beat up on little white balls and roar around the course in their electric vehicles just to sit on the deck , refresh, eat and soak up the music. Bill St. Amand kick off the non-blood sport event of the evening (those little white balls do actually scream and bleed) with his unique take on the jazzy chord melody approach to songs like Big Bad Bill, Norwegian Wood, Stone Me, and my favorite, I Like Trains. Yours truly, Rod Wilson, contributes some songs and tunes on the Irish Cittern, followed by Jon Bisset with some classic Folk Rock. A real bonus for me was Karly Ross doing some of her original material and also joining me on Irish Whisle for some more traditional Celtic tunes. As the sun sunk slowly in the west other performers stepped up to the microphone and entertained the almost capacity crowd. The response to the event was very positive so stay tuned for word on the next Raven’s Roost event. Sorry there are no photos of the event. It must be the first time me that I actually forgot my camera.
And as an aside note that only the Scots could invent a game where the lower the score you achieve the more likely you are to win the game. For comedic relief check Robin Williams little expose of the game ( with a note of caution about the language) Golf as seen by Robin Williams