SummerSounds – Dancing the night away with MOJO

SummerSounds – Rotary Park Cranbrook B.C. Saturday 10th, 2019 8pm featuring the Calgary blues band MOJO.

Although the band works out of Calgary it has a strong connection to the East Kootenays. The singer/harmonica player Ethan Askey is originally from Cranbrook. The other members of the band are Danny Patton – lead guitar; Doug Boland – bass guitar and  John Jackson – drums. The band was the third on the list for the night and, despite a storm earlier, they were more than ready to deliver an evening of rock solid blues based music. To that end they primed the dancers in the audience with the old Fat’s Domino tune Ain’t that a Shame and followed that up with Let the Good Times Roll. That opened the flood gates for the dancers to do their thing and without any hesitation the area in front of the band stand was soon flooded with dancers. Apart from a short intermission break Ethan Askey and his band mates wailed their way though their blues-rock repertoire for over two hours. Other songs in their set lists included I’m a Lover Not a Fighter; Spooky; Let’s Dance; Shaking all Over; Shame Shame Shame; Tennessee Whiskey (a country song); Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob Dylan); Going to a Party; She Ain’t Never Coming Back;  A different version of Suzie Q; Use Me; Three Hundred Pounds of Joy; Brand New Cadillac and many more staples from the rock/blues repertoire. Ethan Askey’s wailing blues harp was the over riding sonic flavor of the evening with all member of the band  rock solid behind him. The bass player Doug Boland was an interesting study. He started out the evening being super cool. Not much movement there just solid backup riffs. But eventually the ol’ bass players performing genes kicked in and by the end of the evening, like most bass players, he was “romancing and dancing” with his bass in fine style. Maybe it was the addition of the hat and Bono glasses that kicked him to high gear.

Ethan is a home town boy who grew up going to school here in Cranbrook before going out into the wider world. His local knowledge, anecdotes  and stage patter cemented the perfect performer/audience relationship. It was pretty obvious that he had them in the palm of his hand.

 

           

Wayne Stetski M.P.

                       The SummerSounds program, organized by The Fisher Peak Performing Arts Society, has been running for a few years now and with each passing year the attendance  has steadily grown from a handful to what must have  been a several hundred very happy patrons on this particularly fine summer evening. The society, the volunteers and the many sponsors should be thanked for the considerable efforts that they put into presenting this continuing program of fine local musicians and musicians “from away”. On that note don’t forget the fine Argentinean keyboard player Gabriel Palatchi and his band who will be performing in the SummerSounds program on Saturday August 24, 2019. It promises to be an exceptional night of Funk, Jazz, Hispanic, Flamenco and New Tango with lots of dancing in the park. I have seen and heard Gabriel a number of times over the past 3-5 years and his music should not be missed.

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SummerSounds: The Little Jazz Orchestra

SummerSounds presents: The Little Jazz Orchestra, August 13, 7:30 pm, Rotary Park, Cranbrook.

It isn’t Newport, Rhode Island and the year is not 1958 but it could be the next best thing. The documentary film Jazz on a Summer’s Day was set at the penultimate jazz festival of the day and here in Cranbrook  a half century later we have SummerSounds and The Little Jazz Orchestra (LJO). In both instances the weather was wonderful, the music superb and the setting magical. Sure the crowd wasn’t as big and the number of performers was restricted to just the one band of superb musicians. But to be able to kick back an enjoy the music on this wonderful summer evening, what more could one want? The band line up sported a couple of changes; Dave Ward (Trumpet, Fluegelhorn), Janice Nicili  (Bass), Evan Bueckert,,(Keyboard)  and Graham Barnes (Guitar) were the long time members joined by special guest Rick Lingard (Alto Sax) and Julian Bueckert substituting for Sven Heyde on drums. The band delivered up a set of their funkified version of jazz stands and their own original compositions. Here are images from the evening:

012. Janice and Graham

202. Janice Nicli   206. Rick Lingard208. Graham Barnes  210. Graham Barnes102.   100.208a. Graham Barnes214. Janice Nicli  216. Evan Bueckert220. Julian Bueckert  222. Rick Lingard236. Dave Ward218. Evan Bueckert246. Janice Nicli  244. Janice Nicli238. Dave Ward256. Julian Bueckert258. Evan Bueckert

Dave looking for his muse

278. Graham Barnes270. Shelagh Redecopp280. Janice Nicli   282. Janice Nicli288. Evan Bueckert

And a spectacular end to the evening600a. Fire604. Flames

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SummerSounds: Clayton Parsons

SummerSounds presents Clayton Parsons in Rotary Park, Cranbrook, Saturday August 13, 2016, 5pm. Clayton’s special guest is Joelle Winkel

112. Clayton and Joelle

The value of the average Singer / Song writer is in serious decline. It is not a question of quality, although that is part of the equation, but rather a question of supply. There are just too many singer / song Writers out there looking for gigs. It seems that every high school kid who plays guitar has ambitions to be a singer / song writer. Even if the quality was over the roof the market cannot absorb an unlimited number of such performers. There are some reasonable word smiths out there who, given time and maturity will put out some reasonable material. One of the kickers is that most only  play guitar at a very modest level. Most are just three chord strummers. What we need are superior word smiths with above average guitar skills. I think Clayton Parsons is a performer who fills that bill. Clayton is young man in his early twenties raised here in Cranbrook with an  honest artistic pedigree. His father, Reg,  is the well known for his bronze sculptures, his sister  Jani is a concert pianist and, I believe he has a brother who plays banjo. Clayton is an honest heir to the singer / song Writer tradition that stretches back to the beginning of the last century. He is following in the footsteps  of the likes of Woody Gutherie, Rambling Jack Elliot, Bob Dylan, Ian Tyson and John Prine. He has a strong clear voice, killer acoustic guitar chops, great stage presence and, above all, songs that reek of authenticity. He seems to have the uncanny ability to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. A midnight shift at the Skookumchuck pulp mill during shut down would seem to be a pretty ordinary life experience and yet in his hands it becomes a classic piece of art called September Sunday. He also freely plunders the tradition with such classic re-interpretations of C.C. Rider, Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky, and a wonderful reworking of You are My Sunshine that segues back and forth into Gershwin’s Summertime. His partner in crime for this particular performance was Joelle Winkel with some pretty sweet backup harmonies. If I have the story right Clayton and Joelle are just back from a 20 concert tour that stretched from Winnipeg to Victoria. Here are some images from a very pleasant summer evening at Rotary Park.

100. Clayton Parsons118. Joelle and Clayton116. Clayton Parsons  120. Clayton114. Clayton Parsons134. Joelle Winkel   128. Clayton Parsons

An Appreciative Fan

An Appreciative Fan

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SummerSounds: Red Girl

SummerSounds presents Red Girl, at Rotary Park in Cranbrook, 5pm, Saturday 2016/07/30

314. Red Girl

The band Red Girl comes in a number of configurations. On this beautiful summer evening the core duo of Annie Hepher (vocals, claw hammer banjo and guitar) and Mike Hepher (mandolin and vocals) were joined by the multi-talented guitarist Keith Larsen. Although Keith also plays mandolin and dobro he managed to keep him self in check during the afternoon by only playing flat pick guitar. He left his rock and roll and country personae at home in his basement. Both Annie and Mike are very well known in this area. They originally came to local fame in the pop/rock/folk band As the Crow Flies. Since that time Annie has mostly switched to claw hammer banjo as her instrument of choice. As anybody in the area can testify Mike is an extraordinary mandolin player. But that is only the surface of Mike’s talents. If you ever have the opportunity to come across Mike in a late night session then stick around until the wee hours of the morning and you will be more than amply rewarded as he explores his huge repertoire of tunes and styles.

Red Girl cruises on the stylistic edge of BlueGrass with more than a significant amount of “old timey” songs and tunes. It is basically a  style of music they have appropriated from the USA but without becoming too overtly American. The emphasis is on crystal clear vocals and top flight musicianship. Without a doubt there is not another band in this area that performs with such flair and vigor while steering clear of the machine gun approach of most blue grass bands. During the evening there were lots of good tunes and songs with great vocals, claw hammer banjo, brilliant mandolin solos and the very clean flat picking of Keith Larsen. The evening kicked off with the well known Bluegrass tune Lazy John then worked their way down the set list pictured below. My favorite of the evening was the extended medley of Stephen Foster’s Angeline the Baker and the Irish tune/song Whiskey Before Breakfast. Annie dusted off one of her original songs, Our Town, from her period of intense song writing days while performing as a member of As the Crow Flies . Our Town is a tribute to small town life. Below are some images from just another a great way to spend a pleasant summer’s evening in Our Town.

400. Set List206. Anie Hepher  212a. Anie Hepher210. The sound guys218. Keith Larsen  220. Clawhammer240. Annie and Mike012. Red Girl Header230. Annie Hepher  232. Mike Hepher

"Behind these shades and pearly whites is a man having fun"

“Behind these shades and pearly whites is a man having fun”

Just a couple of good ole' boys

Just a couple of good ole’ boys

228. Annie Hepher242. Annie Hepher240. Annie and Mike   244. Mike Hepher300 Keith Larsen276. Annie and Mike   278. Annie and Mike290a. Annie and Mike002. Redgirl Header

312. Red Girl

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Summer Sounds: Heather Gemmel and Lindsay Cuff

Summer Sounds: Heather Gemmel and Lindsay Cuff, at Cranbrook Rotary Park, Saturday July 9, 2016

536. Lindsay and Heather

A luthier friend of mine described BlueGrass Music as “Heavy Metal on acoustic instruments”. I think there is some truth in that but it needn’t be so. There are BlueGrass musicians out there that look forward to new musical adventures, Bela Fleck immediately comes to mind, and musicians that look back to the origins of the music. The latter group are digging deep into the mother lode of the early traditions that inspired the original BlueGrass musicians. Lindsay Cuff (Fiddle, Clawhammer Banjo, guitar and vocals) and Heather Gemmel (Guitar, Banjo, Dobro and Vocals) is a new duo on the local scene dipping into the early traditions. Heather has been ever present on the local music scene for years as a blues/rock/BlueGrass advocate. Lindsay is relatively new on the scene. The duo is so new that they have not yet settled on a name. Following some on stage chatter during tunes Lindsay was ruminating on the “the bump in the middle” (her pregnancy) and was wondering how that was going to effect her banjo playing. The duo is looking for a name and my vote is for Bump in the Middle. I doubt that there is another band out there with that name and they have a ready made back story for whenever a question should arise about the band’s name. The duo was the second act in Summer Sounds first concert of the season and they stepped out of the gate with some laid back material that included Lindsay’s original I Hear You Coming  and a sampling of old time tunes like I Wish I was a Mole in the Ground. The mix of the melodic fiddle over the rhythm of the clawhammer banjo allowed for a lot of nice space in the music. We often forget that in music the space between the notes is as important as the notes played. In the pursuit of over the top virtuosity musicians sometimes forget that. So, “as the sun set in the west” the dulcet sounds of this duo added a pleasant ambience to the afternoon / evening concert. I am looking forward to hearing more of this duo in the coming days.

500. Lindsay Cuff   502. Heather Gemmel504. Heather Gemmel         506. Lindsay Cuff510. Lindsay Cuff518. Heather Gemmel   520. Heather Gemmel530. Heather Gemmel  514. Lindsay Cuff    512. Lindsay Cuff534. Lindsay Cuff522. Heather Gemmel544. Lindsay and Heather   546. Lindsay and Heather532. Lindsay Cuff552. Dobro538a. Lindsay Cuff

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Summer Sounds on Canada Day

FISHER PEAK PERFORMING ARTISTS SOCIETY PRESENTS A CANADA DAY CELEBRATION, July 1, 2015: featuring the roots music sounds of Joshua Burning

224. Joshua Burning

The featured band for the day’s festivities was Joshua Burning whose style of music is basically funky country roots music. They also feature  original material and covers of music that may not be usually associated with country music. The name of the band,“Joshua Burning”,  is a nod towards the legendary country singer Gram Parsons who, upon his death, wished to have his ashes spread over the landscape in California’s Joshua Tree National Park. When he died, as we all must do eventually, his body was stolen from L.A.X. international airport by his best buddy, Phil Kaufman and taken to Joshua Tree Park where it was incinerated with a jerry can of high test gasoline. Of course all of this was illegal and against park policy and for his efforts Kaufman was fined $750 for the theft of the coffin. Now that’s something that should be in the movies. The band features the guitars, vocals and song writing skills of both  Garnet Waite and Keith Larsen. Garnet is an especially fine singer, guitar picker and song writer. Keith is a crackerjack acoustic guitarist with some solid rock credentials on electric guitar. He also doubles on mandolin and blues harp. The band is anchored by the electric bass playing of John Gerlitz. John is well known for his classic acoustic interpretations of old time finger picking blues. Together they are an especially fine ensemble who are a step above your average country guitar strummer. These guys are guitar pickers rather than strummers. During the afternoon  they strolled through some of Garnet’s original tunes that included Lucille, Daybreak Number 3, Angelina, and High Water Channel. For variety they thew in Keith Larsen’s Best Laid Plans. They also did a few covers including a Lyall Lovett tune, Lucinda Williams Drunken Angel, Peter Rowan’s Midnight Moonlight, Steve Goodman’s Banana Republics, a Marshall Tucker tune, the Grateful Dead’s Tennessee Jed, and to soothe my Celtic ancestors they covered The Pogues If I Should Fall from Grace. Here are some more images from a fine afternoon in the sun at Rotary Park in Cranbrook.

404a. Garnet Waite  502. John Gerlitz  300. Keith Larsen314. Keith Larsen415. Garnet Waite  306. Keith Larsen  425. Garnet Waite 014. I'm so sad  013. who am I440a. Garnet Waite 010. Keith's guitar  324. Keith Larsen 052.  012. Louie Cupello302. Keith Larsen   070. The three no evil monkeys 016. I'm so sad   318. Keith Larsen232. Joshua Burning

So, thanks Louie, James, “BBQ Bob”, Janice and all the volunteers and sponsors of the Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society that made it possible for the rest of us to kick back, enjoy the sunshine, burgers and the fine music of Joshua Burning. Thanks and more thanks.

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Music in the Great Outdoors

Ravens Roost Open Mic Session, hosted by Bill St Amand on the deck of the Kimberley Golf Club. Friday June 19, 6-9 pm.
This year’s RAVENS ROOST session got off to a great start with flawless weather, responsive patrons, friendly staff and some fine music. As usual Bill St. Amand was on deck, setting up the sound system, organizing the musicians, performing and acting as MC for the evening. Naturally he was first on stage with his signature small body Martin guitar and his unique interpretations of some fine old tunes. Rod Wilson joined him with some back up percussion on a Peruvian Cajon (box drum). Alphonese (Fonzy) Joseph ran though his blues tinged repertoire before the Blarney Pilgrims (Rod Wilson Wilson on Cittern and vocals with Wally Smith on Accordion, Irish Whistle and Darbuka) did their little Celtic trip. The Blarney Pilgrims have not performed often over the last little while and this was an opportunity to trot out some old favorites such as Ben’s Lament, Dimming of the Day, The Black Velvet Band, The Boys of Blue Hill / Harvest Home, etc. It was also their first opportunity to try out their latest venturing into the uncharted waters of Bulgarian / Macedonian music with the Sarajevo Set that included a Balkan Tune, Richard Thompson’s Will I ever Be Simple Again and The Belgarth Waltz. From where I was sitting Wally Smith’s Middle Eastern rhythms on the Darbuka (Turkish drum) sounded outstanding. One of the great things about these events is when a new, unknown musician steps onto the stage and surprise fellow musicians. Maigan Jayde did just that. Maigan is new to the area and it was real treat to hear her magnificent strong voice run though a few songs including the classic blues In the Pine, in the Pines. Here are some images from the evening:

102. Bill St Amand   100. Bill St Amand and Rod Wilson 404. Alphonse Joseph 500. The Blarney Pilgrims110. Bill St Amand  400. Alphonse Joseph  604. Maigan Jayde514a. Wally Smith516. The Blarney Pilgrims  520. Rod Wilson602. Maigan Jayde 510. Wally Smith  410. Alphonse Joseph608. Maigan Joseph

(Another great session – thanks Alphonse for the grabbing up the camera and taking the extra shots).

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Wednesday June 24, 2015, 6-8 pm: Fisher Peak Performing Artists Music and Vendors Market, Open Mic Session hosted by Ferdy Belland and Jamie Neve – Performances and vendors in the Rotary Park in Cranbrook.
James Neve (guitar, vocals), Ferdy Belland (guitar, vocals) and Colin Righton (hand percussion) were well into a set of tunes when I walked into Rotary Park on Wednesday evening. So is this the next local “super group”? I suspect this was just a pickup group and we may never hear them again in this configuration. That would be a shame because as a trio they offered up something that was new and different and I liked it. The weather held and the evening was pretty low keyed with only a few performers and a small crowd in the park. Here are some images from the evening:
100. Colin, James and Ferdy     310. James Neve 412. Ferdy Belland214. Colin Righton  318. James Neve  400. Ferdy Belland210. Colin Righton322. James Neve  402. Ferdy Belland708  004. The Dog gallery604. Bill Renwick010a. In the Dog Gallery
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That’s the beginning of the SummerSounds Program in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park. Check the poster below for more coming events
SummerSoundsPoster2015
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Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society (FPPAS)

Fisher Peak Log

A Brief History

Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society (FPPAS) sprang from Summer Sounds 2013 and 2014 volunteer programs that produced more than 15 free shows in Rotary Park in Cranbrook. This newly formed, registered not for profit organization, has already undertaken successful galas in Cranbrook in late 2014 and into 2015.

Our Mission

To provide support for the Performing Arts in the Kootenays. We do this by raising funds to help musicians and performers of all types and genres. We will co-sponsor events that support local performing arts activities related to live entertainment.

We will create programs that include knowledge and skills development that will assist in the development of talent be it singing, instruments, dancing, recording, and sound and lighting equipment.

 About Us

  • We are an inclusive, non-partisan organization that encourages development in all genres and performance traditions.
  • We are culturally sensitive and gender neutral.
  • We are community minded and seek to benefit our communities in the Kootenays.
  • We form productive and meaningful relationships for the betterment of our performing community.

 Fisher Peak Performing Artists – Programs

  1. Summer Sounds 2015
  2. Dancing in the Park
  3. Fisher Peak Vendors Market
  4. Technical Development
  5. Youth Employment
  6. Fund Raising Performances

Summer Sounds: Free Concert Series in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park, every Saturday throughout the summer with few exceptions.

Dancing In The Park: Free dancing in Rotary Park to live local music with professional dance instructors on hand to mentor and coach. Saturday Nights.

Fisher Peak Vendors Market:   Artisans Market Place in Rotary Park on Wednesday evenings throughout summer 2015. Get a Permit from Fisher Peak Performing Artists and sell, buy and trade local goods. Free live local acoustic performances provide.

Technical Development:  Fisher Peak will produce or co-produce with local professionals and service providers and offer technical support training for performers.

Youth Employment: As opportunities arise Fisher Peak will employ young persons, not only as performers but also to develop knowledge and skills related to sound and lighting production and stage management.

Fund Raising Performances:  FPPAS provides unique artistic performances throughout the year to fund raise for the society. To plan an event – call Fisher Peak and we can work with you to find the right artist for your event.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

  • James Neve – President
  • Louie Cupello – Treasurer
  • Randy Tapp – Secretary
  • Ferdy Belland – Vice President
  • Janice Sommerfeldt – Director (Marketing)

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