Heritage Lounge Song Writers Circle

 

Get a bunch of musicians together in a room, on a bus, on a train or around a camp fire it is almost inevitable that at some time during the day, the evening or night a song circle will happen. It’s just a natural way to share songs, tunes, new compositions and strut one’s musical chops. It provides an intimate atmosphere for everyone to enjoy and appreciate the music. The usual song circle happening is somewhat spontaneous  and not meant to be taken as a professional performance. But, having said that, why not? Why should only musicians have all the fun? So that was the premise of the Song Writers Circle at the Heritage Inn Lounge on Friday December7, 2018. So, with that in mind a group of musicians from a variety of back grounds came together to share their latest offerings with each other before and an appreciative audience. James Neve (song writer and classic folk/rock musician) stepped away from his band The Choice to host the evening and kick off the night with a little social commentary in his song Joe Hill. If I remember correctly Joe Hill was a Swedish immigrant to the USA in the first half of the last century and was a major organizer of the Industrial Workers of the World (The IWW, other wise known as Wobbolies). Joe came to untimely end when he was executed on November 19, 1915 in Salt Lake City Utah on charges of murder. World War I was in full swing, if that’s the right word, and at the time labor unrest was sweeping the world. Capitalist societies were running scared so it is easy to believe that the authorities manufactured a trumped up charge followed by a swift execution to get the likes of Joe Hill out of sight and out of mind.  Doug Mitchell is a former educator with a tendency towards songs of social commentary. His first offering of the evening was Laughter of the Heart. Heather Gemmell is an attractive  young woman with a back ground in hard rock / blues and mellow Blue Grass pickings on guitar, banjo and dobro. As an employee of the City of Cranbrook she has some responsibility for the maintenance of the the city’s parks and cemetery and that may have been the inspiration for her songs Ghost Town and Resting Place. I haven’t heard Heather perform for a while and for me her guitar picking seems to be going from strength to strength.Tim Ross, for the want of a better description, is an old style cowboy who has been known to rock out in the band The Bison Brothers. He is a singer/songwriter/guitar slinger who hails from Wycliffe. His day job as a natural resources consultant, which translates to “cowboy with a degree”, grants him the privilege of riding the range and making a living in the saddle. He also ranches, raising grass-finished beef. His  songwriting influences range from rock n’ roll and blues to rockabilly and cowboy songs. Naturally, as a working cowboy, his song Worktime resonates with his life experiences. Darin Welch is a singer songwriter in the classic Bob Dylan / John Prine tradition and to complete the first round of the circle he offered Transition City.

   

Round and round the circle went with more songs of social commentary, humor, nostalgia and life experiences. Songs included were I Will Never Know, A Night for Holding on, Seek the Light of Day, Please Take the Wheel (James Neve); Open Happiness – Open up a Coke, Get Use To It, Prairie Oysters, Wish I was Hung Like My Brother Dale (Doug Mitchell); Mountain Home, Kill Them Twice, One Light Sound (Heather Gemmell); Time Flies – When you are Bummed Out Too, Limousine, The Light in Your Eyes, My Baby Won’t Ride in My Truck No More (Tim Ross); A Matter of Time, Wilderness, Sparrow, Pretty Water (Darin Welch). They collectively finished up the evening with group versions of Ry Cooder’s No Banker Left Behind led by Doug Mitchell; Neil Young’s, Heart of Gold, led by James Neve; Rocking in the Free World, led By Tim Ross and finally Bob Dylan’s Wagon Wheels led by Darin Welch. It was a wonderful night of music and one I hope will be repeated again in the near future. Here are more images from the evening:

                  

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

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

@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Spring into BlueGrass – a Fisher Peak Performing Artists Presentation

SpringIntoNewGrass2015Poster

This is the third event that the Fisher Peak Performing Artists (FPPA) have presented at The Royal Alexandra Hall. The kick off concert late last year featured the Little Jazz Orchestra and the roots group Joshua Burning. The second event was a St. Valentine’s Day Dance with the rock band The Testers. For this third event the focus was on the BlueGrass and Old Timey music of RedGirl and The Rosie Brown Band.

 Red Girl

As described by FPPF’s President James Neve:   “RedGirl is a lighter shade of bluegrass with some visible folk roots showing. Bringing original and traditional tunes to a canvas colored with clawhammer banjo & mandolin, liberal strokes of guitar, and framed in a rich tapestry of harmony. RedGirl is one of several great local groups to grow from the ashes of the much-loved Kootenay band As The Crow Flies. Fronted by the clear and fearless vocals of Anie Hepher, RedGirl’s music is built around her  pure and unfettered voice, rhythmic banjo, and occasionally, a sassy ukulele. Michael Hepher (married to the girl) chimes in on mandolin and backing vocals, bringing a balance in harmony, humor and musical creativity to the songs and stories of the band. Rounding out the sound is Cranbrook’s very own Keith Larsen on guitar and dobro; a gravelly edge with magical licks, dancing around the edges of the songs, playing counterpoint to Michael’s moody mandolin. Swooping in from Creston, Karl Sommerfeldt’s fiddle is the glue that binds it all together, wraps it up for you and sends you home with a shiny new smile on your face.”. Also Steve Jones is back in town to give the band’s bottom that solid foundation that everybody appreciates. “More than just the music, RedGirl brings decades of experience to their stage-craft with a lively, off-the-cuff banter that tells the stories of small town living and heartfelt true-life joys and sorrows. Their sound is more than just the sound of tunes from your grandpa’s kitchen, it’s the sound of the Kootenay hills and rivers and hearts all beating in one harmonious song.” http://www.redgirlmusic.com/    Here are some images from RedGirl’s performance:

466. Red Girl    Keith Larsen   Steve Jones    Mike Hepher Karl Sommerfeldt   Karl and KeithAnie HepherKeith Larsen    Karl Sommerfeldt   Keith Larsen  Steve Jones Anie Hepher     Anie Hepher    Anie Hepher   Keith LarsenKarl, Keith and AnieguitarsAlso described by FPPF’ President James Neve: “The Rosie Brown Band is a unique, fun and rewarding listen This is a five piece Bluegrass/Folk ensemble featuring Paige Lennox, (Banjo, Vocals, occasional Bass)  Cosima Wells, (Guitar, Vocals ) Janice Nicoli,(Upright Bass, Vocals) Shawna Plant  (Mandolin, Vocals) and Heather Gemmell (Dobro, Guitar, Vocals), with a wonderful blend of five charming voices featuring classic old timey music, BlueGrass and original tunes. Recently they were showcased at the Calgary Stampede and this performance at the Royal Alexandra Hall will see the official release of their first album.” Here are some images from the show:

 Rosie Brown Band Paige Lennox     Janice Nicoli   Cosima WellsShauna Plant     Heather Gemmell    Janice NicoliPaige Lennox Cosima Wells  Paige Lennox   Shauna Plant Heather GemmellJanice Nicoli  Cosima Wells  Paige Lennox Cosima WellsShauna Plant     Janice Nicoli     Paige LennoxHeather GemmellCosima Wells    Heather Gemmell   Shauna PlantShauna Plant

This was a great concert and we should all thank the FPPA society Board of Directors  – Jamie Neve, Ferdy Belland, Louie Cupello, Randy Tapp, Janice Sommerfeld; and all the volunteers including: Allan and Jackie Kimmel, Bill and Lori Renwick, Dave and Trudy Prinn, Murray and May Andrich (“The M&Ms”), Hellen Boon, Jean Neve, Beverlee Bullough, Tom Bungay and Rod Wilson (photography).

 @@@@@@@@@@@@@

WINTERSONG at The Driftwood Concert House

   Wintersong

The question is often asked. Why do they do it? In most instances it is not for fame, fortune and/or fringe benefits. The answer is very simple. Painters paint, writers write, musicians compose and perform for no other reason than they just have to. It is just the nature of the artistic beast. They are not complete until they follow their compulsions. This somewhat self indulgent approach is one that we should  Wagon Wheelsbe thankful for, particularly when, in this instance, there is such a positive outcome. Four singer / songwriters of The Kootenay Singer-Song Writers Circle got together to raise funds for the Red Cross Disaster Relief  Fund by performing a concert of their original music at the Driftwood Concert house in Kimberley. The musicians included  (the nice looking) Heather Gemmell, (the youthful) Clayton Parsons, (the wisdom of the ages) James Neve,  and (the mature) Darin Welch. The venue was, of course, the Driftwood Concert House  operated by Jen and Darin Welch on this their first year anniversary of presenting sustainable music programs for both musicians and patrons. The format of the evening was basically a traditional singing circle with each musician performing a piece before passing the “torch” onto the next performer. Yours truly, Rod Wilson, was the MC. Darin Welch kicked off the night with Simple City, followed by James Neve’s Blue Girl, Clayton Parson’s Everybody Knows my Name  and Heather Gemmell’s global warming song. Through out the evening, five times around the circle, with a grand finale group rendition of Wagon Wheels, the only non-original song of the evening. The list of original songs performed included Pretty Water, Wilderness, The Last Wild Wolves (by Darin Welch); Please Take the Wheel, Candle by the Window, Come on Back to My Love, Passing Through Your Heart (by James Neve); Midnight Moon, Going on Down, September Sunday, Stay (by Clayton Parsons); and the outstanding instrumental The Tap Song (by Heather Gemmell). It was a night of memorable music in a perfectly intimate venue with superb light and sound and a very receptive and respectful audience. I know Darin likes to bring into town great touring performers for this venue but without a doubt this particular evening proved that local performers are more than a match for the imports. Well done guys – you raised over $400 for the Phillipines and with matching government funding that puts us well on the road to $1,000.

 Heather Gemmell        James Neve  Darin Welch         Clayton Parsons  Heather Gemmell   James Neve   Heather Gemmell   Darin Welch   Clayton Parsons   James Neve Heather Gemmell  Silas   James Neve     Heather Gemmell  James Neve  Clayton Parsons  Heather Gemmell   Heather Gemmell  Darin Welch   020. Condenser mic  James Neve   Heather Gemmell  Silas  Heather Gemmell   Darin Welch   Heather Gemmell  Clayton Parsons   James Neve  Heather Gemmell  James Neve  Audience     Clayton Parsons   Silas and Jen

@@@@@@@@@@@@

Heather Gemmell Band at Summersounds

SATURDAY JULY 27, 2013, 12pm  at Rotary Park (Cranbrook) SummerSounds featured THE HEATHER GEMMELL BAND.

Heather Gemmell – guitar and Vocals; Podier Atto – Drums; Brian Noer – Bass

Heather Gemmell Band What can one say? Every time this young lady steps on the stage she just gets better and better. Currently Heather and her band mates have begun the recording of a new CD and, I am sure the final product is something to look forward to. For this afternoon in the sun the band stepped through some of her originals (such as Bluesville, Lowball, Ready for Love, Change Me and The Heat) as well as some new tunes and also some covers such as the Beatles epic Come Together with its magnificent bass line. Here are some images from the afternoon (click for a larger view). Heather GemmellPodier Atto    Brian Noer    Heather GemmellPoverty striken Musician    Podier Atto   Brian NoerBrian Noer Heather Gemmell                  Podier Atto   Brian Noer   Heather Gemmell   Heather Gemmell  Heather Gemmell                 Podier Atto  Heather and Brian

The organizers of Summersounds would like to thank the sponsors of the event: Columbia Recycling, Kootenay Gradall, South Sierra Developments, Salvador Redi-Mix, Tundra Steel, Freightliner, White Oak Valley Contracting, BCGEU, Rocky Mountain Diesel, AquaPro Drilling, Cranbrook Farmer’s Market, Cranbrook District Arts Council, Cranbrook Rotary, Fiorentino Brothers and HD Kootenays.

 @@@@@@@@@@@@

The Rosie Brown Band at BJ’s Creekside Pub

New Menu + New Band = Packed House, The Rosie Brown Band at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Saturday June 22, 2013, 7:30pm.

The Rosie Brown BandThis was a much anticipated event. Of course it was much anticipated – the band had wetted audience appetites with a couple of preview performances at local coffee houses. This lovely group of ladies are well known musicians on the local scene and their coming together in this unique configuration  was just so, so,  right. The banjo player Paige Lennox had moved to the area a few years back with the burning Paige Lennoxambition to play in a Bluegrass band. That did happen for a while but the whole band thing kind of fell apart. Paige faded from the scene slightly for a while until the flame was re-ignited with the purchase of a new banjo and a trip to the Bluegrass camps at Sorrento (BlueGrass Camp). In fact the Sorrento workshops can be held responsible for moving other Shauna Plantmembers of  the Rosie Brown Band in the same direction. Singer and mandolin player Shauna Plant was a founding member of the well known East Kootenay Band As the Crow Flies. She also has spent time at Sorrento. On the other hand and in another band, Heather Gemmell is best known for her for blues inflected guitar playing as a Heather Gemmellsoloist and with the blues/rock outfit Heather Gemmell and the Peaks. She has recently acquired a dobro and has also spent time in Sorrento honing her bluegrass chops. Cosima Wells is best known for her vocal work with any number of vocal groups around the area.Cosima Wells She also plays guitar and has also spent time at Sorrento. Last, but not least is the anchor of the group, Janice Nicli. Janice plays upright bass in this band but Janice Niclihas been known to play electric funk bass with Billy Jive’s bands. She is also the Jazz bass player in The Little Jazz Orchestra. There you have it. Five fine ladies with a great stack of songs, great vocal harmonies, stage presence and obviously having the time of their lives on stage. So what more could anybody ask?  The pub was packed way before the music started. In fact some patrons showed up at 5:30 to ensure that they could get a table. By 7:30 people were being turned away at the door. From then on, as Cosima would say, the band and the audience were “pumped”. This was not the usual Bluegrass band. The emphasis was on the vocals with some tasty banjo, dobro and mandolin solos sprinkled though out the performance. Manic, testosterone driven instrumental breaks were absent and that was a good thing. The repertoire was also a slight step away from the usual with Michel Shocked Blackberry Blossom, Cosima’s original tune Blood From a Stone, the Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt’s ballad Rough and Rocky, Heather Gemmell’s reworking of An Angel from Montgomery, an acapella version of Coal Warthe Carter Family song Bury me under the Weeping Willow Tree, some Stephen Foster tunes, and Janice Nicli’s  standout rendition of the John Prine comedic masterpiece Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian.The audience refused to let the band go and they were forced to recap their first set. It was an absolutely outstanding night of music and bodes well for the band’s future. If Calgary can weather the current flood situation and get things back on track The Rosie Brown Band  will be performing at this year’s Calgary Stampede Showcase – good luck ladies.  Here are some more images from the evening (click on the images for a larger view).

Janice, Shauna and Heather       Cosima and Janice      Shauna and Heather Downstairs for Dancing       Dobro   Janice Nicli             Shauna and Heather Paige, Cosima and Janice                  Heather Gemmell  Janice Nicli   Dobro Jewelery   Shauna Plant  Rosie Brown Header Janice, Shauna and Heather              Janice Nicli  Heather Gemmell             Shauna and Heather  Shauna and Hather     Cosima WellsPaige Lennox       Heather Gemmell on Dobro      Heather Gemmell

@@@@@@@@@@@

 

Live music at BJ’s Creekside Pub

Jon Bisset hosting an Open Mic Session , Saturday March 2, 2013,7:30 pm at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Kimberley.

Dave Prinn and Friends , Saturday February 16, 2013, 7:30 pm at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Kimberley.

I hope it isn’t a well kept secret for it shouldn’t be. Since moving to the area about two years ago Shannon and Kirt Schiller have made a determine effort to provide a  venue for the musicians of the area. So, for the winter months live music is on the agenda for most Jon BissetSaturday nights. Open Mic sessions are held on the first Saturday of each month and often on the remaining Saturdays any number of local musicians or bands can be heard doing their thing. The food is great, the venue is cosy, the atmosphere friendly and on any given performance night there can be some surprising performances. Both of the above evenings pretty well drew on the same core cadres of local musicians in what were both essentially nights of acoustic music. Jon Bisset is a well know local musician and he hosted an evening that included performances by Rod Wilson (cittern, 12 string guitar and mandolin), Beth Crawley (vocals and guitar), Dave Prinn (vocals and Dave Prinn at BJ's Creekside Pubguitar )and Bill Renwick (blues harp, vocals and guitar). On the second Saturday evening Dave Prinn  returned with some additional invited musicians that included, Paige Lennox (banjo and vocals), Heather Gemmell (vocals, guitar and dobro), Janice Nicli, (bass), Cosima Wells (vocals and guitar). Although classic folk/rock was the staple for the evening there was some fine blue grass from the ladies. The name of the all girl bluegrass band is still in flux – some suggestions included THE CONTRACTIONS or  BOB (The Bells of Bluegrass) plus a few others that were bandied about throughout the evening. The venue proved to be a wonderful sonic environment for the ladies. Amplification was minimal the instruments and and the vocal harmonies came across pure and unsullied by extraneous noise.  The band was solid with Heather Gemmell sounding wonderful on a borrowed vintage Regal Resophonic guitar. Heather GemmellDave Prinn was on top of his game with a selection of classic rock tunes that included    No Souvenirs, Let it Rain, Broadway, Vincent Black Lightning, Wake Up Little Suzie, James Kellaghan’s classic Cold Missouri Waters, the folk song Springhill Mining Disaster and what must be the definitive version of Neil Young’s Old Man. When I got home I went back to the original Neil Young recording and to these ears Dave’s version is way better. Dave also threw his share of original songs into the evening’s performance  with Circles and You Better Think Twice.  He must have forgot his City in the Grass, another one of his fine originals. Heather Gemmell on vocals and Dobro joined Dave for Angels From Montgomery, Can’t Find My Way Home, Whiskey Lullabye, The Weight and a number of other songs.  Bill Renwick (guitar, vocals and blues harp) stepped up to stage for some duets with Dave that included James Taylor’s SteamRoller Blues, Me  Bill Renwickand Bobbie McGee, On the Road Again, Ahead by a Century , Hollywood Nights and the ultimate rocking hot car song 455 Rocket. Bill stayed on stage to do some sol pieces that included Danny Boy (after all it was Saint Patrick`s Day). Now, I must say Danny Boy is one of my least favorite songs but Bill had the right vocal intonation and phrasing to breath new life into what can be an over sentimental over done song. All was forgiven when Bill breathed new life into that old war horse. The night was not only rock roll. The `BlueGrass Ladies` (Heather, Paige, Janice and Cosima) breathed some especially fine acoustic vibes into the evening with a selection that included I Have Endured, You are my Sunshine and an original tune from Cosima called Trying to get Blood from a Stone.  Here are some images from both Saturday night`s of very special music.

Dave Prinn        Heather Gemmell & Janice Nicli        Dave Prinn   Cosima Wells         Heather Gemmell       Janice Nicli     Heather Gemmell     Janice Nicli       Bill Renwick  Heather Gemmell & Dave Prinn                       Heather Gemmell                      @@@@@@@@@@@@@@

MISS QUINCY at the Byng

MISS QUINCY at the Byng Roadhouse, Wednesday March 6, 2013, 8pm. Heather Gemmell and the Peaks opened for Miss Quincy.

"Miss Quincy"      drummer     Shari I have an aversion to loud drummers and, for me, the drummer for Miss Quincy was too loud. As a result any review by me of Miss Quincy will lack objectivity. On the other hand Brian Noer of the The Peaks is into really, really loud music so he is right at home in reviewing Miss Quicy. To use his words – “I love hearing music that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino or David Lynch film set in some sleazy, smoky bar in a small town in Mexico, with slow droning, reverb drenched guitars, a walking bass, sultry vocals and plenty of tequila shots. I thought Miss Quincy pulled off the vibe they were going for, and I bought one of their CDs. My barometer for what kind of music captures the attention of “normal” people (as opposed to opinionated musicians like me) is women and children. Once in a while, I’ll put on a CD and someone in my family will ask me who that is (it doesn’t happen too often given the heavier music that I prefer). I was playing the Miss Quincy CD in my studio the other day and my wife poked her head in and said, “Wow, I like that; who is it?” Maybe she was just happy I wasn’t playing Slayer. Never-the-less as a barometer I think it works”.

 Heather Gemmell        Brian Noer       Heather Gemmell

The opening act of the evening was Heather Gemmell and The Peaks (Heather – guitars and vocals , Podier Atto – drums and Brian Noer – bass) and they were at the top of their game on Wednesday night. So much so I think they upstaged the headliners (Miss Quincy). Heather’s choice of solid body guitars sounded great and the little bit of slide guitar towards the end of their set was the icing on the cake. Podier Atto abandoned his “rubber” electronic drum kit  (Ferdy’s words) and made use of Miss Quincy’s acoustic set. He had the right amount of volume, sizzle and sparkle on the acoustic set and there is no doubt metal cymbals have a bit more “zing” than their electronic cousins.  Brian Noer did not look as cute as the “dreaded” girl on the upright bass in Miss Quincy’s band  but then again we were not there for his looks. Brian, in his own defence said “we have yet to see him in his little black dress” . Now that would be worth the price of admission.

– Rod Wilson and Brian Noer.

More images from the evening (click on the images for a larger view):

"Miss Quincy"         Heather Gemmell        Heather Gemmell Shari    Miss Quincy      Heather Gemmell   Miss Quincy         Brian Noer      Shari   Heather Gemmell        Inked      Heather Gemmell    "Miss Quincy"         Brian Noer      Drummer    Heather Gemmell        Shari     Heather Gemmell

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Apre Ski at the Stemwinder

Heather Gemmell (solo) at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday  February 23/24th, 2013, 3-6 pm. Heather Gemmell and the Tapping Tune                      Heather Gemmell  Heather Gemmell       Heather Gemmell       Heather Gemmell

Hether Gemmell is well known on the local music scene for her solo work and  performances with her band The Peaks. As always, it is a pleasure to hear her guitar and vocal explorations of original material and a selection of covers. She has a large set list and on Sunday she was worked through her list of favorites as well a long list of the not so familiar. Included were Heart of Gold, Driven, Angel From Montgomery, Sugar man, a very bluesy You are my Sunshine, Hotel California, Love me Do, and the outstanding one up experimental loop piece called Pawn Shop. She reached deep into the bag to pull  out one of her very first originals called Slowdown. The song had a great bass line that flowed through out the tune. She continues to resist putting words  to that beautiful Tapping Tune where by she explores the percussive potential of the guitar fretboard. As an instrumental it offers an interesting change of pace to her set list. Heather will be back at the Stemwinder later in the month in the continuing Apre Ski musical program at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill.

 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Scott Pfeifer (solo) at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday  February 23/24th, 2013, 3-6 pm.

         Scott Pfeifer               Scott Pfeifer

Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers in a Dangerous Time always brings to my mind the marvelous Mel Gibson / Sigourney Weaver / Linda Hunt collaboration in the film The Year of Living Dangerously. Scott Pfeifer revisited The Bare Naked Ladies interpretation of Cockburn’s classic song and, for whatever reason, Scott’s great voice and interpretation took me straight into 1965 and the hot sweaty tropical world of Indonesia during the tumultuous years of President Sukarno’s repressive regime. With the snow outside on the ski hill and the temperature around freezing point that is quite a stretch of the imagination but never-the-less that’s how it worked for me. Although Scott writes his own material, on Sunday he stuck to covers such as Ahead by a Century, On My Own, Pure Narcotic, Caught by the River, Metal Airplanes, Last Dance and How to Disappear Completely  (available on YouTube). Like most musicians he has “a real job”. He is an IT consultant in Calgary. He has friends here in Kimberly so it almost a sure thing that he will be back here for more performances in the future.

 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

60 Hertz at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday  March 9/10th, 2013, 3-6 pm.

“The best band in the land”! There is no such thing of course but why would anybody even think that?. Maybe because 60 Hertz are so dam good. James Neve (guitar & vocals), Rob Young (lead guitar), Marty Musser (drums) and Dave Birch (bass) have played for together for more years than any of them would like to remember.

Some one once asked Vancouver Jazz Pianist Renee Rosnes how come she has done so well on the New York Jazz scene. Her answer was simple and straight forward ” I have the chops, I show up on time and I am a professional”. I guess that could be applied to 60 Hertz. In each of their little instrumental niches each band member has the chops. Added to that the superb writing skills of James Neve, the band’s attention to crafting fine arrangements  plus the untold hours of rehearsals and practice and you have a band that is smooth, tight and professional. They are so good I don’t think the average audience misses the fact that the band only plays original material. In most performance environments ‘originality’ is usually a death sentence but not for this band.

The band played for a packed house on Saturday and for a sparser crowd on Sunday. Those Alberta skiers just have to hit the road early and get ready for the new work week. Those left behind had ample opportunity to kick back and enjoy some of the 60 Hertz repertoire that include Leave a Candle by the Window, Goodbye, I Will Cry for You, Desperate Train, Doors of Hope (with its nice rhythm change in the coda), Virtuality (one of my favorites), Too Old to Die Young, Don’t Get Me Wrong and Living in the Sun with some of Marty’s deft deft percussion work with mallets.

Here are some images from another rotten day in paradise (the East Kootenays).

 James Neve     Rob Young       Marty Musser  Dave Birch      James Neve      Rob Young    Marty Musser                    A young Head Banger in full gear   \\\\\\The Head Banger's cute friend     This old guitar has seen lots of smiles and miles      Rob Young  Dave Birch (slightly over the top)     Doug Martin (manager) and Marty Musser (drummer)      130. James Neve

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Buckman Coe at the Byng

BUCKMAN COE at the Byng Roadhouse, Thursday February 14, 2013, 8pm. Opening with an environmental video and Heather Gemmell and the Peaks.

Well, Thursday night was a night of surprises. First of all, live music on a Thursday night in Cranbrook is enough to make one sit up and notice that the local music scene is in a state of transition. That the Byng Roadhouse would host a environmental awareness / surf movie in conjunction with live music is also little different. Heather Gemmell’s  new edition of her Band ‘The Peaks” marks further growth in Heather’s musical development and the return of a well known guitar to the local fold certainly caught the original owner by surprise. Last but not least, the grove based ukelele of Buckman Coe demonstrated the pop/rock potential of an instrument usually associated with Hawaii and hula dancers. Whew! what a night.

There was time, not long past, that Santa Cruz and the San Francisco area were considered the northern outposts of the California surf scene. Not anymore. Given enough neoprene, determination and a willingness to only expose one’s eye lashes to the cold then anything is possible. If waves break on even the most cold and inhospitable shore there will be some hardy souls braving icebergs, bad tempered seals, sharks and killer wales while looking for the elusive perfect wave. Add the land risk of becoming lunch for a hungry grizzly bear then Northern BC surfing could be a hazardous past time. The video, Groundswell ( by international surfer Chris Malloy and Raincoast Conservation) was about surfing the northern coast of BC and made the additional point that this area is threatened by the proposed Enbridge pipeline.

This was the first time out of the gate for Heather’s new version of her band THE PEAKS. The new line up included Brian Noer on bass and Podier Atto on electronic drum kit. I like the electronic kit because it had that one essential ingredient missing from most rock Heather Gemmell and the Peaksdrummers arsenal – the ability to turn down the volume. Hard rockers like the “in your face” volume and attitude of the traditional acoustic drum kit and tend to forget that the drummer is supposed to be driving the band from underneath rather than riding over the top. Heather was playing a slim bodied Ibanez electric guitar that has some local history. Dave Prinn was astonished to see a guitar that he had sold on consignment to a player in Calgary return to Cranbrook in the hands of a fellow musician. It turns out the Calgary musician ended up  Podier Attoselling it on eBay where it was picked up by Brian Noer who in turn handed it over to Heather to put it through its paces. So the guitar has done the rounds only to end up back in its old home town where it belongs. Heather and the band stepped through original material that included Bluesville and The Heat  and added some variety with the Eagles Hotel California and the Beatles Come Together. The meaning of the lyrics in Come Together completely eludes me but all is forgiven when Brian Noer launches into the classic bass line of the song. Who cares what the song is about when that singing bass line carries the whole tune.

Ukeleles and Dreadlocks? It’s either a conspiracy or a trend. For the second time in a week Ty Westboth have been a significant presence on the local musical scene. Last Sunday at the Stemwinder in Kimberley Shane Philip prominently  Heidifeatured a Ukelele in his one man band ensemble and supporting him in an off-the-cuff musical jam was the Dreadlocked Ty West. In the dance audience “Heidi” sported a massive amount of hair in dreadlocks. Now here on Thursday in the Byng we have more Ukeleles in the hands of the dreadlocked Buckman Coe and, not to be left out, Heather’s new drummer Podier Atto was also sporting a variation on the dreadlock theme. So, is it a trend or a conspiracy? Buckman has  Buckman Coethe same manager as Bocephus King,  who also recently played at the Byng, so it is no surprise that they share some musical similarities. Both musicians give more than a nod to Bob Marley and it is amazing to see how audiences react to that reggae beat. Within seconds the dance floor is crowded with patrons. Because of the Ukelele thing Buckman’s music has some other world beat and Polynesian characteristics. This was most evident in the tune Malama Ka Ana.  With a name like that could it be anything other than Polynesian? Also in the set list of mostly originals were Apocalypse, Stubborn Man, Devils’ in You, Rest, Paranoia and Love is Eternal, and as a matter of course, a Bob Marley inspired original Rise Up Jah People. Buckman was supported by fellow band mates Tim Parent on a massive five string electric bass and Adam Parent on drums. Adam was struggling with a ‘flu’ bug and had to take to his bed before the evening was over. Tim gave up his bass and stepped onto the drummer’s throne to keep the groove going.  Here are some images from a great evening of original entertainment (click on the images to get a larger view).

Heather Gemmell        Buckman Coe        Heather Gemmell Buckman Coe        Podier Atto       Tim Parent  Heather Gemmell        Brian Noer       Heather Gemmell Buckman Coe        Adam Parent        Buckman Coe   Podier Atto        Tim Parent        Adam Parent   Heather Gemmell         Buckman Coe        Heather Gemmell   Podier Atto         Tim Parent        Brian Noer   Buckman Coe        Heather Gemmell        Buckman Coe  Heather Gemmell        Girls night out - Laurie        Podier Atto Buckman Coe        Girls night out - Marcel and friend       Buckman Coe   Tim Parent         Heather Gemmell       Buckman Coe Girls night out -  Lorraine and friend friend                  Janice "snapped" with Ferdy

I would like to thank Ferdy and Margie for the greatly improved stage back drop and lighting. The quality of the above images would not have been possible without their help.

February 21, 2013. This just in – an article by Buckman in the Huffington Post. Click on the link  Huffington Post Article

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@