Heather G’s Jam #4 – The Blue Grass Session

The gang from MayookHeather G’s Jam – The Blue Grass Session at Ric’s Grill (Prestige Inn, Cranbrook) Friday February 1, 2013 from 7:30pm to midnight.  In a slight departure from previous sessions Heather opted for an acoustic session of mostly Blue Grass music. This was a Elena Yeungsignificant sonic challenge. Blue Grass musicians are notoriously picky about plugging in their instruments. Their preferred mode of sound re-enforcement is to use condenser mics and for musicians to step up close enough to be heard. The idea is to to preserve the acoustic nature of the music. The dancing back and forth of the musicians to the  Mike Hephermicrophones can be a little distracting but in certain circumstances it can work well. Unfortunately the sound characteristics of Ric’s and the crowded stage somewhat compromised the ideal. At the beginning of the evening the audience background noise was almost overwhelming and musicians had a hard time hearing each other on stage. As the evening wore on the musicians found an optimum, audience noise abated and the sound quality improved. Having said all that it was a night of marvelous music with a Annie Hephercapacity crowd. The stage was populated by some of the finest Blue Grass musicians from up and down the valley. From as far away as Creston, Fernie and Invermere. Well know identities such as Mike  and Annie Hepher, Elena Yeung, Steve Jones, Heather Gemmell, Shelagh Redecopp and Keith Larsen kicked off the night with some well known tunes. They were joined by other well known musicians such as Dave Carlson and Bud Decosse, Brian Noer and Heather Gemmell. On a quieter note Sheva (Shelagh and Van Redecopp), 11th Avenue Stopover (Beth Crawley and Rod Wilson) and Daze of Grace (Sharon and Jubal Routley), although not strictly Blue Grass, played acoustic sets that were consistent with the intent of the evening. The outstanding performers of the evening were Elena Yeung with her strong  banjo playing, Heather Gemmel`s vocals on a minor key version of You are my Sunshine, Keith Larsen`s I am a Man of Constant Sorrow, Steve Lungal`s  sing-along selections and Clayton Parsons` reworking  of some old blues styles.

 David Carlson    Shelagh Redecopp     Bud Decosse   Brian Noer     Heather Gemmell    The Thoughtful Swede - Keith Larsen Clayton Parsons     Shelagh Redecopp     Steve Lungall                               Brian Noer and Heather Gemmell

Brian Noer

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Apre Ski with Heather Gemmell

The Stemwinder Bar and Grill at the Kimberley Ski hill  is well into their after ski music program. 60 Hertz and The Pursuits have already performed there and numerous local performers are scheduled over the coming months. This past weekend it was Heather Gemmel’s turn.

Apre ski with Heather Gemmell, The Stemwinder Bar and Grill, Kimberley Ski Hill, Saturday and Sunday, January 19th & 20th, 2013, 3-6pm.

Originally Heather was scheduled to perform with the second edition of her band THE PEAKS but due to unforeseen circumstances it tuned into a solo gig. Despite the need to fight off a cold, Heather was in fine form with a number of covers that included Heart of Gold  (Neil Young), Learning to Fly (Tom Petty), Angel from Montgomery ( John Prine), Can’t Find my way Home, some blues, some BlueGrass (from her collaborations with THE MESSY WILLOWS) and a selection of her original material from her CD THE ROAD. Her finger picking guitar work on The Road was especially fine. Heather also shared her recent explorations into the fret board tapping styles with a tune she simply calls The Tapping Song. This is the only instrumental I can recall Heather playing and I hope it is the beginning of a trend. Very few, if any, singers will risk the challenges of performing instrumentals. That is a shame because a few instrumentals thrown into the mix adds variety and pacing to any musical set.  As usual the vibe in the room was relaxed and laid back; a mood well in keeping with the afterglow of a day on the ski hill. Here are some images from Sunday’s performance:

 Heather Gemmell     Heather Gemmell    Heather Gemmell   Heather Gemmell    Heather's "bestest" jeans and prayer rug     Heather Gemmell    The Tapping Song            The Tapping Song      The Tapping Song            The Tapping Song         The Tapping Song  The young dancer

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Local Live Music X3

So ends a crack-a-jack weekend (Friday / Saturday/ Sunday Jan 4-6, 2013) of live music.

Heather G’s Jam at Ric’s Grill (Prestige Inn, Cranbrook) Friday January 4, 2013 from 7:30pm to midnight.  featuring local performers. As usual there was a great turn out of performers and patrons and a significant amount of audience participation on percussion. Performers included a shakedown performance by Heather Gemmell, Brian Noer and their new drummer Podier Atto (“P.J.”), DAZE OF GRACE, Jon Bisset, EAST MEETS WEST (Tom Bungay and Gene), Dave Prinn, Mark Casey, Steve Lungal, Rod Wilson, James Neve, Connor Foote, Clayton Parsons  and those fine ladies of BlueGrass fame (Cosima Wells, Shauna Plant and Heather Gemmell). Their performance of Stephen Foster’s You are My Sunshine in a minor key was absolutely stellar. Here are some images from the night.

Heather Gemmell    "P.J." THE PEAKS new drummer     Brian Noer   Mark Casey (Folk Singer with Attitude)    Sharon Routley of DAZE OF GRACE     Jubal Routley of DAZE OF GRACE    Rod Wilson on percussion James Neve    Jon Bisset    James Neve  Clayton Parsons     Connor Foote    Clayton Parsons   Cosima Wells    Shauna Plant    Rod Wilson on Penny Whistle (photo: Katie Green)     Cosima, Heather and Shauna           "You play the down beat ..."        Lorraine Casey and Shauna Plant           Ric's Drum Choir (Katie Green & Sharon Routley)

Tim Ross hosting the Open Mic at BJ’s Creekside Pub in Kimberley,
Saturday, January 5, 7:30 pm.

On the local music scene BJ’s is a shining light of live music for local musicians and patrons. During the winter months there is live music nearly every Saturday evening. That includes an “open Mic” session on the first Saturday of the Month.  Tim Ross, ably  Tim, Colin and Furdy - The Bison Brothersassisted by Colin Righton and Ferdy Belland (The Bison Brothers) managed attract a plethora of local talent. Musicians included two of the area’s premier singer / songwriters Garnet Waite and James Neve,  fellow musicians Connor Foote, Brent Ross,  Rod Wilson, DAZE OF GRACE,  Bill St. Armand, Brian Morris and the absolutely stunning back up vocalist “Irene”. Kimberley residents are noted for a crash and burn approach to a night out and are usually home in bed ten o’clock. Not this night. This session, like Heather’s Jam at Ric’s the previous night, rolled right on past midnight.

Brent Ross   Brian Morris    Garnet Waite  Irene Laurendeau   Connor Foote    Irene Laurendeau

Apre Ski with 60 Hertz at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday and Sunday, January 5 & 6th, 2013, 3-6pm. This is one of an ongoing series of regular musical events held at the Stemwinder though out the ski season.

It has been said many times before that this is “The Band” of note in the East Kootenays.  60 Hertz is a well oiled musical machine that is way more than just four older guys try to relive their youth. A bygone era may have been their initial inspiration to play rock music but from there on in they are their own musical muses. 60 Hertz with Rob Young on lead guitar, Dave Birch on bass, Marty Musser on drums give substance, voice and  Rob, James and Dave of 60 Hertzpunch to the original songs and tunes penned by James Neve. This is an innovative intelligent rock band with great songs, great arrangements that they play so incredibly tightly. So, after a day on the slopes it is a real treat to be able to kick back, enjoy some food and refreshment and hear the music of this fine band. And, as an added bonus, kids can mill around enjoy live music up front and personal in a family environment. How ofter do kids get to sit down with their parents, friends and others and listen to live music in a civilized setting? I suggest almost never.  As usual the band delivered their repertoire of, by now well known, original songs such as Desperate Train, Don’t Get me Wrong and Time Stands Still , and also a healthy serving of new material. These guys continue to write and rehearse on an almost continuous basis and as an audience we gain the benefit.

 James Neve     Dave Birch     Rob Young     Marty Musser

Viva the Kimberley Ski Hill and the Stemwinder Bar and Grill.

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Heather G’s Jam #2

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Heather G’s Jam, co-hosted by Dave Prinn and Heather Gemmell at Ric’s Lounge in the Prestige Hotel in Cranbrook, November 9, 2012, 7-11pm.

Location isn’t everything but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Ever since Finnegans Wake closed down local musicians have been bereft of a place to informally perform. Bj’s Creekside Pub is still very much on the scene but that is in Kimberley. The management of Ric’s lounge has stepped up to the plate with a live music policy that, if the two first Heather G jam session are any indication, seem destined for success. If so it will be well deserved. The location is perfectly obvious, accessible, well appointed, lots of parking, pleasant staff and good food. Add in some opportune timing (once a month, 7-9 pm) and a huge reservoir of local talent then it looks like we are in for some good times. On this particular night Dave Prinn and Heather Gemmell kicked off the evening with a great duo of their speciality – rocky / blues with lots of musical interplay. That was just the beginning of an evening filled with music by Sheva (Shelagh and Van Redecopp), Sharon Routley, Rick Marasco and Rod Wilson, James Neve, Mark Casey and Jon Bissett. But undoubtedly the stars of the evening were the ladies of the all female Blue Grass band PIXS AND STIXS (Cosima Wells, Paige Lennox, Janice Nicili, Shelagh Gunn and Heather Gemmell). This was only the second live performance by the band and although handicapped by some technical sound problems and the absence of their mandolin player (Shauna Plant) they proceeded to delight a packed house. At one stage people were lining up at the door. Here are some images from the evening:

                                    So, thanks to Heather Gemmell and Brian Noer for a great idea. Thanks to the management and staff of Ric’s for the venue. Thanks to the musicians and patrons for a wonderful evening and last, but not least thanks to Dave Prinn for his superb organizational skills and the masses of sound equipment he managed for the evening.

Heather G’s Jam #3 will be held On Friday January 4th, 2013 7-11 pm.

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