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:

                  

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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

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60 Hertz at Summersounds

60 Hertz at Summersounds, Rotary Park in Cranbrook, July 6, 2013 1pm to 4 pm.

60 Hertz

60 Hertz – Rob Young, James Neve, Marty Musser and Dave Birch

The second free summer outdoor concert at Rotary Park in Cranbrook featuring “the best band in the land” – 60 Hertz  – What more can I say? As always the band was super tight with great well thought out instrumental and vocal arrangements, imaginative lyrics by James Neve, Rob Young’s almost mellow lead guitar, Dave Birch’s spot on bass playing and the tasty drumming by Marty Musser. The band was fresh from their big day at Fernie’s Canada Day engagement that sported a crowd of over 1,500 and yet in Cranbrook there was only a very small audience on this beautiful sunny day of free music. One wonders why? That didn’t deter 60 Hertz from delivering a great afternoon of great rockin’ music. As well as their wonderful originals such as You May Be Right, Don’t Get me Wrong, More Than I can Give, These Shoes are Made for Walking, Rainland, Mean Streets, Deep Water and Virtuality the band trotted out a marvelous new song called Long Gone Down. I am looking forward to the day when some big time performer will cover some of these great songs and James can look forward to a wealthy retirement.

James Neve212. Rob Young Dave Birch Marty MusserRob Young James Neve Dave Birch"boy, this is great music" James Neve Marty Musser   Rob YoungRob Young      James and Rob        Rob and James  Tree    Tree    Tree

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.

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