Gordie Tentrees at Centre 64

Gordie Tentrees at Centre 64 in Kimberley, Saturday November 28, 2021, 8pm

In this day and age performers like Gordie Tentrees are labelled as Singer / Song writers. In Gordie’s case that is true but it is not the whole story. Singer / Song writers can run the whole gamut from trivial pop music through the most esoteric music possible. In a different era Gordie would have been labelled simply as a “Folk Singer” but these days that is a rather a quaint label to hang on an artist. When was the last time you saw “Folk Singer” given any promotional  prominence? Never-the-less, that’s what Gordie is, an honest-to-goodness folk singer and storyteller in the tradition of Woody Gutherie (without the prewar politics), Pete Seeger (without the banjo), John Prine (without the twang) and, closer to home, the Canadians Freddie Eaglesmith and David Francy. With these masters the story is the thing and in Gordie’s case the songs are slices of life polished to a gem like luster to enhance the story.

Gordie Tentrees (vocal, guitar, harmonica, Dobro, foot tambourine and stomp box) was accompanied by his side kick, the “icon of the Yukon”, Bob Hamilton on pedal steel guitar, mandolin and arc top guitar. They traveled down from Whitehorse in the Yukon to do a string of twelve performances and, despite the horrendous weather, torrential rains, floods, wash outs and road closures they made it all the way through to Kimberley for the gig on Saturday November 28, 2021. The next day they headed off to Calgary for the long trip back up north to their home base in Whitehorse. That is a lot of kilometers to traverse to play twelve gigs in venues governed by strict Covid rules.

The show opened with some nice, gentle pedal steel guitar on the song Wind Walker. For the next hour and a half the audience was treated to a plethora of stories and songs that touched on Far Away Friends, Ring Speed (experiences as a boxer), Bye Gone Days (a desire to rewrite Canadian history), Craft Beards and Man Buns (dubious man fashions), Less is More (you don’t have to be a deadbeat dad), a Tlingit song and lots of stories culled from and interesting life that started in Bancroft, Ontario before heading across Canada and the world. Along the way he spent time in New Zealand and Western Australia and in one of my favorite places – Byron Bay, New South Wales.

Bob Hamilton played his appointed role as an accompanist on Pedal steel guitar in a C6 tuning (for those interested in that sort of thing), some driving mandolin and arc top guitar. Geordie gave him lots of solo space and spiced up the music with some tasteful foot tambourine and stomp box. Because of covid restrictions there was no interval. In these trying times we are thankful for the Kimberley crew who planned and organized the evening’s music. Well done guys.

Here are some more images from the evening:

       

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POST SCRIPT:

Gordie’s  comments on race relations are worth repeating “the New Zealanders are way ahead of Canada and Australia is way, way behind”. Australia has yet to confront its racist past and its treatment of indigenous people. I can verify his opinions. I am Australian born and lived in Australia until I moved to Canada in my early 30’s. Growing up in Australia I had no contact with Aborigines. I met my first Aborigine in  Byron Bay while working in a slaughter house. I was then in my late twenties. Prior to that time I had worked and lived in Sydney and each day I caught the train into the city to go to work.. Each day I would step off the train at Central station and, unbeknownst to me,  immediately behind the station, on the other side of tracks, so to speak, there was an aboriginal ghetto.I worked in the city for nine years without being aware of that fact.  In later years I learnt there were parts of the city where “whites” were not welcome. In the late 1960s I hitch hiked across Australia to Perth and outside Kalgoorlie in Western Australia I was picked up by a driver who must have been in his seventies. In conversation he mentioned that in his youth he was a drover on one of the big cattle stations and, because they speared cattle,  he said that they were under orders to shoot “wild blacks”. That would have placed such instances back in the early part of the twentieth century. Not that long ago when you stop and think about it.

Since that time I have traveled to New Zealand a number of times. I even lived there for the best part of a year and became aware of the Maori culture and its impact and integration into New Zealand society. New Zealand must be the only place on the planet where the indigenous culture has changed the white man. If I had not finally settled in Canada, New Zealand would have been my choice as a place to live and bring up a family. Every body should take a trip to New Zealand before they die. It is a very special place.

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The Tree

About ten days ago I was standing by the kitchen window drinking my morning tea and it just caught my eye. The unmistakable tint of dead needles in one of the huge trees just downhill from the house. It was a surprise because earlier in the summer the trees by the house were healthy. This one must have died very quickly and very silently over the summer. The was no lightning strike no catastrophic event. It just died of old age I guess.  I walked down and checked it out and it was dead. A tree dying in the forest is not a remarkable event, however this was a huge tree and if it should come down it could take out our power, telephone, the sun deck and a significant portion of the house. There was no need to panic. A dead tree could stand for a couple of years before mother nature and gravity brings it down but eventually it would come down.

I contacted a local tree service run by Don Johnson. He came in, confirmed my fears and arranged to come back with a crew in few days and take it down. As mother nature would have it,  a tremendous storm blew through the province and Don was delayed as he dealt with clients with more urgent needs. A few days later he showed up with a crew, three trucks , Cherry picker, flat bed trailer, a huge chain saw, tools and a chipper. They formulated a plan: Stage 1 – Decide where to fall the tree and clean out the landing area; Stage 2 – Bring the tree down; Stage 3 – Remove the branches; Stage 4 – Cut up the log and remove; Stage 5 – Clean up

Here is  photographic record of what ended up as a  2-3 hour job………..

Preparing the landing site

Bark removal & the first cuts :

   

Working it with Wedges

     

And down she comes, on target  right between the trees…….

On the ground and the clean up

Counting the rings

Portrait of a Logger – Don Johnson

The Job’s done – The final paragraph: The tree  came in at around 80-90 feet and was probably around 200 years old. That means it germinated around the time Queen Victoria was born (1819) and was a mature tree by the year of Canadian Confederation. A tree of that maturity and magnitude deserves to have a name and Ol’ Vic would seem appropriate.

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ES:MO

DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS CONCERT WAS CANCELLED BUT MICHAEL AND ELIZABETH HAVE RESCHEDULED THE EVENT FOR SPRING 2022

Slowly but surely live music is returning to the post-pandemic world. Elizabeth Shepherd and Michael Occhipinti are returning to the area to perform concerts in support of their new release Weight of Hope. Elizabeth and Michael tour out of Toronto and Montreal (I think) and  have visited the Kootenays many time of the years. They are both Juno Nominees and, as always their performances will produce music above and beyond the normal.

The concert will be limited to 30 seats @ $ 20.00each. To reserve your seat please send interac etransfer to John Siega jtsiega@telus.net. All attendees must provide proof of double vaccination and follow Covid 19 guidelines as per venue requirements. The concert will be at Cranbrook Art Gallery at the 1401 Gallery site on 5th street North . Any questions please contact Louie Cupello (250) 417-9690.

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Read any Good Books lately? (#20) – The Day of the Triffids

There is nothing like a pandemic to whet ones appetite for a good post-apocalyptic novel. These days it seems that there is whole genre of science fiction that ruminates on what-if-end of world scenarios. There are plenty to pick from but a good place to start is to go back to the classics and that would include  THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS by John Wyndham. Written in 1951 it is probably his best known work and is a classic of the genre. His other famous novels  include the Midwich Cuckoos (1957) otherwise known as The Village of the Dammed. Readers today may find the writing style a little to old fashion but for me they are still page turners.

The Amazon synopsis of  The Day of the Triffids goes something like this……….

“Bill Masen wakes up one morning in his hospital bed. His eyes are completely bandaged after an eye operation so he is unable to see. He immediately notices how still and quiet everything is. Having taken off his bandages, he discovers that both inside the hospital and out, the majority of the population (who watched a display of startlingly bright comets in the night sky the previous evening) have all gone blind, and realizes that there is a terrifying new enemy for humankind to contend with. This is his thrilling, chilling and enthralling story…. When Bill Masen leaves hospital and goes into the center of London, he finds that looting is rife as people are grabbing anything from the shelves of shops that they think they might find useful – mainly food.

While surveying the scene he comes across an attractive young woman who also wasn’t blinded, Josella. Together they return in her car to her parents’ home, only to discover everyone at the house has been murdered by the Triffids. The Triffids are walking plants which carry a vicious and lethal sting. Bill used to have one in his back garden, but far from being completely harmless they have now developed and are threatening to take over the world. They are also strongly linked to the mysterious comet shower.

Bill has an advantage over other survivors in that his job had involved him researching the Triffids. In fact, it was a Triffid sting that was one of the reasons he had been in hospital on the night of the comets, and this incident saved him from blindness. Together, Josella and Bill, whose bond to each other is growing, join a group of people, many of whom are blind but some of whom can see, with plans to head into the country…and their true struggle begins.” and so on. The Triffids appear to be the result of some genetic tampering and the accidental mass dispersal of the seeds into the atmosphere. Prior to the the “night of the comets” the Triffids were controlled and harvested in various commercial enterprises. After “the night of the comets” it became obvious that the only advantage that man had over the Triffids was the  ability to see.The novel explores human survival after the mass blinding of the human race.

It is a believable premise and for me resonates with our current pandemic predicament. The elements of denial and the hankering to get things back to normal are similar. There is a failure to fully realize that the notion of normal has drastically changed. In both instances there is a watershed moment of “before and after” and nothing can ever be exactly the same again.  In the novel the change is way more dramatic and permanent than in our coming post-pandemic world. Some things we hold near and dear will return but in some ways it is like the world in 1919. Things had changed too much to ever really go back to the way things were. The world in 1919 was a vastly different place to that of 1914. Similarly the world of 2023 will be vastly different to the world of 2019. Millions of deaths on a global scale will do that sort of thing.

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Postscript: “Day of the Triffids” was turned into and unsuccessful B grade movie that is best forgotten. There was a sequel novel set 25 years after John Wyndham’s original novel. It is called The Night of the Triffids and was  written by Simon Clark in 2001. It is a reasonable attempt at a sequel but is not as believable as the original.

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Karma’s a bitch!!

ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

WHAT GOES ROUND COMES ROUND

Otherwise known as KARMA – The spiritual principle of cause and effect wherein intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect): Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and happier rebirths, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and bad rebirths. This concept has also been adopted in Western popular culture, in which the events which happen after a person’s actions may be considered natural consequences…… wikipedia

Mak Parhar was an outspoken COVID denier and conspiracy theorist from Vancouver, British Columbia. He passed away on Thursday, November 4, 2021. He had shown COVID-19 symptoms for the past couple of days prior to his death, but it is not clear whether he had tested positive for the virus.

He first came to public attention when he was operating a yoga studio in North Delta in contravention of Public Health orders. It was shut down after he claimed that the COVID-19 virus  could not survive heat. Considering his public denial of the existence of the Covid virus it was an odd position for him to take.  In July 2021 he  was accused of repeatedly breaking COVID-19 quarantine rules and appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. He was charged with three counts of breaking the Quarantine Act. At the time of his death his trial was still ongoing. Parhar allegedly refused to self-isolate after returning from a Flat Earth conference in the United States in November 2020. At the time, he spent four days in jail. In March 2020 after he encouraged people to attend the studio and falsely claimed the heat would kill the coronavirus the City of Delta revoked his business license. That did not deter Mr Parhar from continuing to deny the existence of the Covid virus.

Last month while in his car, Parhar posted a video describing that he was suffering from a number of symptoms. They included a “rheumy sore throat” and hot and cold feelings. In the midst of that diatribe, he was also coughing and spitting phlegm out his driver’s side window. But Parhar adamantly denied that he had “COVID”. That’s because according to him, “COVID doesn’t exist”. In a subsequent video, Parhar revealed that he took Invermectim, a quack remedy for Covid,  which is used to treat parasite infections. Once again, considering his Covid denial, it was an odd position take

In his final video posted on his Facebook page, Parhar expressed hope that he could cross the border in the future to attend a convention of Flat Earth believers in the United States. One can make the most outrageous claims but, in Mak Parhar case,  there are consequences. If the cause of his death is attributed to Covid then he will join  a growing list of deniers and anti-vaxers who have also died from the virus.

On a different scale President Donald Trump’s performance in fighting the coronavirus pandemic was the worst in the industrialized world. His bad handling of the pandemic probably contributed to election defeat in 2020 (karma). Other leaders were very bad  but nobody else in rich countries matched Trump’s combination of maliciousness and addle-brained incompetence. But at least one other president did worse: Tanzania’s John Magufuli, who refused to admit COVID-19 was a problem, suppressed discussion of the pandemic, and ultimately died of the disease himself, along with many of his top political allies.  It’s a stark lesson in the deadly cost of denying the pandemic and a perfect example of bad Karma coming back to bite the perpetrator.

You can deny the reality of the covid virus and you can refuse to be vaccinated but there are consequences. Without being vaccinated it is a certainty that you will catch the virus, possibly end up in an intensive care ward and you may die. Do you really want to take that risk?

As I said Karma’s a bitch.

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Paul Reed Smith Custom SE Semi-Acoustic Guitar

Fan…….. I hate that word. It always brings to my mind screaming teeny-boppers at a pop concert. I am not a fan of anything and if I should end up so labelled then you have my permission to take me outside and shoot me. As I said I am not a fan of anything but for some things I am an aficionado. In particular I think of myself as a Jazz Guitar Aficionado. I have been listening to Jazz Guitar my entire adult life. Probably the first jazz guitar recording I came across was the 1929 recording of Knocking a Jug featuring Edie Lang with the Louis Armstrong Orchestra.

In many ways, musically and culturally, it was a landmark recording. It must have been one of the first inter-racial bands on record.  Edie Lang was white and Louis Armstrong was black. Edie Lang pretty well killed off the use of the banjo in jazz. After Edie Lang came along banjo players started switching to guitar. Edie went onto to make a whole series of classic recordings with the jazz violinist Joe Venuti. Following a routine tonsillectomy in 1933 he died at the age of 30. In 1977, Lang’s recording of  Singing the Blues with Frankie Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The other great guitarist of that era is the French gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, who along with the violinist Stephane Grapelli took American Jazz and invented a whole new style of playing, one with a particularly French flavor. It became a whole new genre of jazz called Manouche or Gypsy Jazz .

I suppose to modern ears those recordings sound quaint but it must be remembered that at the time of the recordings around 90 years ago the technology of the day was pretty primitive and musicians spent as much time fighting the technology as they spent on learning their craft. For guitarists things did not really get better until the invention of electricity, specifically  the electric guitar. Charlie Christian wasn’t the first electric guitarist but he was the one who virtually invented the electric guitar vocabulary and has pretty well influenced every electric guitar player who came after him. With the electricity came the volume that allowed guitarists to step up to the plate and join the front line of the band. They now had the ability to play complex harmony, unison lines and solos and actually be heard. That  changed the texture and style of the music.

Charlie Christian opened the flood gates and in the post war period and even up to the present day there are so many electric jazz and rock guitarists that he influenced that to just name them would fill a book. He died of tuberculosis on March 2, 1942, at the age of 25.

What does that have to do with the Paul Reed Smith Custom SE Semi-Acoustic Guitar in the photo below? Even with the invention of the solid body electric guitar jazz players seemed to favor the carved top orchestral guitar with its big body and characteristic f-holes. Rightly or wrongly in my mind the sound of Jazz Guitar became associated with the carved top orchestral guitar.

It was only much after I heard the Canadian jazz guitarists Ed Bickett  and Oliver Gannon play exquisite jazz on a Fender solid body guitars  that I realized that it was possible to get an authentic jazz sound on something hardly more than a piece of two by four with a fret board and a pickup. So maybe I didn’t have to spend a fortune  on a “jazz guitar”. Semi-hollow body guitars like the Paul Reed Smith are a compromise between the classic arch top and the Fender style solid body guitar

I first saw and heard a YouTube review of this particular  Paul Reed Smith model about 12 years ago. I will admit the instrument just looked so pretty that I couldn’t resist it. The price was modest so I purchased one. However, I never really got to grips with using it in performance. At the time I was looking for a cool jazz sound and in pursuit of that ideal I installed some high priced European flat wound strings. They were thicker than the set on the instrument and I had to file the slots in the nut to accommodate them. The result was I ruined the nut. To repair the damage I would have had to travel out of town to find an artisan to do the job. As a result the guitar has just been sitting on my wall unplayed and, despite its good looks, unloved. Earlier this year I did find a replacement nut on Amazon. I would have liked to install one of those fancy zero fret nuts but I wasn’t sure of the sizing. Any way, the Amazon nut was almost a perfect fit and it got the instrument almost back to normal. It did the job. After replacing the nut I tried to set up the guitar  and, although  I did have some success with that it was not perfect. Well, about two weeks ago I learnt that there was a guy in town, Darin Massicotte, who could do a professional set up. So last week I got him to install and set up  D’Adddario Chrome Medium Flat Wound strings on the guitar. For the princely sum of only $60 he did a fabulous job. There is still a little “pinging” on the top E string around the 10-12th fret but we are going to let the instrument settle for a few weeks then re-adjust. I am impressed with the final outcome. The strings are super smooth, absolutely unbelievably smooth,  and the sound is nice, rich  and mellow and with a little reverb and chorus it is the sound I have been seeking. It’s a pleasure to just sit down and practice dumb scales and arpeggios. So that’s what I have started working on again but it is like learning a new instrument. Compared to acoustic guitars, electric guitars are different and the music, particularly jazz, requires a different approach to master the  sound and the phrasing. So with time I have high hopes of maybe getting to eventually play some faux jazz. Maybe even have a shot at Kenny Burrell’s Midnight Blue. I may never get to play “real” jazz but I think I will have fun trying.

I am so taken with the flat wound strings that I am going to install a light set on my Irish Bouzouki. That instrument needs some fret work etc and with some help from Darin  it would be nice to get the instrument back into shape. If the Chrome strings works on the Irish Bouzouki I will probably do the same for my Cittern and get Darin to sort out the balance on the pickup. The Chrome strings are expensive and I suspect they will not last long. So for the Bouzouki and Cittern I am looking at around $30-40 to install new strings (two sets for each double course instrument). If I get 6 months out of them I will be happy.

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Post Script: Darin Massicotte – Guitar Tech

“Originally from Edmonton, now a Cranbrook native of 22 years. I moved here with my wife to be in the mountains and ride mountain bikes and ski. I have a always had an interest in guitars. I had a love for punk rock music and after a friend taught me the basics I started playing guitar. Years later I discovered my ability for repairing and setting up stringed instruments, particularly guitars. I have a mechanical background kin repairing bicycles and in precision wood work.

Due to a fairly recent injury I found myself having a difficult time being employable. With that I discovered that my hobby of instrument repair was a desirable skill in the community and people began bringing me their guitars for repair. Word of mouth is big in small communities and word travels fast and I’ve become busy with my “hobby” and have made many new friends over the time. Whether setting up a brand new guitar or re-fretting an old friend, it’s all enjoyable and I learn from each instrument.

I try to get repairs done in a timely manner, limiting the amount of time that you’re without your instrument. Appointments are the best way to do this and I usually only require a day or two with your guitar unless unusual parts are needed or extensive glueing is required.

Next time you need some work done feel free to give me a call.”

Darin Massicotte’s   workshop is called Kootenay String Works and he is located in Cranbrook, B.C.

Telephone number: 250-489-8887

Email: Kootenaystringworks@gmail.com

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YouTube Picks (#41) – Music Outside the Industrial Complex

In 1961 President Dwight DavidIkeEisenhower in his farewell address to the nation, expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending and government contracts to private military manufacturers, which he dubbed  ” the military-industrial complex”.  His warnings were prophetic and much of his concerns have come to pass. The growth and influence of “the military-industrial complex” in the US has led to a distortion of the political and economic make up of the country. For the past 50+ years the US has been in a permanent state of war for which there seems to be no end in sight.

Now, it is not the same thing of course, but I suggest that the music “industry” seems to be in in a similar predicament. The mere fact that we consider music as an industry at all  pretty well under scores the existence of a “music-industrial complex”. Of course we don’t call it that. We know it simply as the “the entertainment industry”. It implies that if it doesn’t “entertain” then it has no value”.  I suggest that this is responsible for the sorry state of music in general. All pop music sounds the same. Maybe it is because I now fall into that  group of “old farts” who are incapable of recognizing “new and vibrant music”. Maybe, but I don’t think so. It is now usual for music to be pigeon holed into various genres and categories and within these groupings the music has been homogenized to point where original and creative performances are hard to come by. If you hear one good Blue Grass band then you have pretty well heard them all. The formula is there and to make a living the musicians pretty well have stick to it. Every rock band seems to be still rattling around inside the standard configurations pioneered in the classic rock era. Imaginative instrumental music has been replaced by a thousand and one singer / song writers. There are some great wordsmiths out there but a lot of the music is pretty ordinary. So much so that audiences no longer know how to listen to interesting  instrumental music.They don’t know the instruments, the  forms and the repertoire. Instrumental music is just too abstract for most audiences.

Every Community College and University in the land markets a range of diplomas and degree programs designed to dissect all aspects of music and parcel it up for students looking to equip themselves for a career in music. Even the “high art” genres such as Jazz and Classical music seemed to have fallen prey to the mass marketing of career building skills. The end result is the flooding of the “market” with thousands and thousands of highly trained and highly skilled musicians, producers, sound engineers, and support staff for careers in music that just don’t exist and probably not likely to exist in the future. The result is most musicians, etc barely make a living. Those that do usually end up in teaching careers. This aspect of the Classical Music Industry was very successfully explored in the book and the TV series Mozart in the Jungle. The whole topic brings to mind a conversation I had some years ago with a classical viola player who, despite a music degree and tenure in a number of symphony orchestras, was heading back to school to get either  an unrelated degree or vocational training to equip her for life “in the real world”. She found the rounds of soul destroying auditions had become too much to bear.

All is not lost. In fact technology has come to the rescue in the form of YouTube. It is possible to spend many hours a day exploring performances on YouTube  that fall outside “the music-industrial complex”.  Here is an example. I have no idea of the exact  name of the song. I have no idea of the content of the lyrics. I can only surmise that the music is probably Greek. The performers are two female vocalists who harmonize in a style that sounds some what Eastern European (Balkan, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Armenian  – pick one) and is way outside the norms of the entertainment industry. One of the girls accompanies the performance on the Arab Oud. She uses the standard oud pick called a Risha  that gives the music a vibrant percussive sound that  also sets it further outside current  entertainment norms. The other lass uses some finger castanets to add some percussion variety.  Take a listen to a performance that, to my ear, is creative and  imaginative.

I was fortunate to stumble on an analysis of the song on the website Oud for Guitarists. If you are a musician take a note of the key signature in the manuscript. With its Bb and a half Eb notations it is not a key signature that the average western musician would know. As an analysis the video it it is a good introduction to some of the nuances of Middle Eastern music.This is music way outside the norms of the  “music-industrial complex”

Here is another interpretation of the same tune by a young musician on electric guitar who is jamming along with the video of the two girls.

So, as I said. All is not lost. Explore the back roads and by ways of YouTube and find the hidden gems that are sitting there waiting to be discovered.

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More of the same :

 

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A Little Voodoo Light in the Pandemic Tunnel

A LITTLE VOODOO – Contemporary Blues, Centre 64, Outdoor Covid Protocol Concert; Saturday September 25th, 2021, 6pm.

We are over 18 months into the Covid Pandemic and across the nation and the world it has taken a devastating toll on the hospitality and entertainment industries. Live music performances have virtually disappeared. Recently the Fisher Peak Performing Arts Society managed to sponsor some performances in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park but a projected music festival scheduled for late September had to be cancelled because of the  uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. Apart from that, there has been no significant musical events for around eighteen months. However, there was a glimmer of light when the Kimberley Arts Council decided, in a limited fashion, to go ahead with their late summer schedule of musical events. The first event in the schedule is an outdoor performance by the Calgary rock/blues band A Little Voodoo. In keeping with Covid Public Health Protocols attendance is restricted to only 50 patrons with social distancing the order of the day. The tickets sold out in half a day.

This Calgary band has been around for many years. The two principal protagonists, Ron Burke on vocals and lead guitar, Tommy Knowles on bass guitar have been performing together for nigh on thirty years. As a band A Little Voodoo is a staple on Calgary blues scene.  They have won many awards and opened for the likes of Colin James, the late Jeff Healey, The Headstones, Paul Rodgers, Long John Baldry, David Gogo, Omar and the Howler, Bo Diddley and a host of others. In 2010 the Calgary Blues Music Hall of Fame named Ron Burke as the Guitar Player of the Year and bassist Tommy Knowles repeated his 2009 win as the Bass Player of the Year.

A Little Voodoo is not new to this area. They last performed here in Studio 64, Kimberley in October 2015.  Rob Vulic was the drummer for that gig. For this beautiful late summer evening concert Ron, Tommy and Rob were joined by Geoff Brock on second guitar.  They kicked off this evening of loud rocking music with Tired of Living Hand to Mouth and followed that up with two hours of an exciting mix  of original tunes and standards from the blues/rock repertoire.  Included in the evening’s performance were B.B. King’s Rock Me Baby, and from way back in the 1960s folk era, a stellar rocked up version of Donovan’s Sunshine Superman.There were some Jimmy Reed Memphis sounds and a wonderful faux peddle steel solo by Geoff Brock on Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Also in the musical atmosphere there were some Chuck Berry, Stevie  Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winters  vibes all spiced up with great slide guitar riffs and lots of sterling solos from both guitarists.

And, as they say in the movies, “as the sun slowly sunk in the west” or in our instance, over the North Star Ski Hill, “we bid farewell” to A Little Voodoo and the light they shone into our dark pandemic tunnel.

Here are some more images from a great night of music……….

   

My thanks go to the members of A Little Voodoo, to Ray on sound and the brave  members of Kimberley Arts Council for putting themselves out there to promote and stage this event.

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Read any Good Books Lately? (#19) – The Recent Past

I like reading books with some historical basis. Historical novels work for me as does a significant number of non-fiction books. The published works of David Halberstam (April 10, 1934 – April 23, 2007) are non-fiction works well worth reading.  He  was an American writer, journalist, and historian, known for his work on the Vietnam War, politics, history, the Civil Right Movement, business, media, American culture, and later, sports journalism. He won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964. While doing research for a new book Halberstam was killed in a car crash in 2007……. Wikipedia.

For me the following two books had instant appeal because they are about the recent past, just before my time, but close enough for me to see and feel the reverberations of what has just gone by.

THE RECKONING by David Halbertam

“New York Times Bestseller: “A historical overview of the auto industry in the United States and Japan [and] the gradual decline of U.S. manufacturing” (Library Journal).
After generations of creating high-quality automotive products, American industrialists began losing ground to the Japanese auto industry in the decades after World War II. David Halberstam, with his signature precision and absorbing narrative style, traces this power shift by delving into the boardrooms and onto the factory floors of the America’s Ford Motor Company and Japan’s Nissan. Different in every way—from their reactions to labor problems to their philosophies and leadership styles—the two companies stand as singular testaments to the challenges brought by the rise of the global economy.From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Fifties and The Coldest Winter, and filled with intriguing vignettes about Henry Ford, Lee Iacocca, and other visionary industrial leaders, The Reckoning remains a powerful and enlightening story about manufacturing in the modern age, and how America fell woefully behind”.

THE FIFTIES, by David Halberstam

“This vivid New York Times bestseller about 1950s America from a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist is “an engrossing sail across a pivotal decade” (Time).

Joe McCarthy. Marilyn Monroe. The H-bomb. Ozzie and Harriet. Elvis. Civil rights. It’s undeniable: The fifties were a defining decade for America, complete with sweeping cultural change and political upheaval. This decade is also the focus of David Halberstam’s triumphant The Fifties, which stands as an enduring classic and was an instant New York Times bestseller upon its publication. More than a survey of the decade, it is a masterfully woven examination of far-reaching change, from the unexpected popularity of Holiday Inn to the marketing savvy behind McDonald’s expansion. A meditation on the staggering influence of image and rhetoric, The Fifties is vintage Halberstam, who was hailed by the Denver Post as “a lively, graceful writer who makes you . . . understand how much of our time was born in those years.” 

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