THE GO GO GRANNIES BENEFIT CONCERT, Key City Theatre, September 30, 2pm. Featuring harpist Bronn Journey and vocalist Katherine Journey. The opening act – Good Ol’ Goats. Proceeds from the concert go to The Stephen Lewis Foundation.
First of all, the Go Go Grannies are a local chapter of the Canada wide Grandmothers to Grandmothers organization which is part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The Go Go Grannies raise money to help grandmothers in Africa who are raising their grand children because their parents have died of HIV Aids. The Go Go Grannies have members from Wasa, Cranbrook and Kimberley and meet once a month at the College of the Rockies. For more information contact Muriel Steidl at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The opening act, fresh from their CD release concert of September 15th 2012 at the Studio / Stage Door, were the Good Ol’ Goats. This is a well known local folk band that has had enormous success over the past few months. This group of young musicians include singer / song writer Nolan Ackert (banjo and guitar) Julian Bueckert (drums), Angus Leidtke (vocals, banjo and guitar) Angus MacDonald (vocals, Fiddle and mandolin) Theo Moore (vocals and bass) and Joelle Winkell (vocals, percussion, guitar, autoharp and mandolin). This normally exuberant band kick off the afternoon concert with the rather subdued opening of “In the Garden” – a mellow tune that belied it’s somewhat macabre content. They moved on through a number of their, by now, well known songs from their recent CD release that included “Not the Same“, “Sailor’s Love Song“, “Kiss the Cactus”, and, of course, the title track, “The Train”
Now fresh from a muddy Welsh rugby field here is Bronn Journey with his violent electric blue harp.
The idea of a Harp and Voice concert normally brings up the vision of cherubs floating around the ceiling of a cathedral. Bronn does his best to dispel that image. Being a rugged, large muscular man he is as far from a cherub as you could image. As the Harp is a national instrument of Wales Bronn insists that the harp is the instrument of choice for Welsh rugby players and by extension should be the instrument of choice for Canadian hockey players. Be that as it may, Bronn went onto perform the music of angels on this spectacular harp. He opened with some “cutting edge Lawrence Welk music” (his words) with a rendition of the atmospheric “Ebb Tide”. Throughout the afternoon, with a great deal of panache, humour and virtuosity he delivered a wide variety of tunes that included “Autumn Leaves”, “Chariots of fire”, Bach’s “Jesu Man’s Desire”, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy“, the Willie Nelson/Patsy Cline tune “Crazy”, some Welsh hymns and many others. In between sets of tunes Bronn managed a short entertaining dissertation on the mechanics of the harp. From time to time he was joined by his wife Katherine for vocal selections that included songs from The Sound of Music (“My Favourite Things”). Their finale was Josh Groban’s “Climb Every Mountain”.