The Driftwood House Concert Series


Driftwood_Plain_LogoIn the days before music became an “industry” that may have been the way it was, but not any more. An intimate musical event is one that most of us, but not all, no longer have the opportunity to experience. Generally speaking, musical performances are larger scaled  events and music is some what confined to the concert hall or the bigger venues. The idea of a music as an intimate affair is almost, but not quite, unknown. The notable exceptions in this area are The Beannick Subscription series, The Homegrown Coffee House and Locals Coffee House series and the occasional House Concert.  “House Concerts”  are not new.The most notable historical example are the famous Harlem “House Rent parties” of the 1930s that were a hot bed of jazz piano. Piano giants like James P. Johnson, Lucky Roberts, and Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith would play in apartments in Harlem and the money collected went towards the owners rent. In more recent times there has been a resurgence of House Concerts. The idea is that a musician can play a concert in a private home, either for a nominal fee or donations, usually they then have a place to stay and  Darin Welchsomething to eat. The owner of the house can invite interested patrons to attend for a nominal fee. Usually the performing groups are either solo acts or small groups that play acoustically or with minimal amplifications. The audience usually number less than 40. Over recent years Beth Crawley and Sharon Routley, on separate occasions, have hosted House Concerts. We can add Darin  and Jen Welch to the list of music patrons willing to host House Concerts. They have just completed a winter series  in their Driftwood Concert House in Kimberley. They are about to launch their Spring – March/April series that will include the following performers:

Thursday, March 28, 2013:  Belle Plaine from Saskatchewan. Check her web site at Belle Plaine

 Friday, April 19, 2013: David Newberry w/- The Nautical Miles from Vancouver. Check their websites at David Newberry  Nautical Miles

Sunday, April 28, 2013: Christa Couture w/- Jess Hill from Vancouver. Check their websites at Chris Couture  Jess Hill

There are 40 tickets per concert and at $12 they sell out fast. To reserve your ticket contact Darin at the following email address



Apre Ski with Oak Republic

Oak Republic at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday  February 16/17th, 2013, 3-6 pm. 

OAK REPUBLIC?? Where did that name come from? As it turns out the band’s Bouzouki player Shawn Robertson is a big admirer of the great Canadian guitarist Don Ross. Don is famous for his aggressive finger style playing that has been labelled “Heavy Wood”. Considering the nature of the band’s music “Heavy Wood” would seem an appropriate name for the band but, in deference to Don, the band moved on looking for another name. “What’s a significant heavy wood. Let’s see; say what about Oak? Now that’s a step in the right direction. What’s a name for a collection of citizens? How about a Republic? By George  Jay TonerJay, you’ve got it. The OAK REPUBLIC is what we are.” Under that name Jay Toner (guitar, vocals), Allyson Blake (fiddle and vocals), Shawn Robertson (guitars, mandolin, vocals and Irish Bouzouki), Murph Martin (electric 5-string bass) and Paris Parisean (drums) performed at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill at the Kimberley Ski Hill on Saturday and Sunday. Their music is a mix of the old, new and not so new Irish, country, classic rock, folk and anything in between. They kicked off their Sunday set with Ewan McColl’s classic Dirty Old Town. This is a song that was given a new lease of life when the Irish Punk/Rock band The Pogues recorded it a few years back. Then it was onto some Ben Harper, U2, Johnny Cash, an original Typsy Gypsy (written by Jay and Allyson when Allie first came over from Ireland), Whiskey in the Jar (an Irish traditional song that has been given a new lease of life by a number of Heavy Metal bands in recent years). Also included where the ever popular Wagon Wheels and CCR’s Bad Moon Rising and a song that was new to me, John Lennon’s Working Class Hero.The crowd obviously showed their appreciation by dancing, an activity that was fraught with danger if you were not wearing ski boots.

Allyson Blake       Murph Martin      500a. Jay Toner Shawn Robertson       Allyson Blake      Paris Parisien   Murph Martin       Young Dancer      Shawn Robertson   Jay Toner        The Latest in Dancing Shoes      Murph Martin  Allyson Blake       Paris Parisien      Shawn Robertson  Allyson and a young admirer

Click on the above images for a larger view


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


Les Miserables

LesMiserables-posterThis local production feature “a cast of thousands” and a large pit orchestra of local musicians

Here are some random images from Wednesday’s evening (February 12, 2013) final dress rehearsal – click on the images for a larger view

 Cast and CrewShelagh Redecopp in the orchestra pit        In the orchestra pit        In the Orchestra pit In the orchestra pit        Shelagh Redecopp in the orchestra pit         Steen Jorgensen in the orchestra pit   Robin Clegg in the orchestra pit                      In the orchestra pit  Jim Cameron in the orchestra pit                      In the orchestra pit  Geoff Wyatt in the orchestra pit        Ian in the orchestra pit       In the orchestra pit    Les Miserables       Les Miserables        Les Misrables    Les Miserables      Les Miserables       Les Miserables    Ladies of the Evening      Les Miserables       Les Miserables   Les Miserables        Les Miserables       Les Miserables   Les Miserables        Les Miserables      Les Miserables   Les Miserables                      Les Miserables   Les Miserables                     Ladies of the Evening   Les Miserables       Les Miserables       Les Miserables 200b. Les Miserables@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Apre Ski with Shane Philip

Shane Philip at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Sunday  February 10th, 2013, 3-6 pm. The opening act Ty West and Jesse Lee

Shane Philip is no stranger to Kimberley audiences. I have lost count of the number of times he has visited the area. Certainly one of his favorite locales is the Kimberley Ski Hill Shane Philipand once again he packed in  a crowd in that was anxious to dance. For the uninitiated Shane is a one man band whose music can only be described as “grove based” . He makes full use of an array of percussion, didgeridoos and guitar to lay down the grove on his original songs and tunes and then add vocals and melody on top with harmonica, ukelele and that peculiar Weissenborn slack-key  guitar. The opening act for Shane was a couple of like minded musicians. This duo of young musicians came over from Nelson to prime the audience for Shane. Ty West  on guitar and vocals with Jesse Lee on upright bass played a set of mostly originals. They would only admit to playing two covers. I did recognize Bob Marley I Shot the Sheriff some where in the mix. Their solid rhythmic take on the simple guitar / bass duo really had the audience ready to dance.  Here are some images from probably one of the liveliest Apre Ski session this winter.

 Jesse Lee and Ty west   Ty West & Jesse Lee   Dancer   Jesse Lee & Ty West      Jesse Lee       Ty West & Jesse Lee  Shane Philip      The KCR Dancers       Ty West    Heidi       Shane Philip       Jesse Lee   Ty West       Making faces       Shane Philip   Life is a chocolate bar       Shane Philip        Let's Boogie   Heidi      Ty West        Jesse Lee  Cailey Chase fresh from a Richard Wagner Opera      Jesse Lee & Ty West       Heidi  Natasja    Ty West    Heidi    Alex and her hat            Dancers

At each session I like to get at least one shot that captures the interplay of light and performer. I call it “The Money Shot”. Here is Sunday’s money shot

Jesse Lee@@@@@@@@@@@


Apre Ski with Blue Crush

Blue Crush at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill  (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday and Sunday, 2 & 3 February 2013, 3-6 pm.

It is the Grammy Awards time of year. The time when the lunatic fringe of the entertainment industry masquerades as musicians and old timers lament the good old days of classic rock. Of course we forget that during the classic era there was as much nonsense then as there is now. Tiny Tim, Kiss, Madonna are just few that indulged in the entertainment hoopla of the day. Who can forget the spandex and mountains of hair? Time is a great filter and gives truth to the sentiment “if it is any good it will stick around”.

Terry Alton of BLUE CRUSHWhen I heard that BLUE CRUSH was to play at the Stemwinder I was expecting a “surfer chick” band (remember the movie Blue Crush?) so it was a pleasant surprise to be treated Terry Altonto an afternoon of classic rock and country by this power house trio from Trail. And, although time is a filter, good musicians like BLUE CRUSH enhance the process by stripping away the garbage and getting to the meat of the meal. This trio with Terry Alton (‘Stash) on guitar, Jason Thomas (“The Country Junkie) on bass and Jim Fike on drums do exactly that and then some. The classic stuff was all there. Dance, Dance, Dance,  Listen to the Music, David Wilcox’s Riverboat Fantasy, Mark Knopfler’s Sultans of Swing, Mama Don’t Dance,  Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman (oh Julia Roberts I wish you were here), Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing and Voodoo Child, Stuck in the Middle With You, and my favorite the old jazzy Mel Torme tune Coming Home Babe (Terry prefers the David Sanborn version). There is nothing new about a cover band. With every over-40 musician trying to re-live their youth they are a dime a dozen. However this trio takes it a notch above the average and most of this is due to Terry Alton’s guitar playing. This guy, who looks like a mild mannered school teacher or bank teller, literally blazes away on guitar. He has the ability, in common with of all great players, to make it look sooooo  easy. All the guitar gymnastics, slide  and pedal power are there in spades but he never breaks a sweat. He is one of the cleanest players I have seen in a long time. My only regret is that I would have liked to hear him explore more jazz based material. It is also unfortunate that he takes the focus away from his very capable band mates. They well deserve more than a mention. But what can I say? I’m a guitar player and that is my automatic focus. Sorry guys.

Terry Alton    Jason Thomas     Jim Fike    Head Banger Gear     Terry Alton    Jason Thomas   Jim Fike                Head Banger Gear                                                              Terry Alton

The Band will be back in the Stemwinder for the last weekend in March


Open Mic Session at BJ’s

Bill St.Amand hosting an Open Mic Session , Saturday February 2, 2013, 7:30 pm at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Kimberley.

It says a lot about the number and depth of talent in the area when two open mic sessions, back to back (Friday and Saturday), can attract an almost completely different crew of musicians and an audience to boot. On the first Saturday of every month during the winter  Bill St. AmandBJ’s Creekside pub is the home stage for a open mic session. It was Bill St. Amand’s turn to be the host and it must be remembered that this commitment requires a significant amount of time and energy to haul equipment and round up potential performers. Bill always manages to put together an interesting line-up. He was first out of the gate a selection of his unique blend of chord/melody guitar work and some familiar, but not too familiar, songs and tunes. For original material that is starting to become well known by local audiences it is pretty hard to overlook the work of Tim Ross and the able bass player Ferdy Belland, from the band The Bison Brothers. Since Ferdy got back to town this collaboration of musicians is getting smoother, tighter and so polished in  Tim Rossperformance that they almost shimmer with good vibes. Tim stepped through his originals Work Time, The Lucky Star, My Sister’s Friends, My Baby Won’t ride in My Truck No More, Fish God and added in a few covers that included That’s All Right Mama, Lola (of Kinks fame) and the classic Pancho and Lefty. Daze of Grace (Sharon and Jubal Routley) along with yours truly Rod Wilson, on Irish Whistle and Percussion performed Dougie Maclean’s Ready for the Storm and Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. BJ’s mellow ambience prompted me to haul out an acoustic 12-string guitar. This instrument does not have a pickup and an attentive audience is always helpful when performing live. I have had the instrument for a couple of years but I rarely play it in public.For this wonderful venue and audience I played a medley of two instrumentals, Paxton’s Parody ( a rip-off of a popular Tom Paxton song) an an original tune called Tomorrow is a Better Day (always the  Garry Jacklinoptimist). The only other piece I performed was a ballad from the Aussie Rock band REDGUM. The song The Dusty Diamentina was written some 20 odd years ago and has managed to slip into the traditional folk music realm. With its classic line “the rain never falls on the Dusty Diamentina” the song had a touch of unintended irony. This week on the news the Diamentina river is in flood as torrential cyclone weather drenches north eastern Queensland. Other performers during the evening included solo performers Garry Jacklin, Bill Renwick (with a little blues harp)  and the duo The Quimby’s (Ferdy Belland and Erin Dalton). Ferdy was everybody’s favorite bass player by joining a number of performers on stage throughout the evening. Once again BJ’s proved it is the venue of choice for discerning musicians and audiences.

Bill St. Amand     Ferdy Belland    Bill Renwick   Tim Ross    Erin Dalton     Ferdy Belland    Bill St.Armand    Garry Jacklin    Erin Dalton


Ferdy Belland


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



Bocephus King at the Byng

Bocephus King, Slack Pine and the Bison Brothers at the Byng Roadhouse, Cranbrook, Monday January 28, 2013, 8pm.

My wife accuses me of losing my objectivity. After every recent show it seems I have nothing but good to say about the performance. Well, I guess it’s because live music away from the concert platform is always good. It doesn’t matter how many train wrecks, if any,  may occur during the performance the intimacy, vibe and the audience interaction are what makes for great evenings. So, I don’t think I losing my objectivity. How can I lose objectivity when I am having so much fun? Case in point; The recent show at the Byng opened with the new local group Pine Slacks featuring Clayton Parsons (guitar and vocals), Connor Foote (guitar and vocals) and Stu Driedger (stand up bass). The sound system was a little harsh, the lighting less than satisfactory and their bass player was dealing with some serious medical pain. Despite the difficulties they pulled it together and delivered a set that included originals such as Echoes, Know My Name, Time, Coyote, How I Met Your Mom, Stay, Grey Cell Doors, Hold On, Waiting to be Set Free, Ducks and a great thumping version of Hangman. Kudos to Stu for hanging in there despite the pain. Tim Ross (vocals, guitar), Ferdy Belland (vocals and Bass) and Colin Righton (drums) are no strangers on the local scene. When Ferdy recently arrived back in town Ferdy BellandTim Ross re-activate their musical partnership in The Bison Brothers. This is a slick, in the best sense, tight rock solid unit. With Tim’s song writing skills, cowboy/rock star/western persona, Ferdy’s hyperactive bass and backup vocals and Colin Righton’s harnessed heavy metal sensibilities any performance is guaranteed to please. On Monday night at the Byng it was no different. Apart from a few cover tunes Tim’s original material was front and center. Songs include My Sister’s Friends, Fish God, My Baby Won’t Ride in My Car No More, Day After Day, Ghost Town, How Come I Never Have any Money, the rocking (“everyone needs a car song”) Rocket 88 and, my personal favorite The Lucky Star. “Bocephus King at the Byng”doesn’t that have a nice ring to it. Despite having a website Bocephus is a  bit of an enigma. The biography on the web site is a masterpiece of non-information. Who is Bocephus King? Where does he  Bocephus Kingcome from? Apart from working out of Vancouver anything else is pure guess work. No matter his music and his five piece band speaks for its self. The band, featuring Bocephus King on guitar and vocals, Wynston Minckler on short scale bass, Paul Townsend on drums, Charlie Hase  on pedal steel and Skye Wallace on vocals, percussion and Melodica delivered over two hours of non-stop grove based music. There were a few covers in there (Don’t Think Twice, Run Like a Fugative ) but it was mostly roots based, and as near as I could tell, original music with a distinct Caribbean feel.This was a great show with good flow, a good grove, very musical (?? a rock band that’s musical) and lots of space for each musician to shine. Charlie Hase’s pedal steel added that extra melodic voice that is often missing in most bands; Skye Wallace’s vocals, percussion and especially her Melodica playing on the old Dean Martin pop classic Sway was a real surprise and a joy to hear. It was a Monday night, traditionally a dead night in the week but the word must have got out because there was good crowd who are  obviously enjoying the Byng’s Roadhouse’s return to the live music scene. Here are some more images from the evening.

 Clayton Parsons   Connor Foote    Clayton Parsons   Ferdy Belland     Skye Wallace    Stu Driedger  Bocephus King     Connor Foote    Tim Ross  Ferdy Belland     Bocephus King   Skye Wallace  Bocephus King     Skye Wallace   Charlie Hase Charlie Hase   Bocephus King  Skye Wallace  Bocephus King.   Connor Foote     Paul Townsend   Tim Ross    Skye Wallace    Bocephus King Skye Wallace    Wynston Minckler    Bocephus King   Bocephus King   Skye Wallace     Clayton Parsons   Skye Wallace    Skye Wallace      Skye Wallace.

So, just remember THE BYNG ROADHOUSE has live music every Friday and Saturday evening with a jam session every Saturday afternoon.