Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Raven’s Roost – Kimberley Golf Club, July 12, 2013 6-9pm
Bill St. Amand is an old hand at organizing and hosting Open Mic Sessions and his criteria for a good session is one in which he doesn`t have to perform much. The more musicians that show up the less there is for him to do. On that basis the open mic session on Friday was absolutely stellar. After that, the great variety of performers and excellent entertainment was a plus and on Friday the pluses were there in abundance. The first performers to be leveraged away from their supper were two musicians from the country/roots band Joshua Burning. The bass player John Gerlitz couldn’t make the gig but that master of political correctness and guitar picking dexterity Keith Larsen and BC’s most under rated country singer/ song writer Garnet Waites stepped though a selection of their repertoire that included In the Moonlight After Midnight, an original blues for science nerds called Roll Back the Years, the over the top guitar duet on Blue Sky and another Garnet Waite original called Angela. For more information on Joshua Burning check Joshua Burning
Rod Wilson (vocals and cittern) and Wally Smith (darbuka and mandolin) of The Blarney Pilgrims resurrected some of old tunes that included Bonnie Ciara (a plagiarised version of The Bonnie Dundee), The Blarney Pilgrim, Richard Thompson’s Dimming of the Day and the classic Canadian Folksong The Prairie Harvester. Sam Hornberger and his wife Marlene are refugees from the lower mainland who moved to this little slice of paradise last year. Sam is a welcome addition to the music scene with his fine interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Dave Loggins, Kenny Loggins and Valdy. When a group of musicians get together on a regular basis they need to have a band name. Chris Datsun, Paulette, Shayne Rodrigues and Maridee Rodrigues could be called the Datson / Rodrigues Collective but that is a bit cumbersome. Knowing their taste for margaritas I think they should be called The Margarita Mixers. Their selection of tunes include the world’s great song (I forget what it is called), the Rolling Stones Dead Flowers, Flip Flop and Fly and of course Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Undoubtedly the favorites of the evening were the duo of Connor Foote and Clayton Parsons both on guitar and vocals. These young Cranberries are putting together some great original material that pays more than a passing homage to the classic performers of Americana that include Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Big Bill Broonzy, John Prine and Bob Dylan. Along with the bass player Stew Driedger they were the band Slack Pines (or was it Pine Slacks?). Connor and Clayton are now back to performing as a duo and are looking for a band name. So I have already named the Margarita Mixers so I am throwing the name Forclosure into the hat for consideration. I think it has a nice ring to it with its overtones of the dirty thirties, dust bowl ballads, Woody Guttherie, Ramblin Jack, Dylan, Prine and the like. Help me out here guys, let me have at least one claim to fame as you climb the ladder of success. Here are some more images from the afternoon.
Despite the cool evening and the overcast sky this was a killer open mic session. There were lots of willing performers, lots of variety and a very appreciative audience. This is probably one of the best open mics in recent times (or at least Connor Foote thought so). The tentative date for the next Raven Roost Session is August 9, 2013, 6-9pm.
Hats off to Bill for organizing the jam session and to all the performers. What fun! Eagerly looking forward to the next one.