Visiting Mr. Green

Mr.Green poster

What can you do with a good set and only two actors? Actually quite a lot. Case in point is the play Visiting Mr. Green. This is a play written by the American Jeff Baron and is currently playing at the Studio/Stage Door staring Michael Grossman as Mr. Green and Jerrod Bondy as Ross Gardiner. This production is directed by Tanya Laing Gahr in, probably, her last opus for the Cranbrook Community Theatre. Unfortunately for local patrons Tayna is relocating to Vernon. The play explores a number of dimensions of the themes of racial and sexual orientation prejudices and how the issues are mirror reflections in the differing circumstances of the two protagonists.

Mr. Green - Michael Grossman

Mr. Green played by Michael Grossman

Ross Gardiner played by Jerrod Bondy

 Mr. Green - Michael Grossman   Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Brody   Mr Green - Michael Grossman  Mr Green and Ross Gardiner      Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Brody  Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Bondy   Mr. Green - Michael Grossman  Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Bondy   Mr. Green  Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Bondy Ross Gardiner and Mr. Green     Mr. Green - Michael Grossman  Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Bondy   Ross and Mr. Green  Ross Gardiner  - Jerrod Bondy  Ross and Mr. Green  Ross and Mr. Green   Mr. Green - Michael Grossman   the set   186. Ross Gardiner - Jerrod Bondy  Curtain CallJeff Baron’s website


As a significant aside I should mention the music selections for the play. As always one of the highlights of the Cranbrook Community productions is their music selections. In the case of Visiting Mr. Green, appropriately, the general mood of the evening was enhanced by a great selection of Klezmer including music by Andy Statman, Geoff Berner and a number of the more traditional ensembles. The outstanding song Weep Bride, Weep by Geoff Berner  almost ran the risk of upstaging the play. Here are some lyrics from the song:

All of the places have been set, I’m so happy all you honoured guests all came
There’s been planning and preparation to put the Normandy invasion to shame
This day is all for you so now there’s nothing left to do but

 weep, bride, weep / weep, bride, weep / weep, bride, weep

Weep, bride weep / now your girlhood is over and your womanhood lies stretched out before you / weep, bride, weep
Like a dull grey matronly corpse on the coroner’s slab / weep, bride, weep
Nothing but the horrifying agony of childbirth for you to look forward to now / weep, bride, weep / While the melodies of yesterday’s parties echo sadly in the past

Weep, bride, weep / Now I’m sorry but it’s time for me to talk about the subject of your husband / weep, bride, weep
 I guess you think he’s pretty ‘cute’ and pretty smart and maybe even pretty deep / well weep, bride weep
‘Cos he’s a closeted marxist who thinks that marriage is state prostitution / weep, bride, weep
So sometimes you’ll have to f**** him just to get him to shut up and go to sleep

Weep, bride, weep / but not too hard, we can’t have you collapsing out of sheer desolation / weep, bride weep
Because we need you functionally depressive so you’ll still get up and drive the kids to class / weep, bride, weep
Well at least tonight your father’s buying all the liquid consolation and the musicians will enjoy the bridesmaids in the ***.


Read any good books lately? (#2) – It’s about Africa

I have never read any of Agatha Christie’s crime novels. In fact I never paid any attention to the crime/mystery novel genre until I recently started reading Ian Rankin’s novels. Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the novels have a gritty quality that is way more interesting than the “brigadoon” atmosphere of other Scottish novels. It was short step from Ian Rankin’s Scotland to  Henning Mankell’s Wallander series and Stieg Larsson’s – Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo – tales of murder and mayhem in Sweden. The common thread in these novels is the role of a central protagonist. For Ian Rankin it is Inspector John Rebus, for Henning Mankell it’s Inspector Kurt Wallander and Stieg Larsson has the journalist Michael Bloomkvist doing the honors. All of these characters seem to verge on the edge of being dysfunctional yet get the job done. The crimes are solved and justice, more or less, prevails. So, true to form the ex-BBC journalist Richard Crompton has stepped into the crime novel genre with a, yet again, slightly dysfunctional “hero” in the first Detective Mollel novel. But there is a twist. The novel Hour of the Red God is set in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007 during the turmoil of the much disputed general elections. At first glance a former Maasai warrior, complete with tribal scars, seems to be a little unbelievable as a detective. However, once the novel gets rolling it is easy to set aside any misgivings while Detective Mollel pursues the investigation of the murder of a prostitute. The Hour of the Red God is a gritty novel with a particular mix of tribal and urban elements set against the street riots and violence of the elections. The jagged view of life that is the trademark of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus is also reflected in Mollel’s struggle with his own issues set against the inter-tribal conflicts and corruption that are very much a curse on the African political landscape.  The novel navigates its way through many twists and turns in the political and social milieu before  the crime is finally solved. This writer, in this his first novel, is a worthy addition to the crime/mystery genre. It is available from the Cranbrook and District Public Library.

One thing leads to another. So while tripping around Richard Crompton’s dark side of Kenya Paul Theroux’s travel book Dark Star Safari – Overland from Cairo to Cape Town  immediately came to mind. So much so that I pulled it off my bookshelf, sat down and, over the course of a few days, re-read it. For Paul Theroux it was a return to the landscapes of his youth. He was a Peace Corp worker as a teacher in Malawi in the 1960’s. His opening line of the book “All news out of Africa is bad. It made me want to go there, not for the horror, the hot spots, the massacre-and-earthquake stories you read in the newspaper, I wanted the pleasure of being in Africa again.”  After an opening like that how could you put it down? So, on returning to Africa in the early part of this century for his monumental overland trip through pretty well all the countries of East Africa he obviously has a lot to say. He revisits old friends and old landscapes, indulges in some new adventures, has some narrow escapes and reflects on an Africa that is materially more decrepit than when he first knew it. He has very few good things, if any,  to say about “the agents of virtue”  – the Aid Organizations and NGO that, in his opinion, are a major part of the problem. He thinks the best thing that could happen to Africa is for all foreign aid to cease and let the Africans solve their own problems. I don’t think that Paul Theroux is a particularly nice person and, I suspect, if I ever met him I would probably not like him. However, he does write marvelous travel books and, without a doubt, this is one of his finest. On closing one of his travel books my immediate reaction is “I don’t want to go there”. That is a little different from the promise offered by most travel books.



Lily Quartet: Lilies at the Bass of the Rockies

LILIES AT THE BASS OF THE ROCKIES – THE LILY STRING QUARTET with Susan Gould (Piano) and Matt Heller (Double Bass) Knox Presbyterian Church, Sunday November 17, 2013, 2pm  Lily Quartet

I like chamber music and I don’t just mean classical chamber music. I like chamber music of just about any pursuasion. Why? Mostly because it’s human scale and in the best settings it can be very intimate. Chamber music doesn’t require mammoth organization and infrastructure for its presentation. At a basic level it just requires a  Susan Gouldbunch of like minded musicians and a small venue with minimal or no sound  re-enforcement. In this instance the bunch of musicians were The Lily Quartet and guests Susan Gould (Piano) and Matt Heller (Double Bass) and the venue was the wonderful Knox Presbyterian Church  Matt Hellerin Cranbrook. Normally the Lily Quartet consists of Andrea Case (Cello), Diane Lane (Violin), Patricia Higgins (Viola) and Elisa Milner (Violin). Now “necessity is the mother of invention” so when Elisa Milner was sidelined by the birth of her daughter in early November the quartet was reduced to a trio and this presented the group with a unique opportunity to explore different options. With the help of special guests they are able to present music that is different from the standard string quartet repertoire. The opening piece was the Solo Quartet #1 in C Major composed by F.A. Hoffmeister (1754-1812) for Solo Double Bass, Violin, Viola and Cello. Now the Double Bass is a huge instrument that, in this particular piece of music, requires some Matt Heller athletic skill to play the upper register passages. The dexterity require in this piece somewhat approached what we normally associate with violin music. Hoffmeister’s music appeared to be solidly in the classic tradition of Haydn and Mozart. The piece consisted of four movements: Allegro moderato; Menuett; Andante; Rondo – Allegretto. Visually this was a pretty spectacular with Matt, who is a rather slim man, clambering all over this huge instrument to produce the wonderful deep throated voice that we rarely have an opportunity to hear or appreciate. As a trio (Violin, Viola and Cello) the group played the Serenade in C Major, Op.10  by E. von Dohnanyi (1877-1960). Even in classical music circles this composer is not a household name. He is best remember for his association with the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. The piece consisted of four movements Marcia- Allegro, Romanza – Adagio non troppo, quasi andante, Tema con variazoni – Andante con moto and Rondo – Allegro vivace. The trio only played three of the movements.  Susan Gould and Matt Heller  joined the trio on stage for the major performance of the evening – Piano Quintet in A Major, “Trout”, D 667 by Franz Peter Schubert (1797 -1828). Because I had pigeon holed Schubert as a Romantic Composer and, given my disinclination to listen to Romantic Music, over the years I had not paid too much attention to the piece but that may be about to change. Susan Gould’s introduction caught my attention and the music lived up to the expectations she created. I have put that composition on my list to add to my CD collection. All in all, as usual with the chamber music concerts in The Knox, is was a very satisfying evening of music. My only regret was the very small turn out for a concert that was well worth attending. The question I must ask is where were all the symphony patrons and symphony society members? Where were the music educators and their students? There were two piano teachers in the audience but where were the rest? The small turnout speaks volumes for the real level of support that classical music has in the area.  Here are some more images from the evening:

 Andrea Case  Matt Heller and Andrea Case   Patricia Higgins  Lily Quartet (Trio)   Andrea Case  008.   Lily Quartet   Susan Gould   Matt Heller  Andrea Case   Diane Lane - violin   Matt Heller   Diane Lane and Patricia Higgins  Andrea Case          Matt Heller   Andrea Case



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LOCALS, the November 2013 Coffee House

LOCALS COFFEE HOUSE, Saturday November 15, 2013 at the Studio/Stage Door, Cranbrook. This is the second LOCALS of the season.  MC Stacey OigThings are going really well for organizers and patrons with an excellent lineup of performers and the second sold out show of the season. The MC Stacey Oig set the audience up for a great night with his introduction for Trena Spears. Trena is a vocalist who sang with a back up track of Trena Spearsa rocking rhythm section, solo guitars and saxes. The chorus of the first song I’m Here for the Party kind of said it all : “You know I’m here for the party / And I ain’t leavin’ till they throw me out / Gonna have a little fun, gonna get me some / You know I’m here, I’m here for the party” (Gretchen Wilson). Trena followed that up with Take it Back, then an original piece followed by a Dixie Chicks number called (I think – Some Days You Gotta Dance). Trena has a big voice, looks good on stage and has all the right moves down pat. The only thing she is  Bud Abbottlacking is a hot live band and, who knows, after Saturday that could change. Younger performers these days have made a religion of writing their own material. That is all well and good but Bud Abbott and his accompanist Carol McGrath, on piano, ably demonstrated that there is an incredibly deep well of great songs and tunes that have been kicking around for the past hundred or so years. They ran through a repertoire of With a Little Bit of Luck, Get Me to the Church on Time, I’ll be Seeing You and the tango Spanish Eyes. Bud Abbott also demonstrated that you can’t keep a Sage Grassgood man down no matter what his age. SAGE GRASS is the the Clelland family band (Bill, Judy, Jason, Justin and Wasey) and they have been around for a while and take their music seriously. They rehearse twice a week and have spent the last two summers at the Sorrento Bluegrass camp. Their music coasts along the edges of BlueGrass, Folk and Country and they are not afraid to experiment with unconventional configurations. BlueGrass purists frown on the use of shakers and Djembes but I think it adds sonic texture to the mix so  I say keep it up. They introduced a beautiful new upright bass to the mix and that has really  Madison Keiverrounded out the sound. They kicked off their section of the show with Bill Monroe’s Blue Moon of Kentucky, followed by Doc Watson’s Rising Sun Blues, Old Crow Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheels and the wonderful vocal harmonies of The Sons of the Pioneers Cool Water. Youth must have its day and thank God it comes in such wonderful packages like the charming Miss Maddison (Maddy) Keiver. Maddy revisited the Animal’s version of The House of the Ring Son, Stevie Nicks Landslide and an original piece entitled Going No Where. After the charm of youth and beauty the old and short sighted demanded equal time with the music of, your truly, Rod Wilson  on vocals and 12-string guitar. The first piece song was the traditional Crooked Jack and that was dedicated to all the Radicals, Reformers and Unionists who fought for our current world of social justice. It was a tale of of a strapping young Irishman cut down in  The 12-String guitarhis prime by an industrial accident. I have a liking for instrumental music so as a special treat (I hope that`s what it was) I played the Ashokan Set, a medley of the Ashokan Farewell (from the PBS Civil War Documentary) and the original tunes Paxton`s Parody, and the forever optimistic, Tomorrow is a Better Day. Ferdy Belland took us on a little nostalgic tour of his misspent youth drowning in classic rock while living in rain drenched Bella Coola. He brought back some of his memories with some classic Springsteen, and a song by Kirsty MacColl, daughter of the famous British Folk icon Ewan MacColl. Way back in 1979 Kirsty scored a hit  with They Don’t Know. I like narrative songs and The Streets of Baltimore, written in 1966, is one of the great songs of that idiom and is one that Ferdy obviously enjoys performing. Ferdy finished his set with a piece by the drummer Roger Taylor from the classic rock band Queen. The closing set was by Gold Creek, (Connor Foote, Clayton Parsons). After flirtations with such names as Pine Slacks and Steamboat Hollers  the young guys seem to have settled on a new name, for now, Gold Creek. I think that will work. I rolls off the tongue easily, has some local  Gold Creekconnections to the area and brings to mind images of the “rootsy/country” music that seems to be their trade mark. For this engagement Gold Creek used the talents of the tasty drummer Zach Silver (a drummer who uses brushes instead of sticks can only be tasty) The first out the gate was the original song Box Car Willie (no connection to the well known country singer). Clayton penned the original  September Sunday at 4am in the morning at a location that cannot be disclosed. Connor’s tune Heart Break Blues  was dedicated to Ferdy. The song Tennessee was a new one to me. Connor took us out on the classic quotes from his most well known original song “I met my wife at a family re-union”, “true love never had no reason”, “nothing lasts for ever” and “passion burns like gasoline”. I like their new name and I hope they stick with it. By the way an upright bass player would really fit well with group. Angus MacDonald where are you when we need you?

Trena Spears Carol McGrath   Bill Clelland  Jason and Justin060. Bass

 Madison Keiver  500. Ferdy Belland  Connor Foote of Gold Creek  Bud Abbott  Wasey Clelland  Connor Foote   Clayton Parsons  Zach Silver  Clayton Parsons of Gold Creek  Connor Foote      Clayton ParsonsClayton Parsons090.

Here are some additional images of Gold Creek and me sent by Lorraine

Gold Creek       Rod Wilson


Who is Pat Metheny?

Pat MethenyPat Metheny website

As the story goes, years ago way, way back in  Florida, the TV Producer/Writer/Director Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory) was invited to a Guitar Master Class by one of his University associates. At the time Chuck was a working musician who thought he had his guitar playing well under control. On first seeing the “kid” who was directing the class he thought he was unlikely to walk away with anything of value. After all he was a professional musician with a lot of hours under his belt. He was wrong. The master class completely changed the direction of his life. After seeing and hearing what he had yet to accomplish he more or less gave up music and switched to TV production. The “kid” was Pat Metheny.

Outside the Jazz arena most people, including a significant number of guitarists, would say “Who?”. And yet “the twenty time Grammy Award winner is one of the most popular musicians of the past forty years, his impact and influence as a composer, guitarist, producer, arranger, collaborator, musical visionary and habitual sonic explorer is without parallel. Metheny’s induction into the DownBeat Hall of Fame is yet another accolade for this perennially restless musician. Having sold 20 million records worldwide  (three RIAA-certified gold), Metheny, as well as being a best-selling artist, is also an educator, poll winner and father of three. He has topped the Guitar category in the DownBeat Readers Poll for seven consecutive years.” – December 2013, DownBeat, page 30.

From his website here is a thumbnail sketch of his biography:

PAT METHENY was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.  Metheny’s versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie.  Metheny’s body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical. (Under his own name he currently has over 43 CDs and 6 performance DVD’s in his catalogue – and that doesn’t include sixteen film scores and a huge number of recordings where he was listed as a sideman).

In the December issue of Downbeat he was inducted into the Reader’s Hall of Fame.

Here is an abbreviated Youtube clip from my favorite album Question and Answers Pat Metheny Trio plays the title track .This was an extraordinary album of straight ahead jazz with two master jazz musicians: Roy Haynes on drums and Dave Holland on bass. The Youtube clip doesn’t have these two original sidemen  and as a result doesn’t have the punch of the original 1990 recording. From the original CD notes Pat says “I’m used to going into the studio with truckloads of stuff, but in this case, I walked in carrying the guitar and that was it: one guitar, one setting. We had a great time. We played for about eight hours, we didn’t listen back to anything, we just played.” The session was just a one day break in their individual busy touring schedules. Don’t we all wish we could pull  music of that caliber right off the top of our heads. No rehearsals – just play.

If you are a guitar player it is easy to spot Pat Metheny’s unusual technique. He holds the pick in a really insecure way and one that defies conventional logic. He uses his left hand in a baseball grip with his thumb hooking over the top. There are no conventional bar chords shapes. It’s weird but, for him it works. If you are not familiar with his work check out his recordings.

And as a special treat here is a link to Pat playing And I love her so and with Herbie Hancock on Cantelope Island and in the weird file there is Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion


So, you want to be a professional musician?

Every one needs to have a dream. Every kid who has ever played Ice Hockey has dreamt of ending up with the fame, fortune and fringe benefits of making it into the NHL. The advantage, or disadvantage (depending on your point of view), for those dreamers is that the career path is pretty well set in stone. A player works away at improving his skills and moving on up through the various divisions until some time by his early twenties he has made the cut and moves on into the NHL. Or, at about that time the dream dies when the realization hits home that it is not going to happen and it is time to make a decision to chose a different career path. It may be devastating but there is plenty of time left to chose a new direction and get on with life. By and large musicians dreaming of a professional career do not have that cut and dried process with a definitive decision point. They can flounder around for years without making it as a professional musician. The world is full of garage bands of young musicians thirsting for the fame, fortune and fringe benefits of a rock arena musician. In 99.99% of cases it is not going to happen. Some of the problem is in the actual definition of a “Professional Musician” it is often confused with “Professional Entertainer” and that contributes to the difficulty in determining a process to achieve the appropriate goals. Yes, “musician” or “entertainer”, there is a difference and often they are mutually exclusive. Often a good or even great entertainer can be a fairly mediocre musician. Often  truly great musicians are not entertainers at all. It is extremely rare to have a great musician and entertainer in the one package. So, I suppose that issue has to be addressed first before one can hope to start down the right path. What is the correct path to becoming an entertainer? I haven’t a clue (?acting school, ?musical theatre, who knows?). On the other hand, to become a professional musician there are some career options that can be explored. But in becoming a professional musician the one thing that is abundantly clear is that in most instances it wont pay the bills. Most rank and file musicians have a “real job” and just gigging around waiting for the big break is not a wise strategy. The landscape is littered with, often very brilliant, musicians who are couch surfing across the country just trying to survive. Even relatively successful musicians have to constantly hustle to keep their heads above water. So, if a career as a professional musician is the dream then to reach that goal a strategic plan is required and in that plan there should be contingencies for training for “a real job”. Also note that staying in your home town is probably not an option. A budding musician needs to move to a bigger center for educational and performance opportunities. Below is a recent column out of the Jazz Magazine Downbeat by Dan Wilensky (Dan’s Website).  Although aimed at potential jazz musicians I think there are enough words of wisdom in the article that can be applied to other musical genres.

so you want to be a musicianAlso there is this published review of book authored by Dan.

Musician! Dan Wilensky,Trade Paperback; 156 pages ISBN: 1452857717

“So you wanna be a rock n’ roll star? Wilensky feels your pain and provides a primer for (hopefully or eventually) making music for a living. Musician! is a slim volume, dense with information, and presented with a wry sense of humor and a wink. It is divided into five broad parts: Nuts and Bolts; The Next Plateau; Selling Yourself;  Philosophical and Spiritual Guidance; and Tales from the Trenches.

These sections are further divided into smaller subsections written to be read at tempo. Wilensky’s writing is lean (read: not overwritten). He wastes few words, ensuring that the information he conveys is in the least number possible: the most critical quality of good writing is brevity. This philosophy extends to composition. Wilensky notes that composing music adds a necessary dimension to interpreting others’ music. Original and standard performance informs one another.

Wilensky espouses a single over-arching principle: professionalism. Whether it is being punctual at gigs or presenting yourself as a professional, he tows the hard line. There is no room for the romantic notion of the juiced hipster or junkie genius. This is serious business, and never forget that music is a business. He is no less yielding on the craft of the musician. Wilensky properly thinks that it is inexcusable for a musician to be unable to read music. He echos every piano-teaching nun that ever slapped a knuckle with a ruler.

Wilensky carefully avoids dropping names. He has been a successful musician who has performed with many other successful musicians. His practical experiences are recounted in the final section, Tales from the Trenches. Here, the saxophonist recalls several carefully chosen learning opportunities he had in his 30 year career. Entertaining, informative, reverent and helpful, Musician! is a treat for anyone interested in music.”

On a slightly different note, another author, Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point, emphasizes the importance of taking care of “the little things”  because if you take care of the little things the big things will look after them selves. For instance showing up for an interview or a gig in ripped jeans, regardless of how hip you think it is, sends a negative image and message that you may never be able to offset regardless of your technical capabilities. People still judge a book by it’s cover.

The great Vancouver jazz pianist Renee Rosnes when asked how she managed to make it in the cut throat New York music scene responded with “I have the chops (musical skills), I don’t drink or use drugs, I show up on time and I get the job done”. In other words she takes care of the little things.



Live Music at BJ’s Creekside Pub

TUCK’S TROUBADOURS at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Saturday October 26, 2013, 7:30pm

100. Tuck's Troubadours

Surely they were exaggerating. Dave Carlson claimed that they hadn’t got together for a rehearsal since April. If that was the case it didn’t show in their performance. There were a couple of false starts on a tune here and there but apart from that they sounded like they were in top form. Tuck’s Troubadours is the finest country band in the area.   Larry Tuck on bass ukelele (in place of Larry’s usual bass guitar) and vocals was in full voice, Doug Simpson on rhythm guitar was in fine form, as was Dave Carlson on vocals and mandolin, and Bud Decose on lead guitar was even better than his usual silky smooth self. That Eastman Arch Top Guitar that he plays is a visual and aural delight. Through out the evening they worked their way through an impressive list of songs and tunes that included Chasing the Neon Rainbow, Just Call me Lonesome, Rose of San Antonio (Bob Wills), The Great Divide (Kate Wolf), My Heart has a History, Green Wood (John Reischman), The Lonesome Fugitive (Merle Haggard),  Last Kiss (Ricky Nelson), Satisfied with You (Hank Williams), Mary (Marty Robbins), Don’t Get Around Much any More (Duke Ellington), Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash), Muddy River and the power house instrumentals Razza Ma Tazz Polka, Bucks Polka and a Brazilian tune we have come to know as Aqua Velva (only because we can`t pronounce the Portuguese name). As always, it was another night of an almost unlimited tour of the whole scope of country music  played by this very tight knit (despite their disclaimers) musical unit.

 Dave Carlson   Doug Simpson   Larry Tuck

OPEN MIC SESSION AT BJ’s CREEKSIDE PUB hosted by Fraser Armstrong, Saturday November 2, 2013, 7:30 pm

106. Fraser Armstrong SERENDIPITY (noun: the faculty of discovering pleasing or valuable things by chance – The New Penguin English Dictionary) is what it is all about. Open Mic sessions are serendipitous opportunities for memorable music. It doesn’t always happen but in this instance it did. Fraser Armstrong  was the host and the anchor for a number of  Darin Welchmusicians that included Barry Jacklin, Alphonse Joseph, Jon Bisset, Sam Hornberger and Darin Welch. Fraser with his marvelous tenor voice, foot operated percussion, back up and lead guitar set the tone of the evening and when others stepped onto the stage it was the icing on the cake. Everyone was at the top of their game but there should be special mention made of  Daren Welch`s performance. Darin played original material that included Pretty Water, Wilderness (his backyard) and a new tune that was so fresh of the press that it still needs a title. Together Darin and Fraser sounded like they had been aggressively rehearsing for months. The truth of the situation is that they only met for the first time when Darin stepped onto the stage. How do they do that? My head is still shaking with disbelief.

Here are some images from the evening:

 Fraser Armstrong  Darin Welch  Gary Jacklin  Fraser and Alphonse Joseph      Alphonse Joseph             Sam Hornberger   Fraser Armstrong  Darin Welch  Gary Jacklin   Alphonse Joseph    400. Darin Welch  Fraser Armstrong Percussion Pedals

Thanks go to Fraser for hosting the evening and also thanks to BJ`s staff (Shannon, Clare and Shelby) and, on a parting note, a little piece of trivia – serendip  is an ancient name for Sri Lanka (I have no idea if that has anything to do with anything).