Vested Interests in The Heid Out

No, this is not a financial report. Vested Interests is the folk/rock (or something like that) group who performs regularly at The Heid Out in Cranbrook. I suppose, true to their name, they do have a vested interest in the place. The better they perform the more likely patrons will be happy and the band will continue to be invited back. The original Vested Interests was Dave Prinn on vocals and guitars, and Bill Renwick, also on vocals and guitars. Brian Noer has joined to group to fill out the vocal harmonies and add some tasty licks on lead guitar.

Vested Interests at the Heid Out in Cranbrook, September 12, 2014, live music until 11pm.

What can I say that I haven’t said before. I arrived late after taking in the Daniel Champagne show at the Studio / Stage Door but I was amply rewarded with some great sounds as the group played right through to 11pm. Always keep the Heid Out in mind for great food, great beer and great music. This coming Friday (September 26, 2014 6:30pm) will feature OUT OF MIND – THE MUSIC OF JAMES NEVE with Lonesome Jim on vocals, guitars and effects and percussionist Juan Havana…… Be there. Here are some images from the Heid Out’s Friday show. Vested InterestsBrian Noer    Bill Renwick    Brian Noer Dave Prinn     Guitars of Vested Interests


Two more music legends pass on – Charlie Haden and Johnny Winter

CHARLIE HADEN – Jazz Double Bass Player (August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014)


Charlie Haden is not a name that many people outside the Jazz world would recognize. But make no mistake he was a giant in that world.(see the wikipedia entry). Arriving on the Los Angeles scene in the late 1950’s he just missed the glory days of the bebop era on the West Coast. Instead he landed in the middle of the halcyon days of the Free Form Jazz movement spearheaded by Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. It was the beginning of a career that spanned many forms of jazz from the outrageous to the melodically and harmonically nostalgic. He performed in duos, trios, quartets, various combos, large jazz orchestras and even string orchestras. He won many many awards and recorded at least 40 albums as a leader of various configurations. That is not counting the literally hundreds of recordings as a sideman. Of all his recordings my favorites are the QUARTET WEST series where he took a nostalgic look at the music of the Los Angeles area in the mid 1950s. The albums all had a film noir quality that really appealed to me. And of course in that quartet he had two of the finest jazz musicians to grace the planet earth – the Tenor Sax player Ernie Watts and the Pianist Alan Broadbent. Here are some Youtube clips to celebrate the life of Charlie Haden and the soulful sound of Ernie Watts.

For a number of years Charlie had been battling the effects of Post-Polio Syndrome.


JOHNNY WINTER – Bluesman (February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014)

This is confusing. The Guardian published an obituary way back in July yet there is no mention of his passing on Johnny Winter’s website. So Mr. Winter are you still out there?

Johnny Winter@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Continuing the Tradition

Daniel Champagne at the Studio/Stage Door, September 12, 2014 8pm.

There is a whole cadre of musicians who are out of the musical mainstream and under the radar. There are performers who are a cut above the run of the mill. We have been very fortunate over the years in having local impresarios like Gord and Jill Johnston and Terry Miller who have extended themselves to present these unsung heroes of the music scene. The list of legends who have performed in the area include Martin Simpson, Kelly Joe Phelps, Andy Irvine, Garnet Rodgers, Steven Fearing and many, many others. Gord and Jill have moved on to other fields of endeavor and Michael and Corianna  Robinson have stepped up to the plate to keep the tradition going. Some months back they brought in Old Man Leudecke and this past Friday they presented Daniel Champagne. Daniel is a young Australian guitarist and vocalist who is not (yet)  Daniel Champagnea household name.  The best way to describe his music is that it is a cross between Tommy Emmanuel (another Australian who is a household name), and Michael Hedges with a dash of Van Halen thrown into the mix. He is a dramatic performer who uses the open tunings and the percussive possibilities of his guitar. It goes without saying that his guitar has taken a lot of beatings in its short life (check the duct tape that seems to be holding it together). He has an endorsement agreement with Australian Cole Clark Guitars and maybe it is just as well. I can’t see his instrument lasting more than a couple of years. Despite his aggressive playing style and on stage athleticism he has a finely developed sense of dynamics that can take his playing from whisper soft to outrageous shouting. The shouter of the evening was Willie Dixon’s blues classic Spoonful. It was an extended performance that could easily match the many other cover versions that are out there. Apart from a number of original tunes, The Pendulum, I Grew Up Where I Could See the Stars, Wrecking Ball, Gypsy Moon, Renegade’s Rule there were a couple of covers tunes as well. They included  Don MacLean’s Vincent. This was a masterpiece of deconstruction in which he took the melody apart and put it back together  with wonderful instrumental shadings. For the guitarists in the audience here is a hint …. he plays the piece in the key of G using Dropped D / Dropped G tuning (the bottom E string is tuned down to D, and the bottom A is tuned down G ie DGDGBE). Daniel credits Chet Atkins with this arrangement

242. Daniel Champagne  Daniel Champagne   208. Daniel Champagne   Daniel Champagne The Cole Clark Fat Lady Guitar  Daniel Champagen   Daniel Champagne   Daniel Champagne  Daniel Header  Daniel Champagne  Daniel Champagne  Daniel Champagne Daniel Champagne  Daniel Champagne Daniel Champagne  Daniel Champagne      Daniel Champagne Daniel Champagne

This was an especially fine concert and the second in this new series. For the purpose of this blog I have decided to “brand” the series by calling it the IN THE TRADITION CONCERT SERIES. The next concert will be the magnificent Freddie Eaglesmith at the Studio / Stage Door October 14, 2014 followed by Bow Thayer on November 7, 2014. CONTACT Mike for tickets at

Special Thanks to Mike and Corrina Robinson, Ben Blomander (on sound) and the other volunteers lurking in the background.

Here is special treat from Youtube


?Ravens Roost or Bears Den

Open mic Session at the Ravens Roost, September 12, 5-8 pm, hosted by Bill St Amand.

Another day in paradise

Well, paradise at last. Or at least the bears thought so when they were checking out the Kimberley golf club deck from a vantage point in a nearby tree. They were spotted by the early club members who were waiting for the sun to burn the frost of the greens. Maybe the bears didn’t like the local clientele because they didn’t hang around for the Friday evening open mic session on the deck. It’s a shame because it was a good evening. The weather for this summer’s open mics has not been too co-operative but for this last session of the season the weather gods must have been appeased because the evening was perfect. The sun was brilliant but not hot; it was just right. The regular crowd of musicians were there – Bill St. Amand, Rod Wilson, Alphonse Joseph, Gary Jaclin and a new comer to the area Michael Harrison. It was the usual mix of rock, country and blues classics with a little bit of Celtic thrown into the mix. Here are some images from the evening (sorry, the bears couldn’t make it for the photo shoot).

 Bill St Amand Gary Jacklin    Alphonse Joseph   Michael Harrison  Rod Wilson

and a fitting toast to beautiful day

 A cool One


Going for “Baroque” at Centre 64

Centre 64 poster

Somewhere  along the line this music got tagged with the label “Scottish Baroque”. Of course Baroque music it isn’t but the label is a convenient way to distinguish it from the usual run-of-the-mill Celtic pub music. Mind you, it would not be out of place in some low-ceiling inn in the old country. In the ambience of the dance studio in Centre 64 it was right at home. The musicians are from all over the map. Radio broadcaster Bruce 100. Bruce MacGregorMacGregor is from Inverness Scotland and is reputed to be one of Scotland’s finest fiddle players. After hearing him it is not a reputation I would care to dispute. I have added his name to my list of favorite fiddlers that includes the Irish fiddler Martin Hayes and the Irish American Liz Carrol. With them he shares a clean, clear, solid, almost classical tone, a great sense of musical dynamics and a wonderful choice of tunes. Christine Hanson is originally from Edmonton, Alberta but has been resident in Glasgow for the past 15 years. Her prairie roots come though from time to time in her choice of country waltzes. Christine’s instrument of choice at the moment is a handcrafted Carbon Fibre Cello. This came about when an airline company carelessly “dropped kicked” and nearly destroyed her traditional wooden instrument during one of her tours. The Carbon Fibre instrument she is using was probably built by Luis and Clark in Boston – check the link  Luis and Clark Carbon Fibre instruments . There are other manufacturers out there. The German company Mezzo Forte comes to mind but Christine’s instrument has the look of a Luis and Clark. Conservative musicians and patrons may shudder at the concept of a “plastic” instrument but I guess the proof is in “the pudding”. The instruments look and sound wonderful and I suspect as the supply of Andy Hillhouseendangered tone woods become scarce we will see more of them. Beside looking and sounding good Carbon Fibre instruments are more robust than their traditional wooden counter part. For travelling musicians this is a definite plus.The vocalist/guitarist Andy Hillhouse is from Vancouver where he is the manager of the music festival at Harrison Hot Springs. His instrument is a Lowden Guitar from Belfast Ireland. Hand made Lowdens are the instrument of choice of a number of top performers and are pretty rare in North America. Andy only managed to get together with the other musicians for the first time at 4:30 that same afternoon. With that in mind his performance was pretty astounding.

The Fiddle / Cello / Guitar combination turned out to be a wonderful vehicle for their selections of  Strathspeys, Airs, Laments, Reels and Waltzes. The guitar provided the rhythm foundation, the cello the bass lines, rhythm and counterpoint to Bruce MacGregor’s fiddle that was over the top of it all. My personal favorites of the evening was the traditional Her Mantle so Green, a tune that Christine picked up in a wee back bar in Ullapool Scotland from the playing of Cathal MacConnell of Boys of the Loch fame. Andy Hillhouse chose some traditional songs to sing and play but the standout was the great narrative song Beeswing by Richard Thompson. This is a song that defines what a great song should be – good melody, a great, great story line and very appropriate accompaniment. From the many, many tunes that Bruce played though out the evening the standout for me was the final set of the evening that included Miss Lyalls Strathspey and The Kings Reel. I have been thoroughly indoctrinated into these tunes by young local fiddle player Angus MacDonald. It is a pity that Angus has gone away to college. He would have enjoyed Bruce’s performance. Besides the wonderful selection of tunes Bruce came to fore with his story telling. His “real job” as a radio broadcaster obviously comes in handy when he launches into tales of J. Scott Skinner. For those that do not know J.Scott Skinner (1843-1927) was the preeminent Scottish Fiddler of the late nineteenth century.  The other story of note was the one about his father’s revenge on a local firm of lawyers. Here are some images from the evening. Sorry about the less than satisfactory quality – the lighting was awful. To get rid of the horrible green tint I had to Photoshop the images down to greytones

Bruce MacGregor     Bruce MacGregor     The Fiddle      The CelloAndy Hillhouse    e MacGregor    Andy HillhouseThis was a wonderfully unique evening of music. The “cabaret” setting was great, the ambience and the audience were perfect. The evening was only marred by the less than perfect lighting.


Oye Coma Va (“Listen to How My Rhythm Goes”)

The Little Jazz Orchestra Latin Night at the Heid Out September 4, 2014, 6:30 pm

The New Orlean’s  creole Jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton called it the “Spanish Tinge”. Dizzy Gillespies called it Afro-Cuban; the Brazilians called it Bossa Nova; on the New York dance scene it is called Salsa and off to the side the West African musicians call it Rumba. So even from the earliest days Latin music has had a profound and ongoing influence on jazz and music though out the world. So, for the Little Jazz Orchestra (LJO) (Dave Ward – trumpet, Janice Nicili – electric bass, Jim Cameron – guitar, Graham Knipfel – drums) it was fertile ground for one of their themed nights at The Heid Out. With the addition of Sven Heyde and Rod Wilson on congas and percussion the LJO became their picante counter part, The Latin Jazz Orchestra. Their goal for the evening was to explore the Latin  Jazz repertiore and have a whole bag full of fun. In deference to an ongoing business meeting downstairs the band (minus some of the percussion) kicked off the evening with a number of “Latin Lite” tunes that included Morning of the Carnival (Luiz Bonfa’s theme from the 1959 movie Black Orpheus) and Michael Bubble’s hit Sway. The second set kicked off with an extended percussion jam before settling down to the serious business of playing some classic tunes. The tunes included Chick Corea’s Morning  and Sea Journey; Freddie Hubbard’s Little Sun Flower; Antonio (Tom) Carlos Jobim’s  Corcovada and Triste; Sergio Mendes’ Mas Que Nada; Luis Alberti’s famous Merengue Campadro Pedro Juan; Duke Jordon’s Flight to Jordon; the marvelous theme from The Bona Vista Social Club, Chan Chan and last, but not least Tito Puente’s 1963 recording classic Oye Coma Va that later became the 1970 Carlos Santana’s rock classic. The names of the tunes may not be that well known but I am sure that the melodies rang more than a few bells. It was a marvelous night of picante music with all the musicians in top form and obviously having a load of fun as well.

Just in case the tunes aren’t that well known here are a couple of YouTub links  Carlos Santana’s Oye Coma Va  , Tito Punte’s Oye Coma Va  , Freddie Hubbard’s original version of Little Sun Flower , Tito Puente’s version of Flight to Jordon  (check out Giovanni Hidalgo’s conga playing),and the great samba beat of Sergio Mendes Mas Que Nada and the theme from the Bona Vista Social Club  Chan Chan

Not many photos I afraid. I was too busy playing percussion:Dave Ward   Janice Nicli  206. Janice Nicli                302. Graham Knipfel  Graham Knipfel         402. Sven Heyde

And Dave Ward “greasing the wheels”Dave WardIn case you haven’t noticed the sound in The Heid Out has been improved with the installation of “sonic baffles” (I don’t know what they are called) high on the walls.