Music in the Great Outdoors

Ravens Roost Open Mic Session, hosted by Bill St Amand on the deck of the Kimberley Golf Club. Friday June 19, 6-9 pm.
This year’s RAVENS ROOST session got off to a great start with flawless weather, responsive patrons, friendly staff and some fine music. As usual Bill St. Amand was on deck, setting up the sound system, organizing the musicians, performing and acting as MC for the evening. Naturally he was first on stage with his signature small body Martin guitar and his unique interpretations of some fine old tunes. Rod Wilson joined him with some back up percussion on a Peruvian Cajon (box drum). Alphonese (Fonzy) Joseph ran though his blues tinged repertoire before the Blarney Pilgrims (Rod Wilson Wilson on Cittern and vocals with Wally Smith on Accordion, Irish Whistle and Darbuka) did their little Celtic trip. The Blarney Pilgrims have not performed often over the last little while and this was an opportunity to trot out some old favorites such as Ben’s Lament, Dimming of the Day, The Black Velvet Band, The Boys of Blue Hill / Harvest Home, etc. It was also their first opportunity to try out their latest venturing into the uncharted waters of Bulgarian / Macedonian music with the Sarajevo Set that included a Balkan Tune, Richard Thompson’s Will I ever Be Simple Again and The Belgarth Waltz. From where I was sitting Wally Smith’s Middle Eastern rhythms on the Darbuka (Turkish drum) sounded outstanding. One of the great things about these events is when a new, unknown musician steps onto the stage and surprise fellow musicians. Maigan Jayde did just that. Maigan is new to the area and it was real treat to hear her magnificent strong voice run though a few songs including the classic blues In the Pine, in the Pines. Here are some images from the evening:

102. Bill St Amand   100. Bill St Amand and Rod Wilson 404. Alphonse Joseph 500. The Blarney Pilgrims110. Bill St Amand  400. Alphonse Joseph  604. Maigan Jayde514a. Wally Smith516. The Blarney Pilgrims  520. Rod Wilson602. Maigan Jayde 510. Wally Smith  410. Alphonse Joseph608. Maigan Joseph

(Another great session – thanks Alphonse for the grabbing up the camera and taking the extra shots).


Wednesday June 24, 2015, 6-8 pm: Fisher Peak Performing Artists Music and Vendors Market, Open Mic Session hosted by Ferdy Belland and Jamie Neve – Performances and vendors in the Rotary Park in Cranbrook.
James Neve (guitar, vocals), Ferdy Belland (guitar, vocals) and Colin Righton (hand percussion) were well into a set of tunes when I walked into Rotary Park on Wednesday evening. So is this the next local “super group”? I suspect this was just a pickup group and we may never hear them again in this configuration. That would be a shame because as a trio they offered up something that was new and different and I liked it. The weather held and the evening was pretty low keyed with only a few performers and a small crowd in the park. Here are some images from the evening:
100. Colin, James and Ferdy     310. James Neve 412. Ferdy Belland214. Colin Righton  318. James Neve  400. Ferdy Belland210. Colin Righton322. James Neve  402. Ferdy Belland708  004. The Dog gallery604. Bill Renwick010a. In the Dog Gallery
That’s the beginning of the SummerSounds Program in Cranbrook’s Rotary Park. Check the poster below for more coming events

The Dixie Swim Club

The Off Centre Players presents The Dixie Swim Club; a comedy directed by Brigitte Franyo at the Centre 64, May 26 to May 30, 2015

The Dixie Swim Club


Karen Vold-Oakley ……….. plays Sheree (the less than flavorful cook). 130. SHEREEJoanne Wilkinson ………… plays Dinah (the career woman with a taste for Martinis)

206. DINAHMichelle McCue …………….. plays Lexie (the lady looking for “Mr right” and perpetual youth)102. LEXIE, Michelle McCueMichelle Lemay ……………. plays Jeri ( a nun, ex-nun and eventually a mother)133. JERI          214. JERI

Nola Jean …………. plays Vernadette (forever a lady looking for an accident)114. VERNADETTE, Nola JeanThe Play: The characters in The Dixie Swim Club are portrayed at ages 44, 49, 54 and 77 over a period of 33 years. The action takes place in the living room of a beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during a weekend in August.

  • ACT I : SCENE 1 Twenty two years after college graduation

106. LEXIE   106. SHEREE, Karen Vold-Oakley and LEXIE  110. DINAH, Joanne Wilkinson 112. DINAH    118. VERNADETTE   124. DINAH and VERNADETTE 120 DINAH 126. LEXIE         135. DINAH, JERI AND VERNADETTE

     134. JERI 137. JERI           140. VERNADETTE and JERI   142. It's time    144. Yes it is time.

  • ACT 1 : SCENE 2Five years after that.

200. JERI  202. SHEREE  208. DINAH204. JERI 222. SHEREE, VERNADETTE and DINAH   210. DINAH  224. LEXIE               230. SHEREE  234. JERI  244. VERNADETTE  248. SHEREE254. DINAH and VERNADETTE  255. SHERREE, DINAH and LEXI

  • Act II – Scene 1 – Five years later.

300. JERI  304. VERNADETTE  312. JERI and VERNADETTE  302. JERI  318. LEXIE and DINAH  320. LEXIE and DINAH  322. LEXIE and DINAH 328. LEXIE and DINAH   324. Vernadette 330. JERI  336. DINAH  344. DINAH

  • Act II – Scene 2 – Twenty-three years later





Amanda Weatherall at the Knox

Amanda Weatherall in recital at the Knox Presbyterian Church in Cranbrook, May 30, 2015, 7pm. This is a benefit performance to raise funds for Amanda’s trip to Italy to study and perform at the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera (AEDO).

130. Amanda WeatherallI find it somewhat incredible that there is such a vibrant community of serious vocal musicians in Cranbrook. Evan Buekert’s music program at the Mount Baker High School may have something to do with it and undoubtedly Chuck Bisset and his choir are also part of the equation. But they are only two factors in a community that seems to have a multitude of singers and organizations involved in vocal music. When you consider the size of the community and the distance from major big centers the depth of the local vocal tradition is extraordinary. It is easy to understand why European educators and audiences have been awe struck when our local choirs tour Europe. A comment that was passed around was “….. and all this talent comes from one small community in the Rocky Mountains of Canada? Unbelievable”. Another aspect of the scene is the focus on Opera and foreign languages. How does one explain Amanda Weatherall’s convincing vocal renditions in German and Italian? Amanda is one of several local singers off to Tuscany in the very near future to participate in a vocal music program. To offset the cost of her adventure Amanda displayed her talents in a recital at the Knox Prebyterian Church last Saturday evening. As Amanda explains….

Amanda Program pg2-ed

Aided by Arne Sahlen on piano and fellow vocalist Mary Pickering, Amanda presented the following program…024. Program

Amanda’s and Mary’s  repeat performance of The Flower Duet from Delibes Lakme was outstanding. They switched it around from past performances by trading parts. In the past Amanda sang the Soprano and Mary sang the Mezzo part. This time Amanda sang the Mezzo part (“real woman sing Alto”) and Mary the Soprano part. Between the vocal performances Arne Sahlen played Chopin’s Prelude in Db Major Op.28 #15, “Raindrop”  and Brahms Intermezzo in A Major Op. 118 #2.

It was an evening of elegant ladies, classy piano music and serious vocal music in probably one of the finest Chamber Music spaces in the Kootenays – the Knox Presbyterian Church … great sights, great lights and a great sound. What more could one want? Here are some images from the evening….

106b. Amanda Weatherall  202a. Mary Pickering and Amanda Weatherall322. Arne Sahlen108. Amanda Weatherall  110. Amanda Weatherall  112. Amanda Weatherall346. Arne Sahlen204b. Mary Pickering and Amanda Weatherall  320. Arne Sahlen   114. Amanda Weatherall    210. Mary Pickering and Amanda Weatherall   132. Amanda Weatherall362a. Arne Sahlen344. Arne Sahlen   502. Cute  342a. Arne Sahlen116a. Amanda Weatherall

As I said, a night of elegant ladies and classy music.


Blue Moon Marquee at Studio 64

The Third Concert in the Studio 64 Spring Series – Blue Moon Marquee : Saturday May 23, 2015, 8pm.

100. Blue Moon Marquee

In any story about the blues, the classic blues singer  Ma Rainy explained with a refreshing lack of decorative affectation: “You got the St. Louie Blues, the Chicago blues, the gin house blues, the my-man-done-left-me blues. They all the same song with the same three chords. And you done heard ’em a dozen hundred times from a dozen hundred people. So what makes folks wanna hear it from you?” She was right of course. You can play the same old story but you have to give it a little unique twist to get peoples attention. I think Blue Moon Marquee manages to do just that.The blues is not a complex musical form. Lyrically it is just a three stanza form – a single line repeated then a final variant line. Musically it uses three basic chords. 200. A.W.CardinalSo really there is not much to it and yet here we are 50+ years down the road from the classic era and musicians continue milk inspiration from the blues. Blue Moon Marquee are a couple of young musicians from High River, Alberta that have added their own particular twist to the tradition. A.W. Cardinal is the guitar player and singer with a voice akin to broken glass underfoot in a bar room brawl. Jasmine Colette is “the little white girl 306. Jasmine Colettewith the big fiddle” (or so the aboriginal kids called her in the Yukon on a tour up there last winter). Jasmine or “Jassy” claims to have only recently taken up upright bass and like all bass players she has her own little unique dance going with that big cumbersome instrument. Have you noticed all bass players have a dance thing going on when they perform? Jasmine adds some percussion to the mix with a Hi-hat, pedal brush snare and a bass drum. The result is a surprisingly full sound for just a duo. There is just enough percussion to add accents and make the music interesting. Their theme for the night was “booze and Blues” somewhat inspired by a raucous gig in Nelson the night before. The music was a mixture of originals and some classic tunes such as Charlie Patton’s Shake it and Break It and the ever popular St James Infirmary.  Unlike the deep south  Alberta does not have cotton fields but is does have  pipe lines. As an Alberta boy A.W.  did his share of labor in the the oil patch so it was fitting for him to  perform “Moon” Mulligan’s Pipeliners Blues.  Here are some images from the evening:

212. A.W. Cardinal    218a. A.W. Cardinal  216. A.W. Cardinal302. Jasmine Colette224. A.W. Cardinal254. A.W. Cardinal300a. Jasmine Colette   316. Jasmine Colette   332. Jasmine Colette214. A.W. Cardinal    200a. A.W. Cardinal    218. A.W. Cardinal   266. A.W. Cardinal   322. Jasmine Colette  340. Jasmine Colette  342. Jasmine Colette330. Jasmine Colette

Once again the the organizing committee have hit the jackpot with another amazing concert. They would like to thank the following sponsors and volunteers: The Burrito Grill, Mountain Spirit Resort, “The Bulletin”, Christine, Irma, Ray (for sound and lights) and Rod Wilson (photography). The MC was Keith Nicholas.

Note: That Studio 64 is the downs stairs room in Centre 64.


Here is a little taste of what we experienced at the concert – a Youtube video of Sugar Dime   and Driftin’.