Heather Gemmell (solo) at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday February 23/24th, 2013, 3-6 pm.
Hether Gemmell is well known on the local music scene for her solo work and performances with her band The Peaks. As always, it is a pleasure to hear her guitar and vocal explorations of original material and a selection of covers. She has a large set list and on Sunday she was worked through her list of favorites as well a long list of the not so familiar. Included were Heart of Gold, Driven, Angel From Montgomery, Sugar man, a very bluesy You are my Sunshine, Hotel California, Love me Do, and the outstanding one up experimental loop piece called Pawn Shop. She reached deep into the bag to pull out one of her very first originals called Slowdown. The song had a great bass line that flowed through out the tune. She continues to resist putting words to that beautiful Tapping Tune where by she explores the percussive potential of the guitar fretboard. As an instrumental it offers an interesting change of pace to her set list. Heather will be back at the Stemwinder later in the month in the continuing Apre Ski musical program at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill.
Scott Pfeifer (solo) at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday February 23/24th, 2013, 3-6 pm.
Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers in a Dangerous Time always brings to my mind the marvelous Mel Gibson / Sigourney Weaver / Linda Hunt collaboration in the film The Year of Living Dangerously. Scott Pfeifer revisited The Bare Naked Ladies interpretation of Cockburn’s classic song and, for whatever reason, Scott’s great voice and interpretation took me straight into 1965 and the hot sweaty tropical world of Indonesia during the tumultuous years of President Sukarno’s repressive regime. With the snow outside on the ski hill and the temperature around freezing point that is quite a stretch of the imagination but never-the-less that’s how it worked for me. Although Scott writes his own material, on Sunday he stuck to covers such as Ahead by a Century, On My Own, Pure Narcotic, Caught by the River, Metal Airplanes, Last Dance and How to Disappear Completely (available on YouTube). Like most musicians he has “a real job”. He is an IT consultant in Calgary. He has friends here in Kimberly so it almost a sure thing that he will be back here for more performances in the future.
60 Hertz at the Stemwinder Bar and Grill (Kimberley Ski Hill), Saturday & Sunday March 9/10th, 2013, 3-6 pm.
“The best band in the land”! There is no such thing of course but why would anybody even think that?. Maybe because 60 Hertz are so dam good. James Neve (guitar & vocals), Rob Young (lead guitar), Marty Musser (drums) and Dave Birch (bass) have played for together for more years than any of them would like to remember.
Some one once asked Vancouver Jazz Pianist Renee Rosnes how come she has done so well on the New York Jazz scene. Her answer was simple and straight forward ” I have the chops, I show up on time and I am a professional”. I guess that could be applied to 60 Hertz. In each of their little instrumental niches each band member has the chops. Added to that the superb writing skills of James Neve, the band’s attention to crafting fine arrangements plus the untold hours of rehearsals and practice and you have a band that is smooth, tight and professional. They are so good I don’t think the average audience misses the fact that the band only plays original material. In most performance environments ‘originality’ is usually a death sentence but not for this band.
The band played for a packed house on Saturday and for a sparser crowd on Sunday. Those Alberta skiers just have to hit the road early and get ready for the new work week. Those left behind had ample opportunity to kick back and enjoy some of the 60 Hertz repertoire that include Leave a Candle by the Window, Goodbye, I Will Cry for You, Desperate Train, Doors of Hope (with its nice rhythm change in the coda), Virtuality (one of my favorites), Too Old to Die Young, Don’t Get Me Wrong and Living in the Sun with some of Marty’s deft deft percussion work with mallets.
Here are some images from another rotten day in paradise (the East Kootenays).