Open Mic Session at BJ’s

Bill St.Amand hosting an Open Mic Session , Saturday February 2, 2013, 7:30 pm at BJ’s Creekside Pub, Kimberley.

It says a lot about the number and depth of talent in the area when two open mic sessions, back to back (Friday and Saturday), can attract an almost completely different crew of musicians and an audience to boot. On the first Saturday of every month during the winter  Bill St. AmandBJ’s Creekside pub is the home stage for a open mic session. It was Bill St. Amand’s turn to be the host and it must be remembered that this commitment requires a significant amount of time and energy to haul equipment and round up potential performers. Bill always manages to put together an interesting line-up. He was first out of the gate a selection of his unique blend of chord/melody guitar work and some familiar, but not too familiar, songs and tunes. For original material that is starting to become well known by local audiences it is pretty hard to overlook the work of Tim Ross and the able bass player Ferdy Belland, from the band The Bison Brothers. Since Ferdy got back to town this collaboration of musicians is getting smoother, tighter and so polished in  Tim Rossperformance that they almost shimmer with good vibes. Tim stepped through his originals Work Time, The Lucky Star, My Sister’s Friends, My Baby Won’t ride in My Truck No More, Fish God and added in a few covers that included That’s All Right Mama, Lola (of Kinks fame) and the classic Pancho and Lefty. Daze of Grace (Sharon and Jubal Routley) along with yours truly Rod Wilson, on Irish Whistle and Percussion performed Dougie Maclean’s Ready for the Storm and Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. BJ’s mellow ambience prompted me to haul out an acoustic 12-string guitar. This instrument does not have a pickup and an attentive audience is always helpful when performing live. I have had the instrument for a couple of years but I rarely play it in public.For this wonderful venue and audience I played a medley of two instrumentals, Paxton’s Parody ( a rip-off of a popular Tom Paxton song) an an original tune called Tomorrow is a Better Day (always the  Garry Jacklinoptimist). The only other piece I performed was a ballad from the Aussie Rock band REDGUM. The song The Dusty Diamentina was written some 20 odd years ago and has managed to slip into the traditional folk music realm. With its classic line “the rain never falls on the Dusty Diamentina” the song had a touch of unintended irony. This week on the news the Diamentina river is in flood as torrential cyclone weather drenches north eastern Queensland. Other performers during the evening included solo performers Garry Jacklin, Bill Renwick (with a little blues harp)  and the duo The Quimby’s (Ferdy Belland and Erin Dalton). Ferdy was everybody’s favorite bass player by joining a number of performers on stage throughout the evening. Once again BJ’s proved it is the venue of choice for discerning musicians and audiences.

Bill St. Amand     Ferdy Belland    Bill Renwick   Tim Ross    Erin Dalton     Ferdy Belland    Bill St.Armand    Garry Jacklin    Erin Dalton


Ferdy Belland


Bocephus King at the Byng

Bocephus King, Slack Pine and the Bison Brothers at the Byng Roadhouse, Cranbrook, Monday January 28, 2013, 8pm.

My wife accuses me of losing my objectivity. After every recent show it seems I have nothing but good to say about the performance. Well, I guess it’s because live music away from the concert platform is always good. It doesn’t matter how many train wrecks, if any,  may occur during the performance the intimacy, vibe and the audience interaction are what makes for great evenings. So, I don’t think I losing my objectivity. How can I lose objectivity when I am having so much fun? Case in point; The recent show at the Byng opened with the new local group Pine Slacks featuring Clayton Parsons (guitar and vocals), Connor Foote (guitar and vocals) and Stu Driedger (stand up bass). The sound system was a little harsh, the lighting less than satisfactory and their bass player was dealing with some serious medical pain. Despite the difficulties they pulled it together and delivered a set that included originals such as Echoes, Know My Name, Time, Coyote, How I Met Your Mom, Stay, Grey Cell Doors, Hold On, Waiting to be Set Free, Ducks and a great thumping version of Hangman. Kudos to Stu for hanging in there despite the pain. Tim Ross (vocals, guitar), Ferdy Belland (vocals and Bass) and Colin Righton (drums) are no strangers on the local scene. When Ferdy recently arrived back in town Ferdy BellandTim Ross re-activate their musical partnership in The Bison Brothers. This is a slick, in the best sense, tight rock solid unit. With Tim’s song writing skills, cowboy/rock star/western persona, Ferdy’s hyperactive bass and backup vocals and Colin Righton’s harnessed heavy metal sensibilities any performance is guaranteed to please. On Monday night at the Byng it was no different. Apart from a few cover tunes Tim’s original material was front and center. Songs include My Sister’s Friends, Fish God, My Baby Won’t Ride in My Car No More, Day After Day, Ghost Town, How Come I Never Have any Money, the rocking (“everyone needs a car song”) Rocket 88 and, my personal favorite The Lucky Star. “Bocephus King at the Byng”doesn’t that have a nice ring to it. Despite having a website Bocephus is a  bit of an enigma. The biography on the web site is a masterpiece of non-information. Who is Bocephus King? Where does he  Bocephus Kingcome from? Apart from working out of Vancouver anything else is pure guess work. No matter his music and his five piece band speaks for its self. The band, featuring Bocephus King on guitar and vocals, Wynston Minckler on short scale bass, Paul Townsend on drums, Charlie Hase  on pedal steel and Skye Wallace on vocals, percussion and Melodica delivered over two hours of non-stop grove based music. There were a few covers in there (Don’t Think Twice, Run Like a Fugative ) but it was mostly roots based, and as near as I could tell, original music with a distinct Caribbean feel.This was a great show with good flow, a good grove, very musical (?? a rock band that’s musical) and lots of space for each musician to shine. Charlie Hase’s pedal steel added that extra melodic voice that is often missing in most bands; Skye Wallace’s vocals, percussion and especially her Melodica playing on the old Dean Martin pop classic Sway was a real surprise and a joy to hear. It was a Monday night, traditionally a dead night in the week but the word must have got out because there was good crowd who are  obviously enjoying the Byng’s Roadhouse’s return to the live music scene. Here are some more images from the evening.

 Clayton Parsons   Connor Foote    Clayton Parsons   Ferdy Belland     Skye Wallace    Stu Driedger  Bocephus King     Connor Foote    Tim Ross  Ferdy Belland     Bocephus King   Skye Wallace  Bocephus King     Skye Wallace   Charlie Hase Charlie Hase   Bocephus King  Skye Wallace  Bocephus King.   Connor Foote     Paul Townsend   Tim Ross    Skye Wallace    Bocephus King Skye Wallace    Wynston Minckler    Bocephus King   Bocephus King   Skye Wallace     Clayton Parsons   Skye Wallace    Skye Wallace      Skye Wallace.

So, just remember THE BYNG ROADHOUSE has live music every Friday and Saturday evening with a jam session every Saturday afternoon.