They are back at the Ravens Roost

Bill St. Amand’s Open Mic Session at The Ravens Roost Kimberley Golf Club, August 30, 2013 6-9pm.

The days are starting to shorten already and this session wailed on into the shadows of the evening. It was another memorable session of music on the deck of the Kimberley golf club. The usual performers turned up (Bill St. Armand, Rod Wilson, Shayne and Geordie BlakeMaridee Rodrigues, Jon Bisset and Gary Jaclin). They were joined by Gordie Blake serving up his well seasoned interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot classics. The most anticipated returning performers were Connor Foote and Clayton Parsons. Since their last visit to the Ravens Roost Bill St. Amand has been under a constant barrage of requests to have them back on the deck. The duo has undergone a slight re-branding and are now  The Steamboat Hollersperforming under the name of THE STEAMBOAT HOLLERS. These  two young performers are the latest link in a roots musical legacy that goes way back past the beginning of the twentieth century. Over the past 100 years there have been a number of illustrious performers who have left their mark on a musical genre that includes folk, blues, bluegrass classic jazz, western swing and country. The legendary performers that come to mind are Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Big Bill Broozy, Doc Watson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and in more recent times, Bob Dylan and John Prine. In the never ending quest for fame, fortune and popularity most the younger performers of today have strayed from the true path of music rooted in earthy values. Not so The Steamboat Hollers. Their music reeks of an authenticity based on their personal experiences and honed by the musical craft handed down from their families. Connor’s grandfather is Ed King, a Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame  inductee. It is hard to believe that such young performers have so seamlessly assimilated the craft and the essence of such a fine musical tradition. Along with well crafted songs – Connor’s Family Re-union, and the recently written Glory Bound  (it commemorates a trip to Vancouver and Seattle in search of the holy grail of a John Prine concert in, of all places a zoo). Besides Connor’s Table For One there is Clayton’s Sun Shines Down on Me.Through out the performance there was a sprinkling of covers tunes of John Prine (of course). In response to Connor’s claim to be looking for “the ultimate romantic John Prine song” a member of the audience responded with “that’s an oxymoron” and as quick as a whip Connor rose to the occasion with “what did you just call me?”. The duo is quick on their verbal feet, fleet of fingers on their instruments, have a wonderful relaxed stage presence and are thoroughly entertaining.  Clayton Parsons deserve special mention for he seems to have nailed a very personal interpretation of the Big Bill Broonzy style of finger picking. His playing is clear, strong and very rhythmic. Connor is no slouch either and together they demonstrate that they are not just another couple of strummers capable of singing and writing interesting songs. This a duo destined to go onto bigger things.

Here are some more images from the evening.Connor Foote  Bill St. Amand  Jon Bisset  Geordie Blake  Steamboat Hollers             Connor Foote  The Steamboat Hollers  Jon Bisset and Bill St. AmandClayton + guitar


Music at the Raven’s Roost

Open Mic Session at the Kimberley Golf Course (The Raven’s Roost), Hosted by Bill St. Amand, Friday June 28th, 2013, 5:50 pm – 8pm

Well, the monsoon was over and the big guy in sky threw the big switch, the sun came out and paradise was restored. Or at least our local version of paradise – the outside deck at the Kimberley Golf Course. This was the first of what we hope to be a number of musical events in this perfect setting. The crowd was small to start with but in very short order golfers were abandoning their compulsion to beat up on little white balls and roar around the course in their electric vehicles just to sit on the deck , refresh, eat and soak up the music. Bill St. Amand kick off the non-blood sport event of the evening (those little white balls do actually scream and bleed) with his unique take on the jazzy chord melody approach to songs like Big Bad Bill, Norwegian Wood, Stone Me, and my favorite, I Like Trains. Yours truly, Rod Wilson,  contributes some songs and tunes on the Irish Cittern, followed by Jon Bisset with some classic Folk Rock. A real bonus for me was Karly Ross doing some of her original material and also joining me on Irish Whisle for some more traditional Celtic tunes. As the sun sunk slowly in the west other performers stepped up to the microphone and entertained  the almost capacity crowd.  The response to the event was very positive so stay tuned for word on the next Raven’s Roost event. Sorry there are no photos of the event. It must be the first time me that I actually forgot my camera.

And as an aside note that only the Scots could invent a game where the lower the score you achieve the more likely you are to win the game. For comedic relief check Robin Williams little expose of the game ( with a note of caution about the language) Golf as seen by Robin Williams