HOME ROUTES HOUSE CONCERT – New Customs

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NEW CUSTOMS: HOUSE CONCERT AT 5768 HAHA CREEK ROAD, WARDNER (MAYOOK), Sunday September 25, 2016, 7:30 pm

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Not all live music shows and venues are equal. Some people prefer the big stage. The bigger the better. An arena with 20,000 fans, over the top volume, fireworks and a big production is the ideal for a lot of fans. Not me. I prefer music on a small scale, low volume, homespun production values and an intimate venue. The Studio / Stage Door (Cranbrook), Studio 64 (Kimberley), Knox Presbyterian Church and the Small Stage at The Key City are all admirable small venues, each with it’s particular advantages and foibles. Often these venues are not available, or the additional cost of the rental space eats into the venue available for travelling musicians who are on a very tight budget.  The House Concert concept is an alternative venue for travelling musicians.  House concerts are just what they sound like, a complete concert performance with professional musicians located directly in the biggest room of a house. Most house concerts operate without a sound system. The shows are presented as solo, duo or trio performances. Occasionally an artist will bring a small amp for their keyboard or as voice reinforcement, but for the most part, these are entirely acoustic shows. House Concerts have been around for many years and there has always been a few here and there in this area. Some have been successful, some not so much. What is required is a venue with a comfortable room with comfortable seating and space for at least 30 patrons. An essential ingredient is a host willing to go above and beyond by providing over night accommodation and the PR needed to bring in an audience. Support from local audiences is also an essential.  Home Routes / Chemin Chez Nous is a not-for profit organization that has a mission to bring excellent Folk-Roots-Blues music to new audiences who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience these musical genres live, in their own area, and by professional performers. It  has been around for over 10 years and it basically serves as an umbrella organization for touring musicians and house concert hosts. It should be understood that while the touring musicians may not be household names they are part of a huge body of exceptionally talented performers out there who take the notion of  “professional musician” to a whole new level of excellence.

A case in point is the duo New Customs who performed recently at the home of Shelagh and Van Redecopp out on Haha Creek Road in Wardner (Mayook). For a House Concert the venue was perfect for the duo The New Customs. They are new in 200-emma-cloneyname, but not in experience.  They are a recently minted folk duo, but individually they are Emma Cloney (Guitars and Vocals) and Dale Brown (Fiddle, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin and Vocals) with over 20 years of professional musical experience between them. “Hailing from the prolifically musical city of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada (12% of all professional Canadian musicians live in Winnipeg), the duo is being 204-dale-brownnoticed for its solid songwriting, heart-stirring harmonies and outstanding instrumentation.  The combination of guitarist Emma Cloney’s powerful haunting voice with the award-winning, sought-after multi-instrumentalist Dale Brown’s (mandolin, fiddle) – his deep voice evokes the sound of James Keelaghan or Stan Rogers – make up the heart of their sound.  According to their bio, they’re not confined by the conventional and are unrestricted in their thinking:  they‘re intent on creating the new customs, blending not only their music styles but also their careers. In writing together, the pair crafts tunes that range in flavour from Folk to Celtic to Blues, with a sound uniquely their own.  With solid reputations and an obvious musical chemistry, they’ve already played at three high profile folk festivals in Manitoba and Ontario this summer, and released a debut EP”.  In their own words:  “Our shows are a mix of upbeat and contemplative, fiddle tunes and sing-a-longs, friendly for all ages, and full of original songs (mixed with some classics and traditionals you may recognize).  We are 2 voices, 4 hands, 33 strings (though not all at once!), and an electrified cutting board all packed into a Kia hatchback and looking forward to playing for you.”

The concert was a mix of original songs – Sons of Saint Marie, Deep River, Austin of the North;  traditional songs – Stephen Foster’s Hard, Hard Times; a few covers – Stan Rogers’ 45 Years; lots of fiddle music including an outstanding tune, A Song For All Seasons  from the pen of traditional fiddler Oliver Schroer.

This is a very self aware duo who knows who they are, where they come from and where they are going. These are very rare qualities in most Canadian performers. It gives their music a strength and vibrancy that is some what unique. Emma’s voice and the duo’s vocal harmonies are outstanding  On top of that, their instrumental strengths are exceptional. Emma uses two guitars in  unusual open tunings that are altered and expanded with her novel simultaneous use of two capos. With the two guitar set up she wastes little or no time in switching between her various tunings. Her accompaniments are more forceful than delicate but are a perfect blend with her voice and Dale’s mandolins and fiddle. Dale also uses the unusual tuning AEAE for the mandolins. The larger instrument is that hybrid instrument that is sometimes labelled as a  bouzouki but given the shorter neck and the tuning he uses I suspect it is actually an Octave Mandolin. His musical breaks on songs and tunes are outstanding.

Here a some images from the evening:

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218-dale-brown     220-dale-brown216-emma-cloney104-guitars   100-octave-mandolin230-emma-cloney232-emma-cloney   250-dale-brown254-dale-brown234-emma-cloney    242-emma-cloney264-emma-cloney246a-emma-cloney270-emma-cloney   274-emma-cloney276-dale-brown

All and all, this was a very successful first House Concert in this new series. It was a great venue, with charming hosts and wonderful music. The wine and snacks were much appreciated.

I am looking forward to the next concert in series to be held also in Mayook at 8163 Gibbons Road, on Tuesday October 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm.  It will feature the Duo Blue Moon Marquee who performed at Studio 64 (Centre 64) in Kimberley March 2015. I remember it well, it was an outstanding concert.  Check this link to my review

Blue Moon Marquee at Studio 64

Don’t forget to be there. Remember all of the revenues generated at these concerts goes to the musicians.

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Here is special treat for you. A YouTube clip of New Customs performing Deep River

Why do I like this particular song –  well first of all I like the lyrics

DEEP RIVER

SHE’S GOT ONE FOOT IN THE WATER,

& THE OTHER FOOT ON THE SHORE

WHEN THE TETHER LET GO BEHIND HER,

SHE COULD RESIST THE WATER NO MORE

 CHORUS:

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN ….   OH MOMMA NO!

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN …. OH MOMMA DON’T,  MOMMA DON’T GO.

NOW HEARTACHE IS A POISON

AND POISON TENDS TO DRINK

AND WHEN SHE STEPPED INTO THAT WATER,

THE MUDDY BANK STARTS TO SINK

 CHORUS:

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN ….   OH MOMMA NO!

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN …. OH MOMMA DON’T,  MOMMA DON’T GO.

 NOW MOMMA’S IN UP TO HER NECK,

AND THE WATER IS STARTING TO RISE

BECAUSE MOMMA USED THE BOTTLE TO DRY

THE TEARS FROM HER PRETTY BLUE EYES

 CHORUS:

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN ….   OH MOMMA NO!

OH IT’S A DEEP RIVER THAT YOU’RE WADING IN …. OH MOMMA DON’T,  MOMMA DON’T GO.

Then there is the soulful Cape Breton flavored  fiddle intro, Emma’s soulful voice with driving reel like rhythm guitar, Dale’s fiddle fills, their vocal harmony around minute 1:25′: the slight of hand slip into a 6/8 jig rhythm and around 1:50′  Dale seems to re-invent the tune with some melodic variations. Emma ups the ante around 3:20′ with those driving descending chords before they take the tune out with a recap of the soulful intro.

Yes, you could say I really like the song.

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STUDIO 64 JAZZ AND BLUES SERIES – THE ANDREA PETRITY TRIO

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JAZZ BLUES & STUDIO 64: THE ANDREA PETRITY TRIO, September 24, 2016, 8pm at Studio 64 (Centre 64) Kimberley BC 292-andrea-petrity

Some musicians have an epiphany. They may be wandering along in a sonic fog and out of the blue they hear a performer or a recording that becomes an “aha” moment. It becomes lodged in their brain and the thought train becomes  – “So that is what it is all about. I want to do that”. What follows is a commitment to a musical performance philosophy that may take them in a completely different direction, one that they may have never considered prior to the “aha moment”. That didn’t happen for the Calgary jazz pianist Andrea Petrity. The metamorphosis was much more gradual than that. Like so many other youth she took piano lessons and worked her way though the standard classical piano curriculum and repertoire. After leaving school and wondering what to do with her life she came to a conclusion that she already had a possibly useful skill set and perhaps, if she applied herself, it may lead some where.  That is what she started doing and, eventually, she applied for admission to a Jazz Performance Program at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Now, years later she is a fully fledged Jazz Pianist with a great love for the music of Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Thelonious Monk and that whole other world of Jazz Piano. Her favourite is the long deceased musical genius Bill Evans but she freely admits that there are so many talented musicians out there it is impossible to know them all, hear them all, or give credit where credit is due.

When asked the crass question “And what is your real day job?” the unequivocal response from Andrea, her bass player Stefano Valdo and drummer Robin Tufts is that they are full time professional musicians. That they possess a degree of professionalism is more than self evident in their on stage demeanour and commitment to technical and musical excellence.

On Saturday night at Studio 64 in Kimberley the Andrea Petrity Trio gave the admittedly small audience (very unusual for this extremely popular annual series) a substantial serving of straight ahead, no holds barred piano trio jazz. They kicked off the evening with their interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s Bird on the Wire. I normally approach listening to drummers with a certain amount of scepticism. Kit drummers tend 216-robin-tuftsto play too loud and dare I say it, often sound unmusical. Andrea promised a tasty treat with Robin Tufts accompaniments and we were not disappointed in his adroit handling of brushes and his simpatico accents. The bassist Stefano Valdo is no stranger to Studio 64 audiences. The last time he was here he played a huge electric bass guitar but this time around he had switched to upright bass. One of his musical heroes is the late great Scott LaFaro of Bill Evans Trio fame. The influences, at least to my ears, were very evident 238-stefano-valdoin his free wheeling accompanying and solo style. One of the sonic pleasures of recent years is the return of the upright acoustic bass. Nothing quiet matches the big fat bottom depths  of the acoustic upright bass. The first “standard” tune of the evening done in a very original style was Harlem Nocturne. The rest of the program was filled with a number of Andrea’s originals that included You Took Love With You, a nod to Thelonious Monk in Monkey Around  (I am sure Thelonious was smiling), and a cute interpretation  of a Hungarian Folk tune with some nice hand percussion from Robin. The name of the tune was loosely translated as an ode to a Brown eyed or gypsy girl. It was a neat 4/4 tune with a triplet feel, kind of 6/8, but not really. After the intermission they kicked off with a Latin feel in Andrea’s original Marianna, followed by an achingly slow (Andrea’s direction to the trio) version of the standard The Very Thought of You. This was followed by I Found a New Baby. Then more original tunes  including a new untitled work simply called Untitled and the final piece of the evening PMS. A title that doesn’t mean what you think. It is a nod to three modern Jazz master musicians, the bassist John Patitucci the guitarists Pat Metheny and John Scofield – PMS.

Here are more images from the evening.

204-andrea-petrity210-stefano-valdo  230-stefano-valdo214-robin-tufts254-andrea-petrity220a-robin-tufts   224-robin-tufts268-andrea-petrity306-robin-tufts242-andrea-petrity    244-andrea-petrity270-stefano-valdo232-robin-tufts240-stefano-valdo  100-cymbals258-andrea-petrity   266-andrea-petrity280-stefano-valdo

As always in the Studio 64 Jazz and Blues Concert series the music in this concert was a joy to experience. There is something about the interplay and shifting textures of live jazz that cannot be beaten.

The musicians in the trio would like to thank the Studio 64 Organizing Committee, Volunteers, the audience and A B&B AT 228 for their hospitality. They would also like to thank Elaine Rudser fo her astonishing art work on the walls of the performance space.

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SummerSounds: The Little Jazz Orchestra

SummerSounds presents: The Little Jazz Orchestra, August 13, 7:30 pm, Rotary Park, Cranbrook.

It isn’t Newport, Rhode Island and the year is not 1958 but it could be the next best thing. The documentary film Jazz on a Summer’s Day was set at the penultimate jazz festival of the day and here in Cranbrook  a half century later we have SummerSounds and The Little Jazz Orchestra (LJO). In both instances the weather was wonderful, the music superb and the setting magical. Sure the crowd wasn’t as big and the number of performers was restricted to just the one band of superb musicians. But to be able to kick back an enjoy the music on this wonderful summer evening, what more could one want? The band line up sported a couple of changes; Dave Ward (Trumpet, Fluegelhorn), Janice Nicili  (Bass), Evan Bueckert,,(Keyboard)  and Graham Barnes (Guitar) were the long time members joined by special guest Rick Lingard (Alto Sax) and Julian Bueckert substituting for Sven Heyde on drums. The band delivered up a set of their funkified version of jazz stands and their own original compositions. Here are images from the evening:

012. Janice and Graham

202. Janice Nicli   206. Rick Lingard208. Graham Barnes  210. Graham Barnes102.   100.208a. Graham Barnes214. Janice Nicli  216. Evan Bueckert220. Julian Bueckert  222. Rick Lingard236. Dave Ward218. Evan Bueckert246. Janice Nicli  244. Janice Nicli238. Dave Ward256. Julian Bueckert258. Evan Bueckert

Dave looking for his muse

278. Graham Barnes270. Shelagh Redecopp280. Janice Nicli   282. Janice Nicli288. Evan Bueckert

And a spectacular end to the evening600a. Fire604. Flames

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SummerSounds: Clayton Parsons

SummerSounds presents Clayton Parsons in Rotary Park, Cranbrook, Saturday August 13, 2016, 5pm. Clayton’s special guest is Joelle Winkel

112. Clayton and Joelle

The value of the average Singer / Song writer is in serious decline. It is not a question of quality, although that is part of the equation, but rather a question of supply. There are just too many singer / song Writers out there looking for gigs. It seems that every high school kid who plays guitar has ambitions to be a singer / song writer. Even if the quality was over the roof the market cannot absorb an unlimited number of such performers. There are some reasonable word smiths out there who, given time and maturity will put out some reasonable material. One of the kickers is that most only  play guitar at a very modest level. Most are just three chord strummers. What we need are superior word smiths with above average guitar skills. I think Clayton Parsons is a performer who fills that bill. Clayton is young man in his early twenties raised here in Cranbrook with an  honest artistic pedigree. His father, Reg,  is the well known for his bronze sculptures, his sister  Jani is a concert pianist and, I believe he has a brother who plays banjo. Clayton is an honest heir to the singer / song Writer tradition that stretches back to the beginning of the last century. He is following in the footsteps  of the likes of Woody Gutherie, Rambling Jack Elliot, Bob Dylan, Ian Tyson and John Prine. He has a strong clear voice, killer acoustic guitar chops, great stage presence and, above all, songs that reek of authenticity. He seems to have the uncanny ability to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. A midnight shift at the Skookumchuck pulp mill during shut down would seem to be a pretty ordinary life experience and yet in his hands it becomes a classic piece of art called September Sunday. He also freely plunders the tradition with such classic re-interpretations of C.C. Rider, Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky, and a wonderful reworking of You are My Sunshine that segues back and forth into Gershwin’s Summertime. His partner in crime for this particular performance was Joelle Winkel with some pretty sweet backup harmonies. If I have the story right Clayton and Joelle are just back from a 20 concert tour that stretched from Winnipeg to Victoria. Here are some images from a very pleasant summer evening at Rotary Park.

100. Clayton Parsons118. Joelle and Clayton116. Clayton Parsons  120. Clayton114. Clayton Parsons134. Joelle Winkel   128. Clayton Parsons

An Appreciative Fan

An Appreciative Fan

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – Breakwater

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The stellar “Celtic Band”  Breakwater (Jeff Faragher – Cello, Guitar & Vocals; Aurora Smith – Fiddle & Vocals;  Ben Johnson – Drums;  Rob Fahie – Bass) performed in two concerts, one in Cranbrook, one in Kimberley,  in March of this year – see the review below:

“It’s all in the mix”………… BREAKWATER

Two weeks ago they performed at the Kaslo Jazz Festival. Since we last heard them in Kimberley they have “kicked it up a notch” with tighter ensemble playing, blistering solos and new material. The fact that they continue to expand their repertoire and are constantly bring new material on board gives them a distinct edge over their contemporaries. There was no sitting on their laurels for this band on this tour. Their older material was well represented with the sly segue from the traditional Canadian Log Driver’s Waltz to J.S. Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Similarly with Cold Play’s , Viva La Vetta sliding into Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony. But it was not all Classical high jinks. There were healthy doses of traditional fiddle music that included a set of jigs – The Roaring Barmaid / Morrison’s Jig / The Swallow Tail Jig; the Lunasa Set of the Spootiskerry Reel and the Road to Bagra . I couldn’t let the tune with the weird name pass me by so I looked it up in the The Sessions and in the comments it was described as “composed by Shetland fiddler Samuel Ian Rothmar Burns in 1980. Spootiskerry is the name of a farm in the Burns family. A “skerry” is a group of rocks which is covered by the sea, but can sometimes be visible depending on the tide.” So there you have it – my little bit of trivia for the day. Although the strength of the band is in 124. Aurora Smithinstrumental music they did throw in a few vocals. Aurora did a fine job on the classic highland ballad Wild Mountain Thyme (Will you go Lassie go), and Scarborough Fair.  Jeff lead the audience in a soulful version of There is more Love Somewhere. What was missing from the evening was Jeff’s version of the classic Maritime song Song of the Mira ……. maybe next time. There was TV Music – The Theme from Dr Who; film music – The Curse of the Black Crow from Pirates of the Caribbean and a rip roaring version of Amy Cann’s the Catharsis Reel. Aurora and Jeff are very much front and centre in the music but they would not be as successful as they are with out Rob Fahie providing the solid bass parts and the outstanding drumming of Ben Johnson. I have a personal dislike of drummers performing in Celtic bands. I feel they are trying too hard to tap into the pop culture ethos and as a result the music suffers. Drummers always have a tendency to play way too loud without any sensitivity or thought to musical dynamics. Ben is not like that. He is more like a percussionist searching for the right textures to enhance the music. Way to go Ben!. The band finished the evening with an encore version of The Ashokan Farewell from the Ken Burns PBS documentary on the American Civil War. For some unknown reason the light during the performances was a little “dodgy” never-the-less here are some more images from the evening.

102. Aurora and Jeff  108. Jeff Faragher110a. Ben Johnson116. Aurora Smith126. Jeff Faragher   142. Jeff Faragher138. Ben Johnson184. Rob Fahie120. Aurora Smith  118. Aurora Smith010. Cello

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – The Selkirk Trio

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AFTERNOON TEA WITH THE SELKIRK TRIO, Studio 64, Kimberley BC, Sunday August 7, 2016

112. Selkirk TrioFor most people the idea of Classical Music usually means symphony orchestras, opulent concert halls, musicians in formal attire and patrons dressed to impress. It doesn’t necessarily follow that the symphony is the be all and and end all of classical music. The great virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin, no stranger to large orchestras and concert halls, is reputed to have expressed the notion “that the true essence and application of music is to be found in chamber music”. If there is any doubt to that concept one has only to spend time with The Selkirk Trio. A couple of hours with Sue Gould (piano), Nicola Everton (clarinet) and Jeff Faragher  (Cello) and you should become a true believer in chamber music. Over the years I have attended at least three concerts of the trio and each time I am impressed with their program selection, their technical virtuosity and their musicality. The strength of the trio, and chamber music in general, is the lack of filters. There is no sound re-enforcement to get in the way and distort the true sound of the instruments. The musical arena for chamber concerts tends to be human scale with the audience and the musicians all within hand reach of each other. The nuances of musical dynamics and shading are right there in and around the audience. The trio kicked off the concert with the Cuban classical composer and jazz musician  Paquito D’Rivera’s Afro. Jeff doubled on Djembe  to provide some authentic 142. Clarinetatmosphere. This was followed by Ludwig Van Beethoven’s  Trio in B Flat Major, Opus 11, the second movement. My favorite item in the trio’s program is the 7 Balkan Dances  by the Croatian composer Marko Tajčević. Nicola obviously revels in these short but intricate pieces that bounce around the essentially odd rhythmic elements of Balkan music. I have tried to find a recording of these particular pieces but so far I have not been successful. I only think it fair to suggest that the trio needs to record them at some future date.

Sue and her coat of many colours

Sue and her coat of many colours

Pavel Karmanov is a Russian rock musician with musical credentials that go way beyond the limits of that style of music. Sue Gould selected his minimalist composition Birthday Present to Myself. The Minimalist School of classical composition is a recent innovation and is best exemplified by the music of Phillip Glass and Steve Reich. Minimalist  compositions usually consists of repetitive melodic motifs that need to be comprehended as part of the larger composition. A friend of mine declared that Steve Reich’s classic minimalist piece  Six Marimbas to be  some form of advanced Chinese water torture. Of course I beg to differ. It is one of my favorite pieces of music. I am looking forward to spending more time with the music of Pavel Karmanov.

Nicola kicked off the second half of the program with some Klezmer compositions by the Canadian composer Milton Barnes (1931-2001). The pieces were scored for clarinet and piano duo.

Nicola's Freilach dancing shoes

Nicola’s Freilach dancing shoes

In this day and age we all have toys. For Jeff it is the looping pedal. Jeff has just completed a solo CD recording project entitled Voices Within. One of the object of the exercise was to give Jeff the opportunity to experiment with a looping pedal. This is a device that is very common in pop music circles. It allows a performer to lay down  tracks of music in an orderly fashion to create a complete solo performance. In this case Jeff chose a number of cello pieces where he performs all the parts. To give some idea of how the process works Jeff gave a working demonstration by using the looping pedal to first lay down the melody of The Largo from Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos, BV351. He then went back and, while the melody was playing, he added the bass part. He followed this up by finally adding the harmony part thus completing the piece. “Boys and Their Toys”……… Sue was not to out done. Her toy was a relatively simple device attached to the iPad containing her musical scores. With a tap on the foot pedal she is able to turn the pages, thus overcoming a major nuisance for pianist playing off the printed page. Nicola did her “party piece” with the Klezmer tunes, Jeff did his “party piece” with Vivaldi and the foot pedals. Sue’s “party piece” was a solo performance of Bela Bartok’s Romanian Dances for Solo Piano. The trio came together to perform Nino Roto’s  (of God Father film music fame) Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano. For the encore the trio  played an arrangement of The Ashokan Farewell from Ken Burn’s CBS Civil War Documentary. It was a hauntingly beautiful end to a great afternoon of music.

084a. Cello100. Jeff Faragher   126. Sue Gould

Happiness is a sun tan and a good clarinet reed

Happiness is a sun tan and a good clarinet reed

“Jeff, what are you doing down there?”

"I'm playing with my toys"

“I’m playing with my toys”

162. Jeff Faragher  164. Jeff Faragher

154. Sue Gould124. Sue and Nicola  135. Nicola Everton

The concert is over .... I can lay myself down and sleep

The concert is over …. I can now lay myself down and sleep

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KIMBERLEY KALEIDOSCOPE FESTIVAL – The Love Bullies

THE LOVE BULLIES on the outdoor stage at Centre 64, Saturday Evening, August 6, 2016, 7:30 pm500. The Love Bullies

The Love Bullies – Shantal Vitals (guitar, vocals), Kevin Herring (Telecaster guitar), Joni Brent (Bass guitar, vocals), Caroline Connolly (lead vocals and flute) and Paul Jahn (drums) are back in town and this time I knew what to expect. They performed on Stage 64 (Centre 64) back in March of last year. At that time I was completely taken aback by the big hair, boots, and the polyester fashion statements from a bye gone era. Well on Saturday evening the ladies appeared just as tacky as the last time; Kevin Herring was still doing his best impression of “a man in black”, and the working man in the back was still the same drummer. As with their last visit they dished up a solid  evening of vintage pop that included Tunnel of Love, Stupid Cupid, Shake it all Over, These Boots Were Made for Walking, Uneasy Feeling, Hernando’s Hidaway, plus a whole lot of other well known songs of the pre-classic rock era. Sprinkled among the old pop standards they squeezed in  a couple of their original songs. The weather, despite heavy rains in the morning, was co-operative and gave the organizers a nice mild summer’s evening. Once the band got going the crowd showed their appreciation by getting up and dancing the night away. Below are some images from the evening.

216. Shantal Vitalis  222. Shantal and Kevin228. Caroline Connolly  236. Kevin Herring230. Joni Brent246. Caroline Connolly  250. Caroline Connolly254a. Kevin Herring258. Time to dance   300. Time for dancing256. Paul Jahn   260. Joni and Kevin268. Kevin Herring274. Shantal Vitali276. Kevin and Joni  284. Shantal and Kevin282. Joni Brent286. The ladies334a. Joni Brent292. Shantal Vitalis304. Caroline Connolly  310. Caroline Connolly308. Kevin Herring312. Joni Brent316. Joni Brent  318. Joni Brent324a. Joni Brent326. Caroline Connolly332. Shantal Vitalis  330. Joni Brent338. Kevin Herring   340. Caroline Connolly360. Kevin Herring353. Kevin Herring  336. Joni Brent368. Kevin Herring364. Joni Brent

So there you have it. A great show by a band that is most likely the “Most Entertaining Rock Band on the Planet”.

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SummerSounds: Red Girl

SummerSounds presents Red Girl, at Rotary Park in Cranbrook, 5pm, Saturday 2016/07/30

314. Red Girl

The band Red Girl comes in a number of configurations. On this beautiful summer evening the core duo of Annie Hepher (vocals, claw hammer banjo and guitar) and Mike Hepher (mandolin and vocals) were joined by the multi-talented guitarist Keith Larsen. Although Keith also plays mandolin and dobro he managed to keep him self in check during the afternoon by only playing flat pick guitar. He left his rock and roll and country personae at home in his basement. Both Annie and Mike are very well known in this area. They originally came to local fame in the pop/rock/folk band As the Crow Flies. Since that time Annie has mostly switched to claw hammer banjo as her instrument of choice. As anybody in the area can testify Mike is an extraordinary mandolin player. But that is only the surface of Mike’s talents. If you ever have the opportunity to come across Mike in a late night session then stick around until the wee hours of the morning and you will be more than amply rewarded as he explores his huge repertoire of tunes and styles.

Red Girl cruises on the stylistic edge of BlueGrass with more than a significant amount of “old timey” songs and tunes. It is basically a  style of music they have appropriated from the USA but without becoming too overtly American. The emphasis is on crystal clear vocals and top flight musicianship. Without a doubt there is not another band in this area that performs with such flair and vigor while steering clear of the machine gun approach of most blue grass bands. During the evening there were lots of good tunes and songs with great vocals, claw hammer banjo, brilliant mandolin solos and the very clean flat picking of Keith Larsen. The evening kicked off with the well known Bluegrass tune Lazy John then worked their way down the set list pictured below. My favorite of the evening was the extended medley of Stephen Foster’s Angeline the Baker and the Irish tune/song Whiskey Before Breakfast. Annie dusted off one of her original songs, Our Town, from her period of intense song writing days while performing as a member of As the Crow Flies . Our Town is a tribute to small town life. Below are some images from just another a great way to spend a pleasant summer’s evening in Our Town.

400. Set List206. Anie Hepher  212a. Anie Hepher210. The sound guys218. Keith Larsen  220. Clawhammer240. Annie and Mike012. Red Girl Header230. Annie Hepher  232. Mike Hepher

"Behind these shades and pearly whites is a man having fun"

“Behind these shades and pearly whites is a man having fun”

Just a couple of good ole' boys

Just a couple of good ole’ boys

228. Annie Hepher242. Annie Hepher240. Annie and Mike   244. Mike Hepher300 Keith Larsen276. Annie and Mike   278. Annie and Mike290a. Annie and Mike002. Redgirl Header

312. Red Girl

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Summer Sounds: Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band

Summer Sounds presents: Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band , Rotary Park in Cranbrook, July 9, 2016

“Weather forecast ………  thunderstorms,  heavy rain, Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band”

100. Dark Fire Cloud

Summer Sounds is back and the first performance out the gate is a favorite band from previous years. Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band with their special brand of Caribbean flavored Zydeko and Roots music. The line up of the band has slightly changed from previous performances in the area. The upright bass player Jay Shuttle has moved onto other endeavors and his replacement is the young Moroccan musician Mehdi Makraz on electric bass. Syama Mama is a welcome addition as a backup vocalist and the two pillars of the band, Dark Fire Cloud (guitar and harmonica) and Shuggy Milligan (drums) continue to provide the bands musical identity. For a short while the weather and Dark Fire Cloud had a running battle. The concert started with a torrential down pour that the band sent scuttling to the nether lands with the sunny sounds of more pleasant climes. Here are images from the afternoon:

126. Dark Fire Cloud128. Dave Prinn  112. Shuggy Milligan122. Mehdi Makraz   154. Syama Mama118. Dark Fire Cloud132. Mehdi Makraz   150. Shuggy Milligan158. Dark Fire Cloud 160. Syama Mama and Mehdi   168. Mehdi Makraz176. Shuggy Milligan  194. Dark Fire Cloud   196. Shuggy Milligan  212a. Shuggy Milligan      222. Mehdi Makraz206. Mehdi Makraz230. Mehdi Makraz   216a. Dark Fire CloudCloud and Gemmel 058-ed3236. Syama Mama   238. Shuggy Milligan256. Shuggy Milligan258a. Syama Mama  278. Mehdi Makraz274. Mehdi Makraz 010. DFC header

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The Jocelyn Pettit Band at the HeidOut

The Jocelyn Pettit Band at the HeidOut July 7, 2016, 7:30pm

This was a surprise engagement. Normally the LJO plays at the HeidOut on the first Thursday of the month but due to some health issues they cancelled their regular gig. The Jocelyn Pettit Band  was on their way from Fernie to Nelson so they were offered the opportunity to fill in for the LJO. This band from Squamish features Jocelyn Pettit (Fiddle and Stepdancing), Joel Pettit ( Bodhran, Cajon), Siew Wan Choo (Keyboard, fiddle), Colm MacCarthaigh (Guitar and Vocals) and Erik Musseau (Irish Whistles and Vocals). Although I had been in touch with Jocelyn by email the previous week but this gig was such a last minute thing I almost missed out. I received a phone call from a buddy at 8pm letting me know they were playing at the HeidOut. I managed to catch their last set. This was a straight up mix of music from across the Celtic World. I wasn’t organized enough to write down their set list but there were lots of fiddle tunes, songs, Cape Breton style piano, Step Dancing and, of course, Low Whistle tunes. This is a very polished band and I am looking forward to their return. Here are some images from the evening.

202. Jocelyn Pettit   206. Jocelyn Pettit  208a. Jocelyn Pettit  300. Siew Wan Choo   315. Joel Pettit  510. Colm MacCarthaigh  306. Siew Wan Choo   606. Erik Musseau212. Jocelyn Pettit  614. Erik Musseau 412. Joel Pettit   514. Colm MacCarthaigh100. Step Dancing   210. Jocelyn Pettit612. Erik Musseasu622. Erik Musseau624. Erik Musseau  628. Erik Musseau630. Erik Musseau

There were two really nice guitars on stage; A mid-1980s Larrivee with some fancy inlay on the head stock and the characteristic cut away of that make of guitar. Colm was playing a custom hand built guitar by James Goodall of Fort Bragg in California.

Also thank you Heidi for adjusting the positioning of the lights to improve my photography of the event

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