1. St. Patrick's Day Celebration Part One, Sunday March 17th 1:30pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Don't miss this FREE afternoon's entertainment at St. James Hall this Sunday! The event is kindly sponsored by The Consulate General Of Ireland, with the cooperation and support of Celticfest Vancouver, the Rogue Folk Club, the Irish Women's Network, and the Irish Sporting & Social Clubs of Vancouver. The Irish Consulate opened here last June, and they have been very active in bringing all the local Irish clubs and societies together. It's a marvellous initiative from Consul Frank Flood and his staff, and we are very grateful and happy to be asked to help present this free event for all the family! There will be several tables inside the hall, offering food samples, face-painting, drop-in Gaeltacht (Irish language classes), and information about the various sporting clubs in town. There will also be a few Irish Wolfhounds to admire. The event will start with a First Nations acknowledgement and then a concert of acoustic music featuring Brian O'Brien and Paul Caldwell. Then there will be an Open Seisiun (jam session) with Celtic music - and more. Please bring your instruments to join in! We will have a bar, and there will be ice cream. The ice cream may even be green, but we assure you there will not be any green beer! Doors open at 1pm, and the event runs until 5pm. Admission is free! Bring the whole family.
2. St. Patrick's Day Celebration Part Two, Sunday March 17th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The evening will feature two local bands offering two distinct variations on Celtic music. White Rock twin sisters Alanna and Brianne Finn-Morris perform under the name Fionn. Their music is a delightful blend of Celtic-infused imagery and accessible folk/pop songs, featuring their wonderful sibling-harmony vocals. Tim Readman and Gerard Kerr led Fear Of Drinking through most of the 1990s and into this millennium with various fiddlers and other musicians along the way, before they both returned to their vocational work as Occupational Therapists. Last year they were delighted to receive a tape of a live concert from 1999 in Zurich. They released the album on CD last year, and have reunited to perform a few gigs since then. They will be joined by the superb fiddler Shona Le Mottee for this show. She was the fiddle player in The Paperboys for a while and has also worked with Tim quite a bit in recent years. They managed to track down Gerard on his recent motorcycle tour of his homeland of New Zealand and convinced him to dismount and head back to Vancouver to pay this special St. Patrick's Day concert chez Rogue! For tickets and information click here.
3. Imar, Wednesday March 20th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
"At a time when fast-and-furious is fashionable, Ímar stand out. Even playing at breakneck speed, they retain a lightness of touch, fingertip control, and deep sensitivity to the supple interplay between the instruments." -- Paul Matheson, fRoots magazine
With prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2018, as well as Folk Band of 2017 at the MG Alba Scots Trad Awards this band is absolutely stunning! The lineup is Mohsen Amini (concertina) from Glasgow; Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes, flute, whistle) from Cork; Tomas Callister (fiddle) and Adam Rhodes (bouzouki) from the Isle of Man; and Adam Brown (bodhran, guitar) from Suffolk. Having first met through the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann as young lads, they became a band at Celtic Connections in 2015 and have gone from strength to strength. They released their debut CD, Afterlight, in 2016 and the follow-up Avalanche late last year. We saw them at Celtic Colours in Cape Breton in 2017 and were amazed! We're so pleased to be able to bring them to town for the first time. Tickets and information here.
4. Paul Pigat & Boxcar Campfire, Friday March 22nd 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The Game is Paul Pigat’s second instalment of what will be the Boxcar Campfire trilogy. Full of imagery of the open road and a rapscallion’s slant on the human condition, Pigat takes the listener on an acoustic journey with a distinctly bluesy tinge filled with humour and insight. With Pigat on vocals, guitars and harmonicas, with special guest Marc L’Esperance on additional vocals and percussion, The Game features seven originals and three reimagined and exceptionally creative covers, including a brilliant rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Paul will be joined in this concert by Paul Rigby (guitar / mandolin), Jeff Gammon (bass), and Jesse Cahill (drums.) For tickets and more information, click here.
5. Kat Danser & The Tall Tales, Saturday March 23rd 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Kat Danser’s music is a steel-belted radial easily flexing between a dusty gravel road and a fresh coat of asphalt. True to her Polish- Gypsy heritage, Danser is in perpetual motion and her swampy roots and blues style is a fine-tuned reflection of life lessons from the road. Edmonton’s Kat Danser doesn’t just play the blues - she studies it, lives it, breathes it and elevates it from sweaty, smoky beer joints to elegant centre stage in the finest of concert halls. Her sweet vocals, lyrical genius, and instrumental prowess beautifully combine with her sharp wit and commanding stage presence to deliver unfailingly memorable live performances.
Her fifth album, Goin’ Gone, is a collaboration between Danser and Juno-award winning producer Steve Dawson and was released last Fall on Black Hen Music and distributed by True North Records. This recording is a highly energetic album that sits the listener right beside her on the vinyl seat of a 1949 Ford Lead Sled as she rolls and rumbles through the Deep South. It celebrates her passion for the roots of blues music and her achievements as a graduate student at the University of Alberta where she has now officially become Dr. Kat Danser with a PhD in Ethnomusicology. For tickets and information, click here.
6. Festival du Bois, March 23-24, Mackin Park, Maillardville
Don't forget to "flaunt your Frenchness" at the 30th annual Festival du Bois in Maillardville on March 23rd and 24th at Mackin Park. One of this year's themes is Acadian music, with the brilliant trio Vishten, and Les Tireux d'Roches among the guests. Info at www.festivaldubois.ca
7. Lunasa, Wednesday March 27th 7:30pm, Kay Meek Theatre (1700 Mathers, West Van)
One of Ireland's very best trad. bands returns to the Lower Mainland on Wednesday March 27th. Lunasa hasn't played in these parts for many a year, but they are back! I saw them last February in Portland, where they gave me a copy of their latest CD, Cas. It's unique for them: there are 5 songs by a variety of guest vocalists including Natalie Merchant, Daoiri Farrell, and Eric Bibb. All their previous albums are totally instrumental. And why not? The band boasts some of the very best musicians in Ireland, including Kevin Crawford on flute, Cillian Vallely on uilleann pipes, and Manchester-born Colin Farrell on fiddle. They play West Van's Kay Meek Theatre. There are still a few good seats left here. Don't miss them!!
8. Maire Ni Chathasaigh & Chris Newman, Friday March 29th 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
There's another top-notch Irish musician heading to town at the end of the month, too. Irish harpist and singer Maire Ni Chathasaigh last played The Rogue in 1992! She's performed out here - at the Mission Folk Festival - just once since then, and it's a very rare treat to be able to hear this wonderful singer. She'll be accompanied by the scintillating guitar work of her husband, Yorkshire-born Chris Newman - himself a master of many styles of music, ranging from the most intricate jazz to dynamic swing and ragtime as well as Celtic and folk and blues. They play The Rogue on Friday March 29th. Info and tickets here.
9. Radio Waves
On this week's edition of The Saturday Edge On Folk I'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day with some of my favourite Celtic music from the past few decades, as well as spinning new sounds from the likes of Coig, The Gloaming, Dawda Jobarteh, Patty Griffin, Leyla McCalla, Heidi Talbot, Della Mae, Djely Tapa, Our Native Daughters, The Trials Of Cato, Nava, and of course, I'll preview the CD launch concerts of Imar, Paul Pigat, and Kat Danser. I hope you can join me on CiTR fm 101.9 and www.citr.ca this - and every - Saturday from 8am to 12 noon.