Steve's Blog
Thursday May 21, 2009

Keep in Touch

There are two ways you can receive these updates automatically:

Hi everyone

Rogue News Update

As the weather starts to heat up so do happenings at the Rogue! We have two really fabulous shows coming up, and we really need your support. The federal government has still given no word as to whether we will receive a grant this year, and we have been just about scraping by for 5 months on concert revenues alone. Recent shows have been brilliant, but the attendance has just about been enough to break even. If we don't receive our grant we will soon be borrowing money from the bank. We can ill afford to pay interest as well, and I don't think the government will feel guilty enough to compensate us for our overdraft costs.

There are many ways you can help.

Firstly, come to the shows. Bring a friend. Bring the family. Bring anyone you know! There are heaps of real music fans out there who haven't yet been to the Rogue, and almost as many who haven't been often enough!

Secondly, we are faced with an administrative workload which we can't keep up with. We don't have the funds to hire more staff right now, but if there's anyone out there with computer skills and accounting abilities who can help us to keep our books, you will be rewarded with whatever we can afford. We use Simply Accounting.

Thirdly, we need to convert our database into something more complete and to avoid duplication between the mailing list, this email list, our volunteer list, and our media list. We are making some progress on this, but could definitely use some help. So if you have excellent computer skills and database knowledge - preferably on a web-based system and / or a program that runs on both Mac and PC, then please email me.

Fourthly, we may be faced with the prospect of switching to an electronic newsletter, as mailing and printing costs are becoming ever more of a burden, and we have received notice from Capilano University that they will no longer pay our mailing costs from September onwards. So we have a major rethink to consider as well.

Fifthly, our online ticket provider, SSI, is about to cease their ticketing operations. We need to find a new service, and we definitely don't want to resort to Ticketmaster. If anyone knows of an affordable, user-friendly ticket service, please let me know!

We definitely need to stage a Fundraising event in the next couple of months or so. Probably some sort of Benefit Concert with an associated merchandise sale and auction. We welcome any ideas, and offers of help.

Folk Arts Quartet in concert, Friday May 22nd, 8pm, at St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Today's Georgia Straight has the following article in its Arts Section. Calling all fans of string bands, Celtic music, Old Time music, Classical music, Canadian music, Scottish music!

Folk Arts Quartet fashion folk music with classical feel
By Tony Montague

Innovative music sometimes flows so naturally that you scarcely notice what makes things different. Take the piece "Half Decade" by the Boston-based Folk Arts Quartet. The tune is rooted in Scottish and Appalachian fiddle traditions, but the arrangement is complex, the instrumentation classical, the rhythm lightly syncopated. And the delivery has a touch of swing jazz and pop.

The sound is a beautiful new hybrid, and its creators are all students at Massachusetts's prestigious Berklee College of Music-including two young B.C. women.

"We've been known to call our music 'backwoods chamber grass'," says 18-year-old cellist Emma Beaton of Qualicum Beach, reached between her classes at Berklee. "This place is best known for its jazz and pop studies, and I think that people here are excited to have something else-a band playing folk music with a classical feel and style."

Victoria-born Ivonne Hernandez started Folk Arts two years ago with fellow fiddler Hannah Read and viola player Julie Metcalf. Last fall Beaton-winner of a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2008 as young performer of the year-replaced the group's original cellist, Liz Davis Maxfield. She brings strong Celtic influences, old and new, having spent her summers absorbing music on the Isle of Skye and taking classes at California's Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.

It was at the camp in the redwoods that Beaton met and befriended fellow cellist Natalie Haas, now her teacher at Berklee and a major inspiration.

The FAQ hasn't often performed outside of Boston. But with graduations looming and the release this spring of an excellent self-titled debut album, that's about to change. This Friday (May 22), the Folk Arts Quartet plays at Vancouver's St. James Hall, at the start of a short West Coast tour.

"We have festivals this summer in Saskatchewan and New York, and then an East Coast tour," says Beaton. "The recording is getting a very good response, which is encouraging us to come up with more of our own material. We don't write 'straight-through' tunes like string bands play. There are interludes, ways of going into the next tune, changes of time signature. The music can be quite subtle, but we always want it to be really accessible, and to be fun for everyone."

Luka Bloom, Saturday May 30th, 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Irish singer Luka Bloom makes his first Vancouver appearance in many years, and we're delighted to be able to bring him back for his second Rogue show (the first was in 1990!) He is touring with a great new CD, Eleven Songs, It's the latest in a long line of superb albums, showcasing his rich vocals and deep love of life, the environment, peace, music, world travel, and, well, love. Website:, concert details.

"If you've been listening to acoustic music for the last 30 years or so and have somehow managed to escape the charms of Luka Bloom, there is a serious gap in your collection. As Irish as the Blarney Stone, Bloom doesn't play what could be strictly classified as Celtic music, although it certainly contains elements of the style. Bloom has always been more interested in the infinite variety that is possible at the crossroads of two or more genres; Celtic, Folk, Country, Pop, Gospel and anything else that presents itself. The end result has always come out uniquely identifiable as Bloom because of his percussive acoustic guitar style and his intensely personal songwriting."

Coming Soon To The Rogue at St. James Hall

Saturday June 6th, 11am
Rick Scott

VISI and Rogue Folk present award winning family entertainer Rick Scott. Three time Juno nominee and winner of Parents' Choice, iParenting and Canadian Folk Music Awards, Rick combines music and laughter in lively participatory concerts for all ages. Innovative, warm hearted songs and music the whole family can enjoy together. Website:, concert details.

Friday June 12th, 8pm
Corbin Murdoch & The Nautical Miles plus The Abramson Singers

Two CD launches in one show! Corbin Murdoch's band release Wartime Lovesongs on Jericho Beach Music and Leah Abramson (Dyad, Crooked Jades) releases a CD with her newest band, The Abramson Singers. The show will open with a set by a brass quintet, who will join The Nautical Miles later on as well. Website:, concert details.

Friday July 3rd, 8pm
Pacific Curls with Sarah Beattie (NZ / Scotland)

They made a terrific impression at The Rogue last Summer and we are delighted to welcome them back! The unprecedented combination of Fiddle, Ukulele, Maori traditional instruments, Cajons, Guitar, Stomp Peddles, Percussion and Vocals with lyrics in Maori, Rotuman and English unfolds a new direction for fusion World music. Website:, concert details.

Saturday July 4th, 8pm
Old Blind Dogs (Scotland)

Since forming in the early 1990's, Old Blind Dogs have stood on the cutting edge of Scotland's roots revival. The band has developed its own trademark style with an energetic mix of songs and tunes. Dynamic percussion, polished vocals, soaring fiddle and stirring pipes fuel the delicately-phrased melodies and traditional songs. Website:, concert details.

Thursday July 9th, 8pm
Nordik Tree (Finland / Sweden)

When leading folk musicians meet, the artistic result is often greater than the individual participants. And when joy and expertise are combined, unbreakable bonds are formed. This is the feeling you will experience when listening to the music performed by Hans Kennemark,Arto Järvelä and Timo Alakotila. The result is beautiful, candid and modern folk music that simmers with life and lustre. Although Scandinavian sounds naturally dominate the music, the local dialects and the depth of the music remain. This is simply magnificent artistry. Website:, concert details.

See our Concert Calendar for full details and ticket information.

Not coming to The Rogue

Maria Muldaur will not appear at St. James Hall on June 13th. She might be at The Yale later in the year, though. We apologize for getting everyone's hopes up. We were given to understand that she would be coming. Her management changed their minds, apparently.

Elevator Out Of Service

The wheelchair lift at St. James hall will be out of commission effective May 19 for about 2 months, during which time there will not be any alternative to the stairs to access the concert hall. Call ahead to 604-739-9373 to find out the status of the elevator. Please accept our apologies for this temporary inconvenience.

Radio Waves

I've got heaps of new music this week, which marks the final 24th Year edition of The Edge On Folk on CiTR fm 101.9 and Don't panic! Next week marks the start of the 25th year!

I'll have new CDs by impressive US songwriter Danny Schmidt, UK Jewish / Roots / Pop outfit Oi Va Voi, some African rarities by Rokia Traore and Bonga and Rachid Taha, Irish troubadours John Spillane and Luka Bloom, a new CD by South African legend Hugh Masakela, hot new English folk from Mawkin Causley and Bellowhead, fine Canadian chanteuse Jill Barber, bouncy acid croft from Scotland's Peatbog Faeries, hot US bluegrass combo Cherryholmes, and some tasty blues from Corey Harris - amongst others! Please join me for four hours of global roots music and inspirational songs - plus concert previews - on CiTR fm 101.9 Saturday from 8am to noon.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and what better way to kick things off than with an exhilarating concert at The Rogue tomorrow night?