Steve's Blog
Thursday July 26, 2012

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Hi everyone

Lots to tell you about this week!! We're really excited! Please bear with me....

1. Emmylou Harris & Steve Martin

There. That got your attention! We just got back from seeing Emmylou Harris and Steve Martin w/ The Steep Canyon Rangers at Chateau Ste Michelle near Seattle. What an amazing show! That Steve Martin is a very talented guy - a brilliant banjo player AND composer, and extremely amusing too. Was a hard act even for someone like Emmylou to follow, but she did a fine job. Luckily I don't think she could see all those fickle folks leaving early to avoid the traffic jams. Good grief! Having spent $50 or even $90 for a ticket and $5 for parking plus $20 per bottle of wine you'd think people would want to get their money's worth! They missed out, big time!

2. Mission Folk Festival review

We'd headed south from Mission, which was also amazing but had a couple of patches of bad weather. On Friday the weather was horrible, but the bands battled the elements and were pretty good, especially Pacific Curls. H'sao are definitely not accustomed to cold rainy nights in summer, and Shooglenifty were, well, not really Shooglenifty. They had a drummer making his debut with the band. He was OK, but he's no James Mackintosh; more of a rock and roll drummer, but considering it was the first time he's played with them he wasn't bad. i think he was just filling in on this tour. Gary Finlayson, of banjax fame, was another notable absentee, and his distinctive chops are a big part of The Shoogs' sound. So I was rather disappointed with them overall. Saturday was a great day; perfect weather and sublime music. Standouts included Buffy Sainte Marie with Greenland's Rasmus Lyberth and Australia's Shane Howard singing songs about Native Rights; Buffy reprised an old song, My Country Tis Of They People You're Dying, which was absolutely stunning! 7 minutes of history lesson sung with passion and integrity - and truth! Martin Hayes joined the Danes and Swedes in one incredible workshop, David Francey and Eliza Gilkyson swapped songs, and then Linda Bull & I hosted the Main Stage, with a lineup which incorporated music from five of the seven continents, with some stunning accordion wizardry from Brazil's Renato Borghetti, passionate singing from Rasmus Lyberth, a truly awesome show from Buffy and her band of rockers from three different tribes in Winnipeg, and a rousing finale with Danish band Habadekuk rocking the house with horns, fiddle and accordion - and the ubiquitous Leonard Podolak on banjo! Sunday was a mixed day, overcast with occasional showers, but some blisteringly hot music, especially from the Swedish band Lyy and the Irish supergroup The Teetotallers (Martin Hayes,Kevin Crawford and John Doyle: what a coup for the Mission Folk Festival's 25th year!) Irish singer Colum Sands made an impressive festival debut as Linda and I once again hosted the main stage. But the rain came down in the late evening, and a lot of people left before the end. We left our "shelter" up overnight, and returned to find it had been uprooted and flung against the nearest tree in the night. Must have been very windy! Everything that had been kept dry under its roof all weekend was soaked through when we returned on Monday morning. Still, it was a marvellous festival and Mission continues to be the most miraculous festival in Canada thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who pitches in to make it work!

3. The Rogue & Shore 104.3 present Shorefest on The Rogue Stage at Sunset Beach - Saturday July 28th from 2pm to 8pm FREE !!!!

Thankfully the clouds seem to have left us now and we should be well set for Shorefest this Saturday and next Wednesday, at least.

This is the First of Three evenings of sublime Canadian Roots Music as a prelude to the Celebration of Light fireworks displays. Come and visit our booth / tent in the ring of vendors around the park. Bring the family! Tell all your friends!

You won't find a better array of 100% Canadian music anywhere this Summer!

The event coincides with the start of the latest Naked Bike Rally at Sunset Beach at 2pm, so if you're offended by nudity - or bicycles - just watch Oliver Swain's band instead!

4. The Rogue & Shore 104.3 present Shorefest on The Rogue Stage at Sunset Beach - Wednesday, August 1, from 5pm to 8pm FREE !!!!

This is the Second of Three evenings of sublime Canadian Roots Music as a prelude to the Celebration of Light fireworks displays. Note the later start time. We'll have our booth there again, so please come and say "Hi" and buy a CD or something more Rogueish!

5. Pacific Curls and El Grupo Cubano, Thursday, August 2, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Tickets $20 ($16 members) ON SALE AT SHOREFEST AND ONLINE as well as AT THE DOOR

Pacific Curls (New Zealand)

Kim Halliday, Ora Barlow and Jessica Hindin perform music with depth and originality that touches the inner essence of their musicality. With a cornerstone of backbeat Pacific rhythms, vivacious fiddle playing and evocative Maori instrumentation and lyrics, Pacific Curls have pioneered a fusion sound that seamlessly blends their indigenous roots. Classifying their sound is a challenge. Their use of jazz chordal transitions, traditional fiddle tunes, expressive vocals, political and moving lyrics in Maori and English, their use of world instruments with Pacific style beats and moods, shakes and bakes it all into a contemporary and intriguing edginess.

El Grupo Cubano (Cuba)

Opening for them will be the hot young Cuban quintet El Grupo Cubano, who have just recorded a CD with Steve Dawson producing. These fellows are the PRIDE of Cuba (played for the Pope recently, their contrabass is a gift from the wife of Presidente Raul Castro, played daily on Cuban national radio) This is a very important show for them. It is a chance for them to play a professional venue in Canada, and will go a long way to help them receive funding to tour Canadian festivals next year. They are making friends - and winning over new fans - wherever they play. Don't miss them!

6. Laura Smith, Friday, August 3, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Tickets $24 ($20 members)

Laura Smith is a Canadian folk singer- songwriter with a remarkably rich and distinctive voice. She is best known for her 1995 single "Shade of Your Love", one of the year's biggest hits on adult contemporary radio stations in Canada, and for her adaptation of the Scottish folk song "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" which she entitled "My Bonny". She has received several nationally recognized awards for her music.

7. The Rogue & Shore 104.3 present Shorefest on The Rogue Stage at Sunset Beach - Saturday, August 4, from 2pm to 8pm FREE !!!!

The Third & Final afternoon / evening of sublime Canadian Roots Music as a prelude to the Celebration of Light fireworks display.

8. Coming Real Soon - two Nights of Rogue Folk Roots Music at CBC Studio 700!

Linda McRae, Tuesday, August 7, 8pm, CBC Studio 700 (700 Hamilton St.)
Tickets $20 ($16 members)

Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts, Linda McRae's highly anticipated 4th solo release doesn't describe the gold and platinum polish enhancing a musical career spanning 25 years. The wonderfully soulful new CD features performances by Gurf Morlix, Ray Bonneville, Doug Cox, Stephen Nikleva, Sam Parton, & The Sojourners and affirms Linda's maturing distinction as a quality songwriter and unique performer. It is at once as traditional as a sepia photograph and as current as a viral YouTube song!.

Joy Kills Sorrow, Wednesday, August 8, 8pm, CBC Studio 700 (700 Hamilton St.)
Tickets $20 ($16 members)

Their name comes from the '30s radio station where the Monroe Brothers performed (WJKS - Where Joy Kills Sorrow) and they have just released their 3rd CD, This Unknown Science. They are led by Qualicum Beach singer Emma Beaton, a remarkably versatile vocalist. Bass player Bridget Kearney writes most of the songs (and has won a John Lennon Songwriting Award), guitarist Matthew Arcara is a US flat-picking champion, Wesley Corbett adds Fleck-inspired banjo chops, and Jacob Joliff adds spicy mandolin. Simply stunning!

9. And one final Summer concert with Blues Guitar Legend Rory Block!

Rory Block, Wednesday, August 15, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Tickets $28 ($24 members)

Heralded as "a living landmark" (Berkeley Express), "a national treasure" (Guitar Extra), and "one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists" (Blues Revue), Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world. A traditionalist and an innovator at the same time, she wields a fiery and haunting guitar and vocal style that redefines the boundaries of acoustic blues and folk. The New York Times declared: "Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends."

She has just released the latest in her series of tributes to her greatest influences and mentors: I Belong To That Band - A Tribute To Rev. Gary Davis (Stony Plain Records) - a brilliant follow-up to the wonderful Shake 'Em On Down (Mississippi Fred McDowell), Blues Walkin' Like A Man (Son House), and The Lady & Mr. Johnson (Robert Johnson.) Earlier this year she published her autobiography, When A Woman Gets The Blues. It's a compelling read! Rory's concerts here are exceptionally rare (this will only be her 3rd Vancouver show in the last 25 years, by my reckoning!) so don't miss this chance to see one of the most gifted guitar players anywhere - and one of the most soulful singers in the Blues genre to boot.

10. Don't forget to tune in to The Edge On Folk on CiTR fm 101.9 this and Saturday from 8am to noon.

I'm broadcasting LIVE again. Heaps of new music for you, plus gig guides and a few old favourites. If you miss the show, check out the podcast later on