Steve's Blog
Tuesday August 7, 2012

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Hi everyone

What a fantastic week we've had! The Brazilian night at Shorefest last Wednesday featured some very colourful dancers and amazing capoeira from Ache Brasil, and the fireworks were very loud and brash as well. Great tunes from The Breakmen, Dustin Bentall & Kendel Carson, and the sublime Be Good Tanyas made for a stunning evening on The Rogue Stage at Sunset Beach. The following night it was my birthday party with the Cuban band Brisas del Palmar and the lovely NZ trio Pacific Curls at St. James. Not a big crowd, but a great night with two bands and two birthday cakes! Friday saw the triumphant return of Nova Scotia's Laura Smith to St. James. Good turnout for that one, and she was in superb form; such powerful songs, and she's so funny too! Saturday was a long day, with me hosting The Edge On Folk at CiTR from 8am to noon and then zooming down to The Rogue Stage at Sunset Beach for a very hot afternoon with six stunning bands: Bocephus King, Patrick Brealey, Viper Central, Cousin Harley, Joel Plaskett, and The Great Lake Swimmers. Biggest crowd we've ever had at Shorefest, and the music was incredible! The evening was rounded off with some exhilarating Italian fireworks. Thank you to everyone who made it possible - especially Shore 104.3fm and Brand Live; and special thanks to the volunteers and audience members who came down to share the magic!

1. Linda McRae CD launch, Tuesday August 7th, 8pm, CBC Studio 700, 700 Hamilton Street

BC native Linda McRae released her 4th solo album a few weeks ago, and the Vancouver CD launch is a Rogue gig in the (mercifully) air-conditioned CBC Studio 700. It's an intimate space, and we'll have a bar and merchandise and the usual Rogue trappings. Linda's a wonderful singer, and since moving to Tennessee a few years ago she's absorbed a lot of old-time music influences. The new CD is called Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts, and it's chock-full of narrative songs and memorable melodies, with Linda's rich voice and strong banjo picking to the fore. We're hoping for a big turn-out to welcome the former Spirit of the West bassist back to her old stomping ground, and there are still plenty of tickets left. Online and at the door. Doors open at 7pm.

2. Joy Kills Sorrow, Wednesday August 8th, 8pm, CBC Studio 700, 700 Hamilton Street

We stay at CBC for another night, and present another wonderful band: Boston-based quintet Joy Kills Sorrow. They are named after radio station WJKS (Where Joy Kills Sorrow) which was the launching pad for the likes of the Monroe Brothers (Bill, the father of Bluegrass, and his brother Charlie) back in the 1930s. The band comprises Canadian Folk Music Award winning Qualicum Beach singer Emma Beaton, John Lennon Songwriting Award Winner Bridget Kearney on bass, Jacob Jolliff on mandolin (he's toured with David Grisman and Mike Marshall, and was Berklee College of Music's first full mandolin scholarship winner), Wesley Corbett on banjo (tours with Crooked Still whenever Greg Liszt is drafted by Bruce Springsteen, and now teaches at Berklee), and guitarist Matthew Arcara (a US National Finger-style Guitar Champion.) They have harnessed all that amazing talent, incorporated their individual and collective love of traditional music - ranging from Celtic to Bluegrass to Old Time - and given Kearney's songs an entirely new springboard: at once rooted in tradition and as fresh as a daisy! They have released two CDs with the current line-up, and one earlier effort before Beaton joined the group. Darkness Sure Becomes This City was one of my favourite albums of 2010, and the new record, This Unknown Science, is starting to invade my subconscious juke box with equally alarming regularity! Come and see why I am by no means the only one who thinks this band is very special and well worth checking out (see this week's Georgia Straight for Alex Varty's take on them, as well.) Again, lots of tickets still to be had online and at the door.

3. The Edge On Folk, Saturday 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and

This week's show will be hosted by Andrea and Arthur Berman of CiTR's Bluegrass show, Pacific Pickin', as Margaret & I will be at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival all weekend!

4. Rory Block, Wednesday August 15th, 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Legendary Blues guitarist and singer Rory Block makes a rare appearance in Vancouver for a night of solo acoustic country blues. She's just published her autobiography (recommended) and her new CD I Belong To That Band is a tribute to Rev. Gary Davis, one of her mentors back in the 1960s in Greenwich Village. She's also recorded stunning tribute CDs to Robert Johnson, Son House and Mississippi Fred McDowell in the last few years. One of the true greats of the country blues world, Rory is an exceptionally soulful singer and a brilliant guitarist, especially on slide. Not to be missed!!