Steve's Blog
Wednesday October 3, 2012

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Hi everyone

Calling all fans of Celtic music, of pipes, fiddles, flutes and bodhrans. We have a great band making its Vancouver debut on Thursday 4th: Comas, from Ireland, Belgium & USA.

Calling all fans of good, singalong folk music, with a powerful message, catchy melody and a memorable chorus. We have one of the finest songwriters to come out of the UK in many a year: Jez Lowe, on Friday 5th.

Calling all fans of acoustic blues, smooth roots vocals and guitar and harmonica - Canadian-style. We have Canada's own "Slow Hand", Ray Bonneville from Quebec on Sunday 7th.

We even have a Contra Dance on Saturday 6th.

All this takes place at St. James Hall this weekend.

It's Thanksgiving: a time to reap the rich harvest of musical memories we've accumulated over the summer and over the past 25 years that The Rogue has been presenting the best Roots Music on the planet.

Not only do we have a great musical line-up for you, we have some very nice little Thank You presents / prizes for you this weekend too.

We have extra CDs for the raffle at each concert, and a pair of tickets to The Chieftains concert next week (11th) as well! Plus another pair to give away on my radio show on Saturday morning.

1. Comas, Thursday October 4th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

This stunning Celtic quartet has just released its second CD, Charge. Comas means "power" in Irish, and this combo packs plenty of it! Uilleann piper / flautist Isaac Alderson and fiddler Aidan Burke (cousin of the legendary Bothy Band / Patrick Street fiddler Kevin Burke) play the exhilarating melodies over the driving rhythm section of acclaimed Belgian guitarist Philip Masure and Irish bodhran wizard Jackie Moran.

In the early days of The Rogue - in fact for the first 15 years or so of "Roguery" in Vancouver - it was Celtic music that defined the very nature of our series, with a dozen or more bands from Ireland and the UK gracing our stage each year. Bands like Altan, Capercaillie, Lunasa, Four Men & A Dog, Dervish, Silly Wizard, Battlefield Band, Patrick Street, Danu, Tannahill Weavers, Nomos, and Craobh Rua helped establish The Rogue as a major destination of every Celtic band worth its salt! There don't seem to be nearly so many bands from The Old Sod touring overseas these days, so we urge you to grab this rare opportunity and treat yourselves to an evening of awesome Hibernian "power" with Comas. For more information, and to hear music by the band, visit

As a reward for taking a chance on this fine - yet relatively unknown - band, we will add a very special raffle prize: one of you will win a pair of tickets to see The Chieftains next Thursday, October 11th, at The River Rock Theatre in Richmond. These are VIP seats, including a Meet & Greet with that venerable Irish supergroup who marked their 50th anniversary with a wonderful CD, Voice Of Ages, earlier this year.

2. Jez Lowe, Friday October 5th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Described by renowned English guitarist / songwriter Richard Thompson as the best songwriter to come out of England in a long time, Jez Lowe hails from Co. Durham in the North East. It's an area steeped in folklore from pre-Roman times to the monks of Lindisfarne and on to the Industrial Revolution - when coal and shipbuilding were not just the workplace of most of the populace but a way of life - and into the 21st century when Geordie and Mackem humour and sport and music are emblazoned on the national consciousness. This region is replete with characters and stories, dances and tunes, and some of the richest folklore in the British Isles. Jez Lowe has a unique gift for transcribing such legends and characters into song. Not just any old song, but songs with a message and a tune and a turn of phrase that will keep you smiling and humming for weeks after the concert! He's an amazing entertainer and has stacks of brilliant recordings to his name. For more information visit

We're adding a copy of the new CD by Jim Byrnes to the raffle this night - courtesy of Black Hen Music. It's Jim's tribute to the era when country music was the stuff of blue collar dreams and disappointments; before Nashville glitter and delusions of grandeur took over.

3. Ray Bonneville, Sunday October 7th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Quebec-born Ray Bonneville plays a sultry guitar, adds tasteful harmonica, a slow-hand groove that Eric Clapton would be proud of, and a rare gift for turning tales of ordinary folk into vivid portraits of life in post-industrial North America. His 2009 song, I Am The Big Easy, won Song of the Year at the Folk Alliance in Memphis that year; an award based on airplay on Canadian and American community and campus radio - where the REAL music lives - combined with the votes of DJs on those stations. His new CD, Bad Man's Blood, contains many equally memorable songs, and Ray's easy-going vocal style and soulful voice deliver these songs with genuine warmth and authenticity. This is a man who has lived the Blues. So much so that he won the International Blues Award this year in Memphis. While not playing traditional blues per se, he sees his music as a direct descendant of the genre. Check him out. You will not be disappointed!

We are adding a copy of the new CD by Kelly Joe Phelps to the raffle on this night - again, courtesy of Vancouver's Black Hen Music. It's a stunning album of original gospel music, underpinned by Kelly Joe's brilliant finger-picking and slide guitar work.

4. The Edge On Folk, Saturday 8am to noon, CiTR fm 101.9 and streamed live and podcast on

This week I'll have a feature on that Chieftains' CD Voice Of Ages (and I'll give away another pair of VIP tickets to their concert on the 11th). I'll also have new CDs by Calexico, Rupa & The April Fishes, Iris Dement, Holly Near, Old Man Luedecke, Karine Polwart, Alex Cuba, Jim Byrnes, Kara Grainger, Kelly Joe Phelps, Janiva Magness, and the new Bob Dylan classic, Tempest. Plus music by artists coming to The Rogue in the next few weeks, and some special surprises that I haven't even thought of yet! Please join me for 4 hours of the finest roots music from next door and across the planet. Every Saturday from 8am to noon on CiTR. Check out the new issue of CiTR's magazine, Discorder, too: there's a feature on yours truly this month.

5. Blackie & The Rodeo Kings tickets

Stephen Fearing, Colin Linden and Tom Wilson bring their cross-country Kings & Queens Tour to The Vogue on November 27th. We have some of the best tickets in the house - front and centre - for sale at our events. These are all prime seats, and will give you a great vantage point from which to witness this amazing trio of songwriters with their special guests Matt Andersen, Amy Helm and Exene Cervenka joining them on the songs from the Kings & Queens CD - and much more! You can purchase these tickets at any of our concerts this weekend. There may not be any left after that, so why not come down to The Rogue and treat yourself - and your friends and family - to some wonderful music this weekend? And invest in some future entertainment while you're at it!