Steve's Blog
Fantastic Concerts Coming Up at The Rogue - and an update on St. James Hall
Thursday March 12, 2015

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Hi folks. We've had another crazy week, culminating in the alarming news that we could lose our home venue, St. James Hall. Please sign the petition and read the update below for the latest information. Last Friday's Craig Cardiff show at CBC Studio 700 went well - huge thanks to the crew of volunteers for pulling this off. Saturday's Contra Dance was also well-attended, but the Matuto show on Sunday drew less than half as many as their debut last Spring. Incredible concert / dance, though!! Everyone signed the Save St. James Community Squarepetition at both shows, too. Thanks a million! My latest Celtic Connection column was printed this week, but for some reason they added the word "Vancouver" at the start. No idea why. Maybe the letter looks better than the letter S in their fancy illustrated block type? Anyhow, pick up a copy at tomorrow's Arrogant Worms show or at one of the many venues for the Vancouver Celtic Festival - and other Celtic music hangouts around town.


Arrogant Worms
with special guest Anne Lindsay
Friday March 13th 8pm
St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The Arrogant Worms return for their first Vancouver show in years and first at The Rogue in a decade! They have earned the reputation of Canada's zaniest musical comedy ambassadors with classics like We Are The Beaver (Nous Sommes Le Castor), Canada Is Really Big, Rippy The Gator, The Hot Dog Song, and I Am Cow. Their new CD, Space, contains new songs like Vance The Vegetarian Zombie, The Manly Song, and My Facebook Friends. The show is almost sold out, but there are still tickets available at Highlife Records, Prussin Music, Red Cat Records, and Rufus' Guitar Shop as well as a few more online. Make sure you get there early! Wormheads are a devoted lot! Wonderful Canadian fiddler / singer Anne Lindsay (Blue Rodeo / Jim Cuddy Band etc.) will perform the opening set in support of her great new CD, Soloworks. She will also join the Worms on a number of songs. For tickets and info click here


Thursday March 19th 8pm
Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale, North Vancouver)
Altan is one of Ireland's most celebrated bands. It's been 16 years since they last played a Rogue gig, and they continue to make some of the best traditional Irish music on the planet. Their latest CD, The Widening Gyre (Compasss Records) came out two weeks ago. It was recorded in Nashville and features some amazing guests including Tim O'Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jerry Douglas, Eddi Reader, Alison Brown, and Darol Anger in an exploration of the ties between Irish music and Appalachian music. It's also their first CD with their new accordion virtuoso Martin Tourish. They will not be bringing their esteemed guests on this leg of the tour: it will be just the pure sound of Donegal featuring Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh's gloriously ethereal vocals and strident fiddle duets with Ciaran Tourish, driven by the powerful chops of Daithi Sproule (guitar) and Ciaran Curran (bouzouki.) This exceptional concert is co-presented with Celtfest Vancouver Island - the good people who brought Galician piper Carlos Nunez to the Centennial last September - so expect a few surprises on stage! When you've whetted you appetite for Celtic music at the Vancouver Celtic Festival this weekend come over to North Vancouver for a drop of the pure! (Actually, a massively inspirational and sustaining helping of the very best in Irish trad!) For tickets and info click here

The Sweet Lowdown
Friday March 20th 8pm
St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The Sweet Lowdown are three young women from Victoria. They have just released their third CD, Chasing The SunMiriam Sonstenes (fiddle), Amanda Blied (guitar) and Shanti Bremer (banjo) play old time fiddle tunes and write beautiful songs and tunes and make some of the most melodic and harmonious and just plain gorgeous music imaginable! They can take you anywhere you want to go, from a sunny front porch to the outer reaches of the universe. Blending original songwriting and three-part harmonies with an old-time instrumental groove, this award-winning acoustic roots trio creates a unique yet timeless sound that takes listeners on a pleasurable and memorable journey. Since we last saw them at the Mission Folk Festival last Summer - where they were sensational - they have been on the road a lot in Europe and have become the darlings of the BBC (Bob Harris is a legendary TV host and he loves them!) and fRoots magazine. For tickets and info click here
Sunday March 22nd 8pm
St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Goitse (pronounced g'wicha) is a brilliant young trad. quintet from Limerick. Their 3rd CD, Tall Tales & Misadventures, has just been released and they are touring Canada for the very first time this month! With Aine McGeeney on vocals (in English as well as Gaelic) and fiddle, accordion / piano wizard Tadhg O'Meachair and mandolin / banjo virtuoso James Harvey propelled by all-Ireland bodhran champion Colm Phelan and ace guitarist Conal O'KaneGoitse make some of the most exhilarating music in the Celtic realm! They are all alumni of University of Limerick's renowned Irish World Academy of Music & Dance and we are thrilled to bring them to Vancouver! If you like Irish music then come and hear what these amazing young musicians are doing! For tickets and info click here

Radio Waves
On this week's edition of The Edge On Folk on CiTR fm 101.9 I'll have new releases by the likes of US Oldtime duo Anna & Elizabeth, Cajun / Zydeco combo The Revelers from Louisiana (we hope to bring them to town in May!) a track from the upcoming Buena Vista Social Club CD (unreleased tracks from the original sessions in Havana!) and a rarity from Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba (they're coming back to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in July.) As well as previews of upcoming local shows and some classic recordings from the archives. Please join me for four hours of pure Roots music pleasure from 8am to noon! You can listen online on
Radio Rogue will be relaunched later today with a new playlist comprising songs by the artists coming to The Rogue in the next few weeks. We pride ourselves in our devotion to presenting the very best in creative established artists as well as emerging roots music talent from across Canada and the USA and beyond. Check out this playlist to hear some wonderful music by Altan, The Sweet Lowdown, Goitse, Pharis & Jason Romero, Guy Davis, Michael Jerome Browne, Deanna Knight & The Hot Club of Mars, Christine Tassan et les Imposteures, Marc Atkinson, Company B Jazz Band, Van Django, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Sweet Alibi, Chris Ronald, Kathy Kallick & Laurie Lewis, Ten Strings & A Goat Skin, Tom Russell, Maggie Bell, and Oysterband! You can access Radio Rogue here

Save St. James Community Square!
St. James Community Square Society has been leasing and operating 3214 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. as a community centre for 21 years. (This, of course, includes the Hall where The Rogue hosts its concerts.) The owner wishes to sell the property and has offered St. James Community Square Society the opportunity to purchase the site. SJCSS is working with the property owner towards that goal. The centre has an average of 3 dozen active groups offering day care; preschool; educational, recreational and cultural classes; support group meetings; and performances that have about 5,000 people registered in or regularly attending sessions one or more times per week. There are also many other ad hoc and short term programmes; meetings; performances; and cultural, religious, and social events that take place at the site bringing the number of user visits to 500,000 each year.

In order to make the purchase, SJCSS needs to work with other agencies, donors, foundations and levels of government to raise funds and create partnerships to achieve this goal. To help show the level of public support for retaining SJCSS as a community resource, we are seeking signatures on paper and online petitions, donations which will be held in trust until an accepted offer is negotiated then a tax receipt will be sent out, and letters to be sent to SJCSS.

Please sign the 
petition to show your support for the value of retaining St. James Community Square as a community facility.