Steve's Blog
The Rogue celebrates some of the finest young songwriters in Canada this week!
Tuesday December 8, 2015

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1. Sarah Jane Scouten & The Honky Tonk Wingmen, Tuesday December 8th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Don't miss Sarah Jane Scouten tonight, Tuesday Dec 8. Old time songs with a modern twist! At age 5, Sarah Jane was sitting on the dining room table, singing “Lace and Pretty Flowers,” by Canadian folk and country musician, Willie P. Bennett. Hank Williams and Stan Rogers were her greatest inspirations, both a staple at Sunday morning pancake breakfast and afterward, singing bluegrass and gospel music with her father. Her talent for performing came naturally, and as chance would have it, so emerged a knack for songwriting. Bringing us up to date, Sarah Jane is an international touring songwriter, loved by audiences across the Northern Hemisphere. Based in Montreal, she became the leader of one of the finest folk acts in the city, as she put together her brilliant string band. With flavours of Lucinda Williams, Iris DeMent, Old Crow Medicine Show and a wealth of old-time and bluegrass music, her songs are faithful to a long-standing folk music tradition, but often spill over into modern themes that are outspoken and edgy, from homelessness to midwifery to tongue-in-cheek heartache songs and unabashed Canadiana.

In 2014 she released her second full-length album The Cape, named after her childhood playground Cape Roger Curtis and a stormy seven-and-a-half minute long ballad by the same name. The record throws a wake for all the things we won’t have back again. You’ll find it in the shameless nostalgia for place, time, lost loved ones, frayed family ties and bonds too strong to break. A traditionalist at heart, she once again shows her signature flair for the roots of roots music, ranging from Western-swing, honky-tonk, Cajun and Appalachian string band music and a hint of the Maritimes. With respect for these roots, she writes from her own perspective, rather than taking on a persona or copying a style, and only writes about what she knows profoundly. As such, the album hits hard and close to home, but also takes off into fiction with songs like “Black Strap Sadie,” “Our Small Town” and “I Had To Be Right.” There are songs about the North, the South, the East and the West and songs like “When I Told You I Loved You” about traveling in between. The album finishes with an original French-language song/fiddle tune called "Change of Heart Waltz," written in a Cajun style.

For this Rogue folk show, Bowen-Island native Sarah is bringing a brand new country band, The Honky Tonk Wingmen, including James McEleney on bass, Sly Juhas on drums and Ben Plotnick on fiddle. She'll be playing songs from her two-time CFMA nominated record The Cape, as well as songs due to be released on vinyl next spring on Vancouver's Light Organ Records. She's also been digging into archives of western Canadian folk songs, taught to her by Alberta ethnographer Mike Tod and BC's John Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat. They're arranging traditional songs originating from the small towns they'll be performing in along the tour route, including two rough recordings made in her bedroom. Expect full band arrangements that breathe new life into songs that are next to forgotten.

For tickets and more information click here

2. T. Nile / Dana Sipos / Familiar Wild, Friday December 11th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

We have another great concert in prospect this Friday with three Canadian songwriters: T Nile (above) from Galiano Island, Dana Sipos from Yellowknife, and Melissa Bandura (aka Familiar Wild) who is now based in Victoria.

Dana Sipos will perform the first set. It was she who first contacted me about this show. I had recently received her debut CD, Roll Up The Night Sky, and was quite taken with it! It's chock full of soulful, rootsy folk music with stark imagery and a distinctively appealing voice. T. Nile has played a few Rogue gigs before, and is another of my favourite songwriters. Whilst being at the cutting edge of contemporary songwriting, Tamara has solid roots in traditional music, and is equally at home on acoustic banjo or electric guitar with beats. She will perform the closing set, and will be accompanied by Melissa Bandura (below,) who will also play the middle set using violin, percussion, keyboards and trumpet to convey music with stirring atmospheres, rare melodic angles, and inviting textures!

It will be a full evening of engaging songs, blending the old with the new and celebrating the muse who drives these impressive young women ever onward. Full details of the show and how to get your tickets can be found here

3. Radio Waves!
On this week's Edge On FolkSaturday from 8am to noon, I'll introduce a little bit of seasonal music - across the denominations, including some pagan ritual music of course! I'll have a little tribute to jazz piano giant Dave Brubeck who passed away this week - on the eve of his 92nd birthday, plus new music from The Casey Sisters from Ireland, the new Celtic Colours Live CD from this year's festival, some new international sounds from the WOMEX conference, some more of my favourite releases from the current year, and a few classic recordings too. I hope you can join me on CiTR fm 101.9 and on Saturday morning.

Radio Rogue is back on the air again!! 24/7/365, with a playlist of over 1,500 songs in a wide variety of genres and styles. Tune in by pointing your browser here

4. Christmas Gift Ideas
Memberships - buy now. Family membership price increases on January 1st to $50 (to offset this, a Family Membership gives discounts to ALL family members at a concert.

Parcel O'Rogues - buy now. Prices will be raised on January 1st to $159 for a 10-pack. $288 for a 20-pack and $395 for a 30-pack. That's still a great deal! We host 50 shows per year; a Parcel holder can see any 10 for less than $16 each, or any 20 for less than $15 each, or 30 for less than $14 each. Our regular prices are anything from $16 to $30 and up. 

Rogue Calendars - just $25 for a big size, full colour, high quality, spiral-bound 2016 calendar, featuring over 40 photos I've taken at Rogue shows in 2015, plus Rogue concert dates, festival dates and more!

Concert tickets - tickets for the concerts in the first few weeks of 2016 are on sale at our shows, in our Granville Island office (upstairs at 1504 Duranleau Street), on our website, and at our ticket outlets around town (which are also great places to buy presents for the music lover on your pressie list!) - Highlife Records, Prussin Music, Red Cat Records, and Rufus' Guitar Shop.