1. Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Friday September 20th, 8pm, in the Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
This will be Alasdair Fraser's 12th Rogue show. The iconic Scottish fiddler first came to us in 1987 with keyboardist Paul Machlis at The Savoy in Gastown. It was a truly memorable show, with his unique approach to Scottish fiddle music enriched by frequent visits to Cape Breton, literally a living museum of the old ways of playing; where the music had remained more or less unaltered for over 200 years. His next show with us was 3 years later, joined by Cape Breton pianist Barbara MacDonald Magone. In 1994 he made his first album with the dynamic young American cellist Natalie Haas. Fire & Grace remains my favourite Fraser album!
"People may be familiar with the gorgeous, melodic cello sound," said Fraser, prior to his first appearance at The Rogue with Natalie back in 1997, "but they're surprised to learn that the cello used to comprise the rhythm section in Scottish dance bands. Natalie unleashes textures and deep, powerful rhythms that drive fiddle tunes. We can 'duck and dive' around each other, swap melody and harmony lines, and improvise on each other's rhythmic riffs. She has such a great sense of exploration and excitement for the music; it's a joy to play with her!"
The duo first met at one of Alasdair's renowned fiddle camps: Valley Of The Moon, in Northern California. Barely into her teens then, Natalie became increasingly fascinated by Celtic fiddle music. She is also classically trained - at New York's Julliard School - and now she too teaches, at Berklee College in Boston.
They have recorded six fabulous CDs, the most recent being 2017's Ports Of Call. Alasdair also made a wonderful film that year. The Groove is Not Trivial follows the master fiddler’s personal journey in search of self expression, a quest that led him to dig deep into his Scottish musical roots. He found a universal pulse — a groove — that runs through the duo's virtuosic performances and dynamic teaching at his wildly popular, freewheeling fiddle camps in California, Scotland, and Spain. At such gatherings around the world for musicians of all ages and abilities, "(this) groove is a through-line from the past that sparks hopeful possibilities for the future. Fraser is at the epicentre of a movement in which people are finding their own voices and a deep sense of community through the shared love and joy of music. A subversive empowerment is happening as people reclaim cultural roots in jeopardy of being lost.
"The irrepressible Fraser proves that the groove in traditional music transcends toe-tapping fun – it can be a source of personal and political liberation."
“A good tune is hard to keep down,” he often quips.
We hope you'll come along to experience the groove - even if you're not a fiddler or cellist yourself. If you love Celtic music, or have Scottish roots, or just thrill to the sound of ancient traditions coming right at you in the 21st century and sounding fresh, new and vital, then don't miss this show! Here's a photo I took at their Rogue gig early last year:
For more information and to secure your tickets click here
2. Radio Waves
I hope you will tune me in and turn me on Saturday morning from 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 and www.citr.ca I'll have music from Fraser & Haas, The Tannahill Weavers, Tom Russell, Small Glories, Martin Simpson, and indeed all upcoming Rogue performers. many of whom have brand new releases to savour. I'll also look ahead to concert highlights at The Chan Centre (Rosanne Cash on September 28th, Mari Boine on October 5th, DakhaBraka October 19th) and many more besides. Plus new releases from English trad trio Leveret, Canadian legend Bruce Cockburn, desert blues stars Tinariwen, Canadian / Cuban singer Alex Cuba, and whatever else I can squeeze in to 240 minutes of Roots Music Bliss! So much music to share, yet so little time ....
3. Celtic Connection article
My latest column for the Celtic Connection newspaper came out this week. It features reviews of recent festivals in Edmonton (40th annual) and Tonder (Denmark)'s 45th - that's me with Margaret and our good friends Birgitte and Barry from Denmark!
4. Coming Soon To The Rogue House
Roguelele is this Tuesday 17th from 7:30pm Bring a ukulele or just your voice and meet and sing with some lovely people! Also, if anyone from our ranks of fabulous volunteers can help out with the bar and snacks I would be extremely grateful! Doors open at 7pm, set up is at 6pm. Thanks!
Tannahill Weavers, Thursday September 26th - Pioneering Scots trad band with the phenomenal "new" piper Mike Katz (Battlefield Band, Ceolbeg etc.) celebrate their Golden Anniversary!
Martin Kerr, Friday September 27th - You're Amazing was the hit single this Alberta-based songwriter recorded on Jericho Beach in 2018 - accompanied by dozens of Folk Fest enthusiasts! He's back!
Les Imposteures, Sunday September 29th - an evening of roma jazz from French guitar diva Christine Tassan and her amazing sextet from Montreal, now augmented by two more women (on trombone and trumpet) to rekindle the spirit of Django Reinhardt and infuse Granville Island's Performance Works with their own very special, very feminine, very infectiously fun, swinging joie de vivre!
We have lots more incredible artists coming in October and November - and beyond! Check it out on www.roguefolk.com and tell all your friends to come down and join you at The Rogue for a great time!! Or, better yet, for A LOT OF GREAT TIMES!
You can't beat the Rogue for great music, a wonderful atmosphere, and value for money. We really appreciate your support. See you soon ...