Whiskey Hollow Bound (BC) 7pm, SundayJune 17th '07St. James Hall3214 West 10th Avenue
The Breakmen, Dyad, Plough, The Mountain Bluebirds, Redgrass & Viper Central
at Trutch St. in Kitsilano
Over the last few years, this city (who knows, maybe the world) has witnessed what can only be termed "a Banjo Explosion". The much-maligned instrument has been part of a renaissance that hasn't been seen since the 60's, and its instrument buddies from the Old-time and bluegrass traditions are coming along for the ride.
Whiskey Hollow Bound - the brain-child of multi-instrumentalist Steve Charles - is a CD featuring 6 of the Vancouver scene's hottest bands. The idea was that 6 (or is that 26?) heads are better than one, and that by working together, the bands could generate even greater exposure for themselves and their burgeoning scene.
The music is straight ahead Bluegrass and old-time; two traditions that originate in the Appalachian Mountain regions of Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Old-Time music was a blending of Celtic fiddle tunes, African instruments (the banjo) and the New World sensibilities. It flourished and evolved across North America before crystallizing in the 1940's, through performers like Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs into Bluegrass. Now both Old-Time and Bluegrass co-exist and flourish (mostly) peacefully in the paved - but still green - hills of Vancouver.
After putting on a sell-out, money-raising event at the ANZA club earlier this year, the bands have finished their CD and are ready to release it to the world! The CD features music by Dyad, The Mountain Bluebirds, The Breakmen, Plough, Viper Central and Redgrass. Website: www.whiskeyhollowbound.com
Dyad digs deep into the song and instrumental traditions found in the Appalachian mountain region of the eastern United States. Over 100 years ago, songs were like gazettes, with the singer relating the story of a lover, the accused, the wronged, and the cruelty of fate. Public hangings were as much entertainment as they were a reckoning - sound like a reality show? Dyad sees the correlation between events of the past and those of the present day, taking on the role of storytellers for a new generation of listeners.
The Vancouver, B.C. trio of
(vocals, banjo, guitar, fiddle, jaw-harp),
(vocals, guitar) and
(fiddles), came together to play traditional American Old Time music
after delving into everything from indie-rock and punk to classical
and traditional music of various cultures. With the release of their
second full-length CD, No Pedlars or Preachers,
in 2006 on Copperspine Records/Festival, Dyad continues their stark
and haunting sound, though a line-up change (Leah Abramson replaced
Stephanie Custer in 2004) takes the band further into a traditional
country and stringband approach.
The Mountain Bluebirds play mostly bluegrass music, mostly in western Canada, and mostly in the evening. The Mountain Bluebirds always provide a good time for anyone in earshot, always mind their manners, and always look sharp on stage. Much of the music was written by members of the band and includes brisk fiddle tunes, songs from the heart, songs from the feet, songs about hope, chance, bends in rivers and even good meals. Hugh Ellenwood, Matt Kennedy, Brad Gillard, Val Bailey, Lorraine Cobb, and Connie Thiessen. Website: www.mountainbluebirds.com
The Breakmen's unique blend of acoustic roots, blues and bluegrass music, in combination with three- and four-part vocal harmonies, have put them in a category of their own. Appealing to a varied range of musical tastes and presenting their original material with a contagious energy, The Breakmen can have a venue erupting in dance within a song. Be it bittersweet ballads, soulful shakers, or upbeat foot stompers, their creative approach to songwriting and showmanship is fresh and exciting. Ben Rogalsky, Lee Watson, Matt Lawson, and Archie Pateman. Website: www.thebreakmen.com
Drawing on a wide range of bluegrass and old-time material Redgrass embodies the high lonesome sound made popular by the old brother duets. This duo's predilection for fast tempos and bluesy harmonies makes them an exciting act to hear live. Their quirky and original tunes come to life with Kris Boyd's honey-coloured rumble, Sean Cronin's solid groove, and Steve Charles's fiery pickin'. Website: www.myspace.com/redgrassbluegrass
was formed in the hills of East Vancouver in 2005 and play a mix of
traditional, contemporary, and original tunes in the folk/old-time
tradition. Plough are: Karla Mundy,
James Scholl and
Viper Central is one of the darkest, maddest musical phenomena ever to emerge from the wooded glades of main street. Ripping it up golden bluegrass styles with traditional and original songs, instrumental tunes, and murder ballads full of sweet-n-crunchy harmonies and tight melodic breaks that'll make your heart soar, your feet shuffle, and your blood curdle. Tyler Rudolph, Tim Tweedale, Kathleen Nisbet, Mark Vaughan, Lorraine Cobb and Steven Charles. Website: www.myspace.com/vipercentral