Steve's Blog
Thursday May 13, 2010

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Hi everyone

It's a very big weekend at The Rogue - 23 Years (and counting) Connecting People With Music - with three concerts and the AGM. Keep reading for news of a Very Special Offer....

1. Joy Kills Sorrow, Friday May 14th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

A good name for a band, I think, and a very good band indeed. "Subtle and snazzy, this new acoustic outfit merges bluegrass with jazz like it was the most natural combination in the world. Meanwhile, singers and songwriters Emma Beaton and Bridget Kearney bring wry existential intelligence and a haunting, Celtic/Canadian interpretive quality to their delicate yet determined tales of contemporary dislocation and off-kilter love. Kind of like a more accessible, less pleased with themselves Nickel Creek, these are virtuoso art folkies who understand the value of being just folks, too." - Los Angeles Daily News

Check this out:

Emma Beaton (vocals, ukulele) was voted Young Entertainer of The Year in the Canadian Folk Music Awards for 2008 (she's from Vancouver Island)

Matt Arcara (guitar) was US Fingerstyle Guitar Champion in 2006

Bridget Kearney (acoustic bass, vocals) won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2006

Jacob Jolliff is the first Berklee School of Music (Boston) mandolin scholarship student. He has been a touring musician since age 14 and has toured with David Grisman and Darol Anger amongst others

Wesley Corbett is an amazing banjo player whose style is much closer to that of Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka and Alison Brown that to any of the more "trad" bluegrass players. He's toured with Crooked Still, too.

This amazing all-star quintet released a superb CD, Darkness Sure Becomes This City (Signature Sounds) with a sold-out show at the famous Club Passim in February.

"They live on a plane of melody, harmony and musicianship par excellence to which many aspire and few attain... Not many bands can do what these guys do. They are bluegrass and country and folk and a whole lot of other styles melted and poured into a huge bowl of good, producing downright exceptional music... This is another example of music being more than alive and well, but thriving. Thinking Of You and Such and You Will Change Me [are] songs for the ages." - FAME

This will be their first ever concert in Vancouver, and we are delighted to be able to introduce them to you. They were THE big hit of the Folk Alliance in Memphis this year, and everywhere they play they garner rave reviews. For more information, visit their website

2. Madison Violet & The John Henrys, Saturday May 15th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

Co-presented with our very good friends at Shore 104.3 fm - Vancouver's BEST radio station - this concert introduces two great young Canadian bands to Vancouver for the first time. "Laid-back ballads and thigh slapping outlaw drinking songs ... proof that there's still originality in the genre." - Andy Pype, Q Magazine

Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac carry on the great traditions of Canadian songwriting with Madison Violet's newest CD, No Fool For Trying, receiving acclaim from coast to coast to coast. Their music is redolent with soaring harmonies, accompanied by banjo, fiddle, mandolin and upright bass. The songs are infused with heartache and loss but the listener will always find an uplifting twang in their sound, one that may invoke the essence of Lucinda Williams or Steve Earle - with a tip of the hat to the likes of Neil Young and Dolly Parton from their parents' record collections.

Ontario's The John Henrys have a sound that draws from a potpourri of influences and styles that blend into something that is part alt-country, part Americana, part jam band and part rock n roll. Often compared to the likes of Neil Young, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Tom Petty, The John Henrys have developed a reputation for tight musicianship, original arrangements and incisive songwriting. Band members Rey Sabatin (lead vocals / guitar), Steve Tatone (keyboards), Doug Gouthro (guitar), Daryl Quinlan (bass) and Geoff Ward (drums) all contribute to the songwriting and production, and a deep appreciation for vintage instruments and analog recording that is heard through their music. They have just released their 3rd CD, White Linen, distributed by True North Records.

3. Little Miss Higgins, Sunday May 16th 8pm, St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue

"Alberta-born, Saskatchewan-based Little Miss Higgins showcases her "top hat" live revue on a recording captured at dates in Calgary and Saskatoon in the spring of 2009. Sticking with the stripped-down accompaniment of guitars, bass and trumpet, Higgins's charmingly anachronistic approach to song is augmented by sprightly stage banter and yarn spinning, as well as a freewheeling live energy and effortless rapport with an enthusiastic audience. Regular collaborator Foy Taylor's guitar does multiple duty as rhythm, lead and percussion, occasionally twinning with Higgins's vocals to winning effect. The singer slips a couple of saucy Memphis Minnie ditties into the set, which sit nicely with her own distinctive prairie country-blues. Listeners seeking an introduction to Miss Higgins, her gentlemen accompanists and their unique musical chemistry would do very well to start here." -- Penguin Eggs, review of Live: Two Nights In March, October 2009

She has just released Across The Plains, a fabulous collection of whimsical songs like Bargain! Shop Panties and Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse and more evocative numbers like Wash These Blues Away, Tornado Songand Beautiful Sun. "The 10 original songs are influenced by life," she says. "Some are shaped by stories and sounds of another time. Others stem from being in the moment, finding passion in the "now" as in writing about a plum tree or le soleil or Bargain! Shop panties; finding a balance in the old and the new, the past and the present, learning and moving on, letting go and holding strong."


Once again we are going out on a limb to bring you the very best in emerging artists from Canada (and a few from other parts.) We really need your support, and we guarantee our shows 100% (if you don't think they live up to our billing, we will give you your money back.)

This weekend we are going one step further: buy a ticket for Joy Kills Sorrow and / or Little Miss Higgins and we'll give you a half-price ticket to see Wake The Dead on Friday June 4th (the world's first Celtic All-Star Grateful Dead Jam Band!) This show marks the 25th Anniversary of The Edge On Folk, my weekly radio show on CiTR fm 101.9 (Saturdays from 8am to noon, live on 101.9fm and streamed live AND Podcast - on Yes, I've been hosting the show for a quarter of a century. Amazing, isn't it?!! In honour of the Long, Strange Trip It's Been, we present the Canadian / International Debut of a great band that combines Celtic music with the Blues / Folk & Bluegrass roots of the pioneering California band which defined the music of the sixties (and into the seventies, too.)

We'll also give you a half-price ticket to see the debut of Boston singer Eilen Jewell and her fine band on Thursday June 10th at the CBC's new Studio 700 Theatre - in fact, it will be the very first concert held there. She is an incredible new voice in roots music, and we urge you to become a part of music history on this auspicious occasion.

So, we think that's an amazing deal! We'd love to see you this weekend. The music will be absolutely fabulous! 100% guaranteed Roots, Rhythm & Roguery!!



A number of you asked about where tickets are available for the half- price deal. You can buy them at the Membership Table at the end of the shows on Friday and Sunday (provided, of course, that you're not claiming a refund as you didn't like the show - highly unlikely, I feel.)

Since that update went out we have learned that the elevator at St. James Hall has broken down. Again. It will not be repaired until after the long weekend. This is most aggravating, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

If, at the end of all this, you're still looking for more music, check out Suzie Vinnick and Rick Fines in a House Concert on Monday evening. May 17th at 7:30pm If you would like to make a reservation go to