Steve's Blog
Wednesday March 5, 2014

Keep in Touch

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Hi everyone

Thanks to all who came to the shows last weekend! What stellar performances we had from April Verch and De Temps Antan! On Sunday we had to compete with the appalling weather, the Heritage Classic hockey game had only just finished, Festival du Bois was finishing up that afternoon (and running late!), Elephant Revival were playing at CBC, and the Oscars were on the telly. The toughest competition often comes from the choice to do nothing - especially when the weather is so bad. But for those of us who trekked over to St. James Hall, we were treated to a stunning performance from the Quebecois powerhouse trio De Temps Antan! Sadly, less than 100 people came to see them - and only 18 were members. We can't control the weather, nor can we expect you to come to see every show, but it really is a pity that so few people should come to see what is surely one of Canada's very best trad. bands. We have two shows this coming weekend, and we really hope you'll take a chance on at least one of these concerts.

I would like to thank those of you who pledged to CiTR's Fundrive this past weekend. It is extremely gratifying to receive support for my radio show, The Edge On Folk (Saturdays 8am to noon) and there is still time to donate to the station and / or the show. You can call 604-822-8648 or visit and you have a choice of either a tax receipt or some CiTR "swag" (including a Friend of CiTR card with discounts around the city's better stores and hostelries; t-shirts, hoodies, mugs; or CDs carefully selected by yours truly, or tickets to Rogue shows) or a combination of swag and a tax receipt for part of your pledge. For as little as $30 you can get a Friends card, and the premiums increase with your pledge amounts. $60 will get you a CD, for example, or $101.90 will get you two Rogue tickets.

Unfortunately for me, this Saturday's show is pre-empted for a special day of programming for International Women's DayHeather McCain will fill in for the first two hours, however. Officially, the Fundrive will be over by then, but the website will still be accepting donations.

Another unwanted extra task this month is to find a new office. We received an eviction notice a couple of weeks ago, and are still searching for a new office space. We have a couple of leads, but nothing settled yet, and we don't have much time. So if you know of a space that might be available, please let us know. When we do make the move, we are definitely going to need some help schlepping equipment and materials down the stairs at our old place, and possibly up stairs at the new site. If you have a vehicle - or a strong back and good knees! - please let us know and we'll give you the details as soon as we know them. Thanks a million!

Coming up this weekend:

1. Matuto, Friday March 7th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
This is a big leap of faith for us, as we venture into uncharted territory - not just for The Rogue, but possibly for Canada and beyond! Matuto perform music from Brazil fused with Appalachian Bluegrass. This may sound like a highly improbable blend, but the band is uniquely qualified  for this musical foray, led by guitarist Clay Ross and accordionist Rob CurtoMatuto made their BC debut last Sunday at Festival du Bois, but with the weather being so horrible, we wonder how many people might have seen them! You can see them online here and of course, the best experience is to see them in the flesh, so to speak.

Fun as Hell: Matuto's Seductive Philosophical Trip through Brazilian Beats and Southern Roots on "The Devil and The Diamond" Winter Tour

Rolling drums and quicksilver accordion licks, earthy vibes and thoughtful reflections mingle on Matuto’s latest refinement of their Appalachia-gone-Afro-Brazilian sound, The Devil and The Diamond.

Matuto continues their North American Tour in 2014, after playing over 150 shows the previous year, including a 5 week long Spring tour across Africa that brought the band to Mozambique, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, and Senegal. The group has performances scheduled in New York, Michigan, Washington, Ottawa, and British Columbia.  

In Brazil, Matuto is slang for Country Boy, but this NYC based group of urbanized virtuosos is emerging as one of the world’s hottest international touring acts. Recently awarded the title of “American Musical Ambassadors” by the U.S. State Department, Matuto has been hailed as "seductively cross cultural" by the Chicago Tribune, and praised by the Sun Times as "the height of world music sophistication.”  

Matuto’s songs can sway hips just as easily as spark insights. On stage, the instruments swirl together, bobbing in and out, whirling around the tension at the core of Matuto’s music: the push and pull between the Latin syncopations of Brazilian music and the folk traditions of the American South. It’s Bluegrass meets Brazil. It’s an unlikely combination on paper, but on the dance floor, it just feels right. 

"These engaging Brazilian Forró rockers borrow from jazz and funk in their lively sets." - New York Times

"The joyous, ebullient music of Matuto merges the forró folkloric music of Brazil with the sounds of all-American bluegrass.  Violin, accordion, and a range of Brazilian percussion give this band, founded by South Carolina native Clay Ross, a seductively cross-cultural appeal." - Chicago Tribune

"The accordion will make you want to throw salt on your hardwood floors and two-step with someone." - The Examiner

"While many bands attempt ambitious fusion projects, few succeed in such an authentic way." - RootsWorld

"The sound resulting from Matuto’s lab is a mature blend which seems to expand and update the musical legacy of MPB (Música Popular Brasileria), refreshing the relationship that for so many decades has existed between U.S. American folk musics and Brazil’s own musical heritage." - Black Grooves

Tickets are available online as well as at Highlife Records and Rufus' Guitar Shop, or you can call the Hotline on 604-736-3022 and reserve a spot at Friday's show. 

2. John Gorka, with special guest Antje Duvekot, Sunday March 9th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
John Gorka is an honoured icon of folk tradition. Energetic acoustic music that is not a trend, not a fad, but an expression of everyday life, is his trademark. John’s rich baritone voice and unique songcraft weave a magical spell that can only be described as ‘Gorka.’

John has just released Bright Side of Down, his first release in over four years. The acclaimed songwriter is widely regarded as “one of contemporary folk music’s leading talents” (Vintage Guitar). The album’s 12 songs are beautifully produced and sequenced from beginning to end. With guest vocal appearances by Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Claudia Schmidt and Michael Johnson, the collection resonates with the classic, “Gorka-esque” sound and lyrical insight that’s earned him generations of devoted fans and a career that’s found him gracing the stages of PBS’ Austin City Limits, NPR’s Mountain Stage and venues worldwide. For more information, visit

Joining John on this tour is Boston-based, world class singer songwriter Antje Duvekot. Her unique blend of 'chamber-folk" is helping her develop an audience around the world. Blending uncommonly beautiful vocals with one of the sharpest poetic sensibilities in her field, she has a remarkable ability to make us believe she is whispering secrets in our ear, and we know that she believes every word she sings. 

No one writes quite like Antje, who was influenced lyrically by the very greats -- Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen, who are Mt. Rushmore-like figures to her. "Antje is the rare artist who can write about the social and the personal in the same breath,'' says folk icon Ellis Paul. "Her voice has a sound of innocence and naïveté which makes razor-sharp insights into the human condition.'' Adds producer Neil Dorfsman, who has worked with Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sting: "She creates an entire, detailed world in verse, and takes you there with beautiful and understated melody. Her songs are stunning paintings of colour and shade.'' And as Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh says, "Antje is the whole package.'' For more information, visit

Tickets are available online as well as at Highlife Records and Rufus' Guitar Shop, or you can call the Hotline on 604-736-3022 to reserve a ticket.

3. Radio Rogue
A couple of weeks ago a severe windstorm knocked out the power on the west side of Vancouver. This zapped our faithful eMac computer, which had been broadcasting 24/7/365 for several years, and it did not recover from the shock. We have a replacement iMac now, but haven't yet been able to restart the broadcast. We are working on it, and hope to get Radio Rogue up and running again by the weekend. Radio Rogue broadcasts a stream of music by past and upcoming Rogue performers, as well as new releases in the Roots Music vein, and songs of topical / seasonal relevance. The playlist is around 1,000 songs and it repeats, in a different order, when it reaches the end. We change the playlist every few weeks. It's an exciting - and simple - way to find out what's happening and how good the music sounds - at The Rogue and beyond! 

STOP PRESS: You CAN access Radio Rogue now. Open iTunes and choose Open Stream from the File menu. Copy and Paste the following address and away you go!

Have a great weekend! Support your local folk club. Go Rogue!!