Steve's Blog
Friday May 2, 2014

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These are exciting times at the Rogue! We have an intriguing concert tonight, a dance on Saturday, and then two shows to mark The Rogue's 27th anniversary next weekend! 

1. Sarah Jane Scouten Quartet with special guest Matthew Colin, Friday May 2nd, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Continuing our occasional series of CD Launch concerts for young local performers, we present Sarah Jane Scouten and her new CD, The Cape. Sarah Jane was raised on Bowen Island and lived in Montreal for a few years before relocating to Toronto. Sarah Jane's second full-length album “The Cape,” named after her childhood playground and a stormy seven-and-a-half minute long song by the same name, details some of the things we won’t have back again, displaying 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.

For the first time, Sarah Jane will be touring the West with her brilliant string band from Montreal. The four-piece have worked closely over the last several years, arranging all 11 tracks on The Cape as well as her first album Magpie Waltz. Like the audible photo album it is, cover design for The Cape uses archival photographs from the Bowen Island Museum and Archives.

We have added a remarkable songwriter to the bill: Matthew Colin. A conversation with Matthew Colin typically begins with: "You don’t have an accent, are you really from Australia?" or, "You've been living in a van for two years! Where do you shower?" It's been nearly three years since Matthew left his hometown of Brisbane, Australia in search of musical adventure. He found it travelling across North America in an old catering van he converted into a tiny mobile apartment. He’s rambled through Austin TX, Los Angeles and Portland, landing in the place he now calls home, Vancouver. Here, Matthew Colin found himself at the heart of a family-like community of songwriters and music lovers with closeness unlike any he’s ever seen. His songs, tailored to his deep warm voice and melodic finger-style guitar-playing, are astonishingly perfect, especially in light of his humility as a performer. He lives a simple life, starved of the ordinary and his songwriting focuses on honest and universal themes that come from a life of struggle and joy.

We encourage you to come out and hear two of Canada's most compelling young songwriters in the cosy confines of St. James Hall. We've experienced some incredible shows this year - and in the decade since we found our new home in Kits. This show promises to be an evening of discovery and exploration - and fine, fine music.

2. Contra Dance, Saturday May 3rd, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Our series of First Saturday dances continues with the exhilarating music of The Sybaritic Stringband (Claire McCague on saxophones, flute and recorder Rich Sobel on fiddle, mandolin and djembe; Barry Cole on mandolin and harmonica; and Leith Davis on piano.) All dances are taught on the spot. Come alone or bring a partner. Bring some home-made goodies to share and admission is half-price (that's a mere $6 for a night of dancing to live fiddle tunes; such a deal!)

3. Future Shows
Next weekend marks the 27th anniversary of the founding of The Rogue Folk Club. We have two shows: Tower Of Song (Victoria's Ollie Swain and Glenna Garramone and friends, plus Big Machine - Ollie's fine stringand) present a unique take on the songs of Leonard Cohen - and more - on Friday May 9th; and David Lindley - the legendary American string player - makes his Rogue debut on Sunday May 11th. Online tickets for David's show are sold out, but we have a few left at The Rogue membership table and there are still some tickets available at Rufus' Guitar Shop and at Highlife Records

On May 16th we present two Canadian songwriters and brilliant musicians - Brandy Zdan and Scott Nolan. Each will perform a solo set, and they will accompany each other from time to time as well. Brandy was the (considerable) force behind Winnipeg duo Twilight Hotel, who played a Shore 104-sponsored show at The Rogue with T. Nile in 2010. They brought the house down! Scott is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who recently played the Folsom Prison Corrections Program and has played with the likes of Gurf Morlix, Hayes Carll, and The Holmes Brothers.

Vancouver's award-winning guitarist Don Alder was Rick Hanson's companion on the Man In Motion world tour, and since then has carried off countless awards for his brilliant finger-style guitar work. This week he made recording history, sharing the stage with William Shatner and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in Kona, HI. We can't wait to hear him in concert at The Rogue for the first time.

We have two sold out shows with The Milk Carton Kids on June 12 and 13. Then we present the amazing New England / Appalachian singer Tim Eriksen with his Trio de Pumpkintown on June 24th. Tim's previous band, Cordelia's Dad, performed at The Rogue way back in 1996 and 1997. He has been very busy ever since, and his latest recording - Josh Billings Voyage - is testament to the power of his voice and the stunning arrangements of trad. tunes and shape note songs for which he has become legendary.

In July we have two shows for you: Laura Smith and Tony McManus on July 10th, and a CD launch for Colleen Rennison (Vancouver actor and singer with No Sinner) backed by Steve Dawson and The Black Hen Band on July 31st. We are also working on a fabulous line-up for Shorefest (July 26, July 30, August 2) and there are one or two shows in August before we kick off our Fall Season with Eliza Gilkyson & Nina Gerber on September 5th.

Watch for details of all these shows - and more - on our website

4. Vancouver Folk Music Festival Tickets
The line up for this year's festival was announced yesterday ( It's a fascinating array of musical talent from around the world, and you can now purchase tickets at the special Rogue price of $130 ($10 off the Early Bird price at the festival) by clicking here

5. The Edge On Folk, Saturday 8am to noon, CiTR fm 101.9 and streamed live on
On this week's show I'll have new releases by the likes of desert blues man Imarhan Timbuktu, Afro-Celtic fusion combo Baka Beyond, NZ's Tattletale Saints, New Orleans folk jazz stompers The Bumper Jacksons, Spirit of the West singer John Mann's new solo CD, some rare Dave & Phil Alvin material, New England fiddler Hanneke Cassel, trippy / rootsy songwriter Ray Lamontagne, and a hot new CD from Mary Gauthier! Plus previews of Rogue shows and VFMF performers and a whole lot more. Please join me on Saturday morning for the very best in Roots Music from next door, across the country and across the various "ponds". 

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, then come inside to the Rogue and warm the cockles of your heart - and refresh lots of other body parts!