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Wednesday January 9, 2019

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The Rogue presents some stunning Scandinavian dance music, three brilliant songwriters, an amazing fiddle festival, and hot sounds on your radio!!

1. Roguelele Night, Tuesday January 15th, 7pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Margaret & I just returned from Christmas in the Cook Islands where we heard some pulsating drums and scintillating, jangly 8-string ukuleles. So I'm looking forward to hearing some more ukes at The Rogue's monthly Roguelele Jam Night. Come on down and join the fun. Strum along, or just sing along. All welcome! Only $10 at the door.

2. Sver, Wednesday January 16th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Exciting news! We just learned that the local Swedish Cultural Society are sponsoring this show and they will bring at least two dozen members (many of whom are dancers) to the event! Yay! Thank you!! Skol!!

Some of you may have seen the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc at The Rogue a couple of years back. Two members of that trio - Olav Mjelva and Anders Hall - are also members of this quintet, which includes Adam Johansson (guitar), Leif Ingmar Ranoien (accordion) and Jens Linell (percussion). 

Here's what U.K.'s Living Tradition magazine says about the new CD, Reverie, which was released in December: 
Understated brilliance from this Swedish / Norwegian group, their second album puts them on the folk side of the folk-rock spectrum, but with firm backing from Adam Johansson on guitar and Jens Linell on drums, plus a guest spot or two by bassist Erik Ronström, there's enough rock here to sink a battleship - perhaps the Tirpitz, sunk in Norway 75 years ago. On the subject of anniversaries, Reverie marks 10 years since the formation of Sver, fronted by formidable fiddlers Anders Hall and Olav Luksengård Mjelva together with button-box boss Leif Invar Ranøien.

Most of this album was written by the band, and their music ranges from the relatively gentle Annas Vals to the pounding hangover anthem Batch 15 commemorating a painful lesson. Boot'n Rally has an old-timey feel, a real front-porch toe-tapper, and Lille Grisen by Norwegian musician Sjur Viken is similarly backwoodsy. After a pair of traditional-sounding polskas by Hall and Myelva, things get funkier on Johansson's E14. The great Norwegian fiddler Andreas Bjorkås wrote Lassi, a very modern piece with an insistent rhythm and more than a hint of troll music in the melody. The title track is more relaxed, with harmonic fiddle effects and a delicate accompaniment, switching to accordion for that extra push. Reverie ends with another gentle piece, inspired by TV's Love Boat - a blend of American and Scandinavian influences, tender yet poignant, underlining the versatility of this talented group and providing a stylish ending to a very fine CD. -- Alex Monaghan 

We love the CD, too, and we can't wait to see the band in action! For tickets and information click here.


3. Loudon Wainwright III, Thursday January 24th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

American singer songwriter Loudon Wainwright III will make his 8th Rogue appearance this month. Eight times!! Wow! The most recent was in 2008, and the earliest one was way back in 1990. His list of musical and theatrical accomplishments is truly inspiring, ranging from 26 albums, starting with his 1972 hit song Dead Skunk, including Grammy wins and countless covers by the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Mose Allison, and Kate & Anna McGarrigle. He was married to Kate, and their offspring, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, are major recording stars in their own right. There have also been soundtracks for movies including Knocked Up, regular appearances on the TV show M.A.S.H., regular stints as a singing satirist on NPR, and he even produced and starred in a remarkable one-man theatrical show Surviving Twin.

I like to think of him as a sort of modern-day musical equivalent of Mark Twain or Kurt Vonnegut Jr. for his amusing insights and irreverent take on social and political mores. His onstage humour and powerful lyrical imagery make him one of the most engaging performers on the circuit, and you just cannot beat him for entertainment value! Seeing him up-close and live you can also marvel at his facial expressions. Back in the golden age of music hall, some entertainers made a living as "gurners": just standing onstage and producing bizarre facial expressions. Loudon could do this! But it's even more fun to hear him speak and sing and poke fun at the world and help us all try to make some sense of the current mess we are in!

For tickets and information go here  Please note: this exclusive show is a premium price event, and Parcel O'Rogues tickets will be double-punched.


4. Derek Gripper, Saturday January 26th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

We team up once again with Capilano University's Global Roots Series to bring you South African guitar sensation Derek Gripper. The man is best known for adapting the incredibly intricate 21-string kora music of 71st generation Malian musical griot Toumani Diabate to 6-string acoustic guitar. Classical guitar maestro John Williams was skeptical about this until he saw Derek reproduce the feat in concert. Toumani couldn't believe that one man could do this. Both these revered masters have since shared the stage with him in London and in Bamako. Come and hear him for yourself! 

For tickets, please click here  N.B. Parcel O'Rogues are not valid for this show, but the Rogue member discount - $3 in this case - will be applied online or at the door.

5. Old Man Luedecke, Monday January 28th, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Nova Scotia-based backwoodsman, family man, storyteller, award-winning singer songwriter, banjo and ukulele advocate, and all round good guy Chris "Old Man" Luedecke has just released a brilliant live album, "One Night Only! Live at The Chester Playhouse", and will make his 8th Rogue appearance at the end of this month. His memorable melodies, poetic sense and easy charisma appeal to anyone searching for new growth from old roots. He's a young man with an old soul who doesn't sugarcoat his worries, doubts and fears, and this lets his songs breathe with a fresh breeze of bittersweet hopefulness. He channels a refreshing energy from folk giants like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger with maybe even a hint of Loudon Wainwright III. But it's Luedecke's contemporary lyrics coupled with the irresistible rhythm of the old time banjo that connect and make him so loved with his audiences. His shows usually sell out, so don't delay. Book your tickets today!

6. Sarah MacDougall, Friday February 1st, 8pm, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)

Sarah MacDougall is a rising star on the Canadian folk music scene with strong songs, powerful guitar chops and a captivating voice. Born in Sweden, she was described by 24 hrs Vancouver as "one of the most promising exports out of Sweden since Abba" and has received four-star reviews in such notable publications as Q magazine, The Irish Times, No Depression and many more.

Sarah's fourth CD, All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything, was released in November. Sarah says: "It is a record about strength, identity, death, the breakdown of relationships, birth, and the ghosts we honour and carry throughout. It was written in the midst of the death of my grandparents, the birth of my niece, and a break up. The nine songs are influenced by the vastness of the Yukon landscape and the dark beauty of Scandinavia." 

This will be her second Rogue show, following a remarkable double bill with Vancouver's C.R. Avery in back 2013. The new CD is quite lovely, with lush sounds and Sarah's gorgeous voice to the fore. We are delighted to welcome her back - this time as an acoustic duo. Tickets and more information can be found here.

7. The Driven Bow - 2nd Annual Rogue Fiddle Festival, Friday February 8th - Monday February 11th, St. James Hall (3214 West 10th Avenue)
We are very excited about our 2nd annual Fiddle Festival next month! (What is NOT quite so exciting is the realization that this is not Family Day long weekend after all. Apparently the BC government changed it to the following weekend - without telling me!! First we get NO Pro-Rep, and now this! Sigh...)

On Friday February 8th we kick off the festival with four - or five - wonderful BC fiddlers in the round:  Daniel Lapp, Kierah, Kathleen Nisbet, and Trent Freeman - accompanied by Adrian Dolan (on a variety of instruments - including fiddle), and percussion master Robin Layne

On Saturday February 9th we feature Louisiana zydeco / Cajun / R&B sextet The Revelers - who often include fiddle duets in their set, and are fronted by accordion, fiddle, sax and electric guitar - plus the wonderful vocals of drummer Eric Frey.

On Sunday February 10th we present a unique opportunity to hear Cape Breton fiddler extraordinaire Ashley MacIsaac in an acoustic duo alongside Victoria guitar wizard Quinn Bachand. Ashley & Quinn first toured together 10 years ago, when Quinn was only 12 years old! It's a rare treat to hear Ashley anywhere these days, and playing acoustically is an even more special treat. Quinn and his sister Qristina - a marvellous fiddler and singer - will open the show.

We round things out on Monday, February 11th, with two superb trad. bands from Quebec: Genticorum (top photo) and De Temps Antan, who have both released new albums in the past few months. Pascal Gemme (fiddle) and Yann Falquet (guitar) recently teamed up with flautist / accordionist Nicholas Williams and the new lineup of Genticorum launched a great CD, Avant L'Orage, in the fall. De Temps Antan replaced fiddler Andre Brunet - now the 5th member of Le Vent Du Nord - with La Bottine's fiddler David Boulanger, and released their 4th CD, Consolez-Vous, last year. (They also released the amazing CD, Solo, with Le Vent Du Nord last month.) These two bands often share the stage, and we expect a thrilling night of crooked tunes, coups de piers, and Quebecois joie de vivre!

There will be several fiddle workshops over the weekend, which will be pay-at-the-door. Full details will be announced on our website soon.

Tickets for the individual concerts are on sale now, and you can also purchase a weekend pass for all four shows at a massive discount!

N.B. We are looking for someone to sponsor these shows. If you - or your employer / company - would like preferred seating and your name celebrated on our website and on the stage and in the program book, please let us know, by calling 604-732-1305 or emailing 

8. Jazz Fans Alert

Jazz singer Kate McGarry makes a return appearance to Vancouver this Thursday January 10th at Pyatt Hall (843 Seymour Street, behind The Orpheum) with guitarist Keith Ganz and pianist Gary Versace presenting music from their 2018 Grammy nominated recording The Subject Tonight Is Love. This is a rare opportunity to hear three exceptional jazz artists perform together. The audience in 2015 was mesmerized as Kate and Keith made their Canadian debut. Now Vancouver welcomes them back in this new format. 
"McGarry's voice conveys an innocence and intimacy that is a perfect match for the rich music and profound words present in this project. Ganz and Versace, for their part, contribute a delicacy and fluidity that make this music linger in your head. This is a deceptively powerful meditation on all meanings of love..." - All About Jazz

Tickets available here 

We were extremely shocked and sorry to hear that the delightful singer Natasha D'Agostino passed away last weekend. She died in a car accident. Fundraising tributes are being planned at Frankie’s Jazz Club and at Capilano University where she was a student. Funds will go toward a vocal jazz scholarship in Natasha’s name. Watch this space for details...

9. Radio Waves

I'm really looking forward to sharing some new - and not so new - music with you LIVE and direct this coming Saturday January 12th from 8am to noon. I'll have an exclusive recording of the sounds of choral voices at a church in Rarotonga (think Ladysmith Black Mambazo meets Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares with a Polynesian beat!) plus new music from the likes of Tri Continental, Eric Bibb, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen (appearing at The Rogue March 10th), Ray Bonneville, Kitty MacFarlane, Italian chanteuse FloAnna O'Aro from La Reunion, Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil, Welsh band Calan, Scotland's Breabach, Portland / Quebec's Foghorn Stringband (Rogue: March 27th), plus the aforementioned Derek GripperOld Man Luedecke, Sarah MacDougall, and the totally amazing Swedish / Norwegian combo Sver

I'll also include exclusive new songs from forthcoming releases by Tom Russell and Le Vent Du Nord (both coming to The Rogue in October!) and music from the latest LIVE compilation recorded at last October's Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton, as well as the latest sampler from the great English magazine fRoots. And whatever else I can squeeze in from the annals!

I hope you can join me on Saturday from 8am to noon on CiTR fm 101.9 in Vancouver - and everywhere on

We have a streaming audio service running 24/7/365 - commercial-free, featuring music by upcoming Rogues and so much more, just point your browser to Radio Rogue