Winter Draws On
As 2020 starts to fade away - and not a moment too soon - I've been thinking about The Rogue and all you lovely people who have flocked to our shows over the past 33 years to enjoy the incredible music available to us all. It's been over 9 months since we have been able to gather at the Mel Lehan Hall at St. James. Much has happened since then, of course, and most of the happenings have been sad or at least empty. All that's kept me going has been my weekly radio show, The Saturday Edge On Folk not least because the supply of new and exhilarating folk and roots music has kept on coming. It's a very different way of presenting radio now, of course, with the CiTR studios at UBC shut down for months - and for the foreseeable future. However, I am very lucky to be able to prepare the shows at home and CiTR has graciously slotted my show in every Saturday from 8am to noon on www.citr.ca
On tomorrow's show I'm featuring some of the outstanding new releases which have crossed my doorstep over the past few months, including new CDs by Newfoundland's The Dardanelles, and the fabulous fiddle / cello duo Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Scandinavian music from Trolska Polska and Garmarna, roots music stalwarts like Richard Thompson, Joni Mitchell, Martin Simpson, Jez Lowe, Kate Rusby, Pharis & Jason Romero, Shooglenifty, and more. Plus a birthday shout-out to Tom Waits and a whole lot of exciting music from all around this wonderful planet. I hope you will join me from 8am to noon on www.citr.ca
The Virtual Rogue
There is more to life than radio, of course, and we have been striving to present live music over the past few months. However, every attempt has been thwarted by the pandemic and the lockdown. Every effort except the Virtual Concert. Last month we were able to team up with the Mission Folk Music Festival to bring you that wonderful Quebec band Le Vent Du Nord, live from Joliette, What a fabulous show! The sound and the staging were exemplary and we were thrilled that so many of you were able to join in and share the experience.
So, as the shortest day approaches we think about the many festivities that happen at this time of year, feasts of light, music, food, and joy, and peace. With this in mind we have not one but TWO concerts to celebrate the season! Virtual Concerts, of course, but each one featuring a brilliant Canadian ensemble at the top of their game, in two quite distinct musical styles.
Cool Yule - a Gypsy Jazz Christmas, Friday December 18th, 7pm
Van Django's Cool Yule has been an annual celebration at The Rogue for the past 7 years, and they will be performing live at St. James on Friday December 18th at 7pm! A gypsy jazz Christmas spectacular with chanteuse L J Mounteney and the Van Django boys: Cam Wilson (fiddle), Finn Manniche (guitar, cello), Brent Gubbels (bass), and special guest Andy Hillhouse (guitar). Andy is perhaps best known for his work with Mad Pudding, but he is also Artistic Dorector of the Harrison Festival of the Arts - with whom we are co-presenting this concert. For full details of the concert - and to purchase your tickets - click here
We are looking for a few volunteers (maximum 6) to help make this show happen. We would like you to decorate the stage with some Christmas ornaments, maybe a small tree, some boughs, that sort of thing. If you could bring a few such items to the hall and put them up - and take them away again afterwards - you can stay to watch the show. At a safe social distance, of course! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing and able do this. Thanks a million!!
A Coig Christmas, Saturday December 19th, 7pm
The following evening we are delighted to bring you Cape Breton's Coig - one of Canada's very best Celtic bands, live from a concert hall in PEI, Saturday December 19th at 7pm! I have very fond memories of seeing Coig for the first time back in 2013, I think, in the Great Hall Of The Clans in St. Ann's, NS, with the two amazing fiddlers Chrissy Crowley and Rachel Davis, resplendent in their big stomping boots, pounding the stage and thrilling us with their instrumental dexterity and their infectious smiles. At that time they also had Colin Grant on fiddle, as well as multi-instumentalist Darren McMullen and pianist Jason Roach. This time the band has Rachel - who is also a delightful singer in English and Gaelic, Chrissy and Darren joined by Zak Cormier on guitar, accordion and percussion. They have recorded two full albums of seasonal selections and have worked up a new show with tunes and songs from those fine CDs and some new material and we anticipate a fabulous evening of Celtic revelry to brighten these dark days and warm your heart and soul! For full details of this concert click here
Brighter Days - and Rogueish Nights - Ahead!
We have some even more exciting news about Rogue concerts in 2021! Thanks to our good friends at Hubcast Media and the support of Creative BC and Canadian Heritage the Mel Lehan Hall at St. James will soon be equipped with permanent (unobtrusive) cameras and improved lighting and internet access which will not only enable us to present heaps of virtual concerts, it will also enable us to present shows to an unlimited number of audience members once this dreadful pandemic has passed and the lockdown restrictions have been lifted! You will be able to choose to attend the shows in person - while we still have tickets available - or to enjoy them from the comfort of your own home! This is incredibly exciting!! We are starting to book shows into the new year and thrilled at this new opportunity to keep The Rogue alive! Stay tuned to www.roguefolk.com for all the developments!
While we are on the subject of the St. James Community Square, we would like to express our sincere thanks to them for donating the use of the hall for the Cool Yule show. We encourage you to thank them too, with a Tax-Deductible Donation this month.
Radio Rogue - All Great Folk / Roots Music All The Time!
Another new innovation I'm just starting to develop is the new Radio Rogue, a virtual radio station designed to bring you a stream of fabulous music 24/7. As things progress and I learn more about how it works, we will be able to add some live radio broadcasts to the mix. With DJs from all around the world adding their own fresh take on the wonderful music we love and want to share with y'all!
So here's wishing you a safe and very joyous celebration of music to brighten the dark days of December with live seasonal music at The Rogue and a constant supply of groovy sounds delivered to your internet radio feed whenever you need it!