After a wonderful Summer of festivals and a break from Rogue Folk shows we are back with a bang! Here are the first five concerts of our 2022-23 Series, with the return of a few old favourites (and I do mean FAVOURITES) and a couple of new bands for your delectation! Celtic music, old time, blues, incredible musicians, and great entertainers have been a Rogue Trademark lo these past 35 years or so. It is so great to be able to welcome y'all back to our very special concert series in our very special venue!
1. Pierre Schryer / Adam Dobres / Andy Hillhouse, Friday September 16th 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
This phenomenal trio of Celtic musicians features BC resident and Franco-Ontarian fiddler Pierre Schryer, Canadian folk music specialist Andy Hillhouse, and European influenced BC guitarist Adam Dobres. A tour de force of versatility, fine musicianship and technical dexterity, the group brings together three diverse music careers laden with awards and nominations including Juno, Canadian Folk Music, Western Canadian Music Awards and Grammy Awards. They first appeared as a trio on Pierre’s 2008 recording release project “Mélange,” and continue to appear on national and international festival stages from the Pacific to the Atlantic and beyond.
Pierre Schryer - Fiddle, Foot Percussion - is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers. A recipient of numerous titles and awards including Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, Grand Masters Champion, Violoneux Championnat, and North American Irish Fiddle Champion, Pierre truly captivates an audience with his energy and genuine warmth. His ability knows no bounds, covering styles from Irish, Scottish, Québecois, and Cape Breton to Canadian Old Time, American Swing and more. Together with Pender Island resident Adam Dobres he formed the backing band for David Francey at the Rogue in 2019 and then celebrated the launch of their fine CD, Mandorla, later that year. Adam is a brilliant guitarist, equally at home as a soloist or an accompanist, he is also a prolific composer with a fabulous self-titled solo album released in 2016. He made his Rogue debut with one of my favourite BC bands, Outlaw Social, back in the late noughties.
Andy Hillhouse has graced our stage many times down the years, with Mad Pudding, Van Django, The McDades, Gabriel Dubreuil, and The Wahs. A fabulous rhythm guitarist and singer steeped in the Celtic tradition and with a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Memorial University in Newfoundland, Andy is also the Artistic Director of the Harrison Festival of the Arts, with an appropriately eclectic range of musical tastes and influences. Who can forget his inspired collaborative re-arrangements of Beatles classics presented by The Wahs at The Rogue in March?
This is going to be a fabulous show folks, and a great way to launch our new series. For tickets and more information click here
2. Mama's Broke plus The Burying Ground Trio, Friday September 23rd, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
“Multi-instrumentalists Amy Lou and Lisa Maria are masterful songwriters who sing their lyrics as incantations-- twin prophets who bend our ear effortlessly and beckon us ever forward.” — Kaia Kater, Canadian musician
“Their songs are weather beaten by dark realities and grey areas. The human condition … it's brutally honest and evocative, managing to feel otherworldly, albeit with unvarnished truths.” — fRoots, UK magazine
fRoots magazine used to be my major source of information and inspiration. From 1985 to 2019, that is. Sadly, it is no longer being published. (I've since discovered Songlines Magazine, an excellent alternative). A few years ago I was reading the latest edition of fRoots when I came across an article about Canadian duo Mama's Broke. I'd never heard of them, but such a great band name, and they sounded really intriguing. So I went to their website and listened for a while. Wow! They sounded so good!! Fiddle, banjo, guitar, and two compelling voices, rendering music influenced by Celtic, old time, and even Balkan styles. Next I checked out where they might be performing. Lo and behold, they would be playing that very same night at the Wise Club right here in Vancouver! We just had to go!! Opening for them was Roberts Creek / Vancouver's The Burying Ground, a band I had not heard before. What a fabulous introduction to both bands!! I was - and remain - enthralled by these exciting groups.
Earlier this year, Mama's Broke released their second CD, Narrow Line. It's even stronger than their debut, Count The Wicked! I was thrilled to bits when Lisa Maria emailed me asking if we would like to book them at The Rogue! Oh yes!! So, here they come! And we have a special opening treat with The Burying Ground acoustic trio: "Taking vintage blues and jazz, swing, old-timey country and folk as their templates, this super-cool (trio) pens authentic sounding material that appears as if plucked from the Alan Lomax archives, but also bears the gritty qualities of their punk rock background. " - David Morrison of Folk Radio UK
Don't miss this evening of acoustic Canadiana with influences from all around this planet. For tickets and more info, click here.
3. Sharon Shannon, Sunday October 2nd, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
“Sharon Shannon defines casual brilliance. She plays accordion with carefree fluidity, virtuosic but not flashy. She performs traditional Irish music with a contemporary freshness and an ear to compatible ethnic influences... subtle and sublime music.” - The Boston Globe
“Sharon Shannon has the energy and stage presence of rockers and the unpretentious traditional roots of a pub musician... as exciting a live band as you’ll find coming out of post-Celtic-revival Ireland.” - Dirty Linen
The mercurial Sharon Shannon first played a Rogue show back in 1995 at the Wise Hall. 20 years later we saw her at the Doolin Folk Festival in Co. Clare, and she implored me to bring her back to Vancouver. We duly obliged in 2016, 2017, and most recently in 2019. What a fabulous performer she is! With a great supporting cast of Jim Murray and Jack Maher on guitars and vocals. We are delighted to be able to bring her back to The Rogue this Fall!
Sharon's career began with the internationally acclaimed Irish folk/rock group The Waterboys in 1988. She has blazed a fearlessly eclectic path beginning in traditional music but emerging somewhere entirely new. While never losing sight of her roots in Irish folk music, she has undertaken a musical journey which includes collaborations with Quebec's Le Vent Du Nord, Bono and Adam Clayton of U2, classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, reggae legends Denis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnson, the Kodo drummers of Japan, and cutting-edge guitar wizard Justin Adams, as well as the likes of Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss.
This is another must-see concert! For fans of all kinds of music, not just Celtic. Sharon will play tunes from Portugal, Scandinavia, and Africa, and all manner of wonders! There will doubtless be a rousing rendition of Galway Girl - concluding with Music For A Found Harmonium, which has been the theme music for my radio show for over three decades! Click here for tickets and info.
4. Don Ross, Sunday October 9th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
This concert is a late addition to our series, and we couldn't be more chuffed! Canadian guitar legend Don Ross returns for his record-breaking 28th Rogue Folk show, and his first since 2017! The last time he played solo here was way back in 2014. This rare treat is made possible by the Vancouver International Film Festival bringing him to town. Curious? Read on! During the pandemic Don went back to university, completing a Master of Arts degree in Orchestration through the University of Chichester (UK) and ThinkSpace Education, and graduating in early 2021. He immediately started working extensively in the world of scoring orchestral and electronic music for video games, films and television. Also in 2021, Don won the prestigious Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Don calls his uniquely powerfully percussive guitar style "Heavy Wood", conjuring explosive and enthralling sounds from the six - or seven - strings at his disposal! He has released dozens of albums down the years, most recently on Candy Rat Records, and his online classes are the stuff of legend! Don't miss this chance to see the big man live on stage, up close and personal, at The Rogue!! Click here for tickets and details.
5. Connie Kaldor, Sunday October 16th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at .St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
“A musical bard whose music and lyrics have diverse appeal…She’s tough and she’s tender. She sings with love and with anger…indecently talented." - The Toronto Star
“A masterful performer, wildly funny one moment, deeply personal the next.” - The Boston Globe
Connie Kaldor is a performer without borders. She is a Juno Award-winning singer who has flourished on the folk music scene for over four decades, yet her repertoire of original material blurs musical boundaries, embracing elements of gospel, rock, country and western, folk, bluegrass and adult contemporary. She is a fearless chronicler of the human experience without the folksong angst. She has recorded nine albums, sold tens of thousands of copies, but has never had a commercial hit.
Connie returns to The Rogue for the 16th time. Her last two shows were back in 2018 and both were Sold Out. Last month she made a triumphant return to the prestigious Tonder Festival in Denmark, and now it's our turn to welcome her back! If you want to experience music presented by a consummate entertainer, you would have to travel a long way in time and space to find a better show! Please join us for this magical evening at The Rogue with one of Canada's very best songwriters. Tickets are available right here
6. What We Did On Our Holidays
In July we presented two fabulous concerts: Dave Kelly and Paul Jones of British blues legends The Blues Band, and a dual CD launch concert with the brilliant Squamish fiddler Jocelyn Pettit and her fine band plus her duo with cellist Ellen Gira.
Margaret & I attended the Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival, where I interviewed Pharis & Jason Romero, and we spent a couple of weeks travelling around Vancouver Island. Then we drove up to Island Musicfest in Courtenay for a truly amazing festival.
Vancouver and Mission Folk Music Festivals were on the next two weekends and then we drove up to Edmonton for another incredible festival. Perhaps you've been following my exploits on FaceBook, so I won't go into too much extra detail here.
I plan to create podcasts of my interviews with Pharis & Jason, Allison Russell, Molly Tuttle, and Debashish Bhattacharya, and I hope to make a photo essay about the return of these Summer festivals, so watch this space!
My brother Dave and his wife Linda passed through town last month for a few days en route from New Zealand to England. First time we'd seen them since January 2019 in Rarotonga! Right after their departure we welcomed Sadie, a wonderful dog, to our home for a few days dog-sitting. She is a constant delight, and is staying with us for a few more days of squirrel-hunting and stick-chasing! I haven't had a dog since I was a small child so this is a new experience. Such fun, too! I'd never seen a dog trying to climb a tree before I saw Sadie chasing squirrels!
7. Radio Waves
I hope you will join me this - and every - Saturday from 8am to noon on www.citr.ca for The Saturday Edge On Folk, my weekly sojourn through the wide world of Folk and Roots Music. Every week since June 1985 I've been spinning tunes on CiTR, and every week there is something new and exciting to share with you. Last week was an all-Canadian special, so there will be a lot of new music from all over the world this time around. Music from the likes of Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Breabach, Pat Chessell, Crystal Shawanda, James Keelaghan, McGoldrick / McCusker / Doyle, I Draw Slow, LJ Mounteney, Shemekia Copeland, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Peter Mulvey & SistaStrings, Optur (DK), Les Fireflies, and many more. Plus a few songs in honour of our "borrowed" dog Sadie, and Rogue previews, and a couple of concert ticket give-away chances (Mavericks & Los Lobos, Bear's Den) and whatever else jumps off the virtual shelves at me! Please tune me in and turn me on. You know I love that!