Steve's Blog
A monumental finale to the first half of the year with Karan Casey, and a BC book launch
Thursday June 15, 2023

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1. Karan Casey Trio, Thursday June 15th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)

"...the Irish equivalent of Emmylou Harris." -- WASHINGTON POST

The Rogue's final concert in the first half of 2023 features the amazing singer Karan Casey and her accompanists Niamh Dunne (fiddle, vocals) and Sean Og Graham (guitar) - two members of the Irish trad band Beoga.

"If ever any doubt existed about who's the best Irish traditional woman singer today, (she) sweeps aside all pretenders. As gloriously evident on this new CD, Karan Casey has no vocal peer." -- IRISH ECHO

This is a very rare chance to hear one of Ireland's most celebrated singers. It will be only her 5th appearance in town, following concerts with her trio at the Wise Hall in 2000 and 2003, a stunning double bill in 2006 with the Celtic quartet Flookjoining her band at St. James, and a show at Capilano University's Blueshore Financial Stage with her quartet in 2008. That was 15 years ago! Since then she has released four solo albums and a duet album with Irish guitarist / singer John Doyle. Those two were founding members of the Irish American Celtic quintet Solas, and Karan was the lead singer on their first three CDs.

Classically trained, she later specialized in jazz vocal styles before concentrating on traditional Celtic music. She has blossomed into an extremely versatile singer and songwriter, and is equally at home singing contemporary songs by the likes of Janis Ian and Eliza Gilkyson

She has just released her 12th album, Nine Apples Of Gold, and it's simply stunning! It is an ode to the natural world featuring the songbirds of Portglenone, the moon, conversations from the grave, returning to the wild, or listening for the cuckoo as she sleeps. The empowerment of women is front and centre of Karan’s concerns as she gives voice to the notion that songs can sing what we cannot say.

"Karan Casey’s latest album is revelatory. She’s always been a singer of songs that tell a story and show their muscle…. This is a strikingly three-dimensional work that stands the test of intensive and repeated listening with ease. A vivid and dazzling snapshot of Casey: invincible, at the height of her powers.”  -- IRISH TIMES

We saw her showcasing at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City in February with Niamh and Sean (who produced the new CD). They were magnificent!! Such subtle power. 

Tickets are on sale here, and will also be available at the door.

This concert is sponsored by Dan & Ursula Bowditch, and by my radio show The Saturday Edge On Folk. We hope you will come out and support these fine performers. Karan truly deserves a full house upon her return. If you can't possibly make it to the concert, please consider purchasing a Watch-At-Home ticket

2. Book Launch for Connie Kuhns' Ruby Music, downstairs at St. James, from 6 to 8pm 

BC writer and broadcaster Connie Kuhns hosted Rubymusic on Coop Radio for 15 years, giving a voice to the pioneering women of folk, punk, blues, rock, and feminist activism. She wrote countless articles for magazines, and conducted interviews with the likes of kd langEllen McIlwaine, and so many more. This new book contains some of her finest essays, and she will read some excerpts and sign copies of the book. If you purchase a copy you will receive a special bookmark with a stamp enabling you to attend the Karan Casey concert after the launch / reception - at no charge!  

There will be snacks and refreshments, and Connie's son will DJ the event. The Rogue is honoured to be able to present this very special event - a fitting opening to a remarkable evening at The Square!

3. Radio Waves

On this week's Saturday Edge On Folk (8am to noon on you will hear some old favourites and some new releases too. While researching momentous anniversary shows in the past few weeks (the 85th year of Student Radio at UBC, and the 38th birthday of my show) I unearthed way more favourite songs than I could squeeze into 8 hours! So here are some more! I hope you will tune me in and turn me on again!