Steve's Blog
The Rogue's Struggle for Survival Continues Apace!
Tuesday July 18, 2023

Keep in Touch

There are two ways you can receive these updates automatically:


1. Twin Flames, Tuesday July 18th, 8pm, at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)

The final show of our current season features Ottawa's Chelsey June and Jaij - aka Twin Flames. I first met this indigenous duo at the Canadian Folk Awards in Toronto in 2016. I was there to receive the Unsung Hero Award. They received two CFMAs that year. Since then we have met up at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in 2019 and at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City earlier this year. Chelsey June was co-host of the CFMAs at The Rogue's home venue in April, and Jaij was there too. Knowing that they were scheduled to perform at the Vancouver and Mission Folk Festivals this month, I asked them if they would like to play a Rogue show while they were out here. Since we'd been trying to book them for over 6 years, they were more than happy to make it happen. "Yay! A sound check, and a proper full-length concert."quoth Chelsey June the other night.

Perhaps you saw them perform at Jericho Park over the weekend. A lot of people did, and a lot of people were mightily impressed. It was so great to see them so well-received. Just take a look at the write-up on our web page. It starts with an impressive list of awards. They have won numerous awards and over 40 nominations in only 7 years performing together. If you didn't see them, we urge you to come down to the hall tomorrow night. Their concerts are remarkably poignant, yet uplifting and hopeful. I guarantee you will leave the show feeling inspired and joyful!

My own hope is that there will be a large crowd to hear them. Every time I've seen them perform I see a room or a festival field full of happy and inspired folk, revelling in the music and the harmonies - and the undying message of hope and reconciliation. 

Here is an interview conducted over the weekend by local music journalist Alan MacInnis:

To purchase your tickets, please click here or to choose to Watch-At-Home any time anywhere, click here 

2.  The Rogue Survival Campaign Rocks On! Fall Season Announced!
While we contiune to struggle to sell enough tickets to cover concert expenses, and to secure sufficient funding to stay afloat, here is a sneak preview of our Fall Season! We are really excited about it!

More shows will be added to our website over the next few days, so please keep checking back to see when tickets become available. 

3. VFMF 2023 - Sex and Drugs and Pete Seeger

Well, that was quite the weekend, wasn't it? From a festival that looked doomed in February to a resplendent field of musical dreams in July, we have witnessed and participated in a miraculous metamorphosis! Huge kudos to Fiona Black for putting together such a stellar line-up, and to the festival board and crews and volunteers for making it work so well! 

Susan O'Neill

My personal highlights include Twin Flames, Amythyst Kiah, Aoife O'Donovan, and Calexico (top photo of Joey Burns) on Friday;  Jourdan Thibodeaux & Cedric Watson, Susan O'Neill, and Steve Dawson's American Beauty Project (above photo) on Saturday; and Love Me Some Roots(High Bar Gang, Rum Ragged, Colin Linden, and San Pedro Cinco), Derek Gripper, Susan O'Neill, and String It! (Derek Gripper, Albert Lee, Toubab Krewe, and Susan O'Neill - again - with some inspired Afro-Celtish jamming) on Sunday. 

The last two bands on Sunday's main stage were a bit too loud and flamboyant for me (I do like bass and drums as a rule, but the thumping apocalyptic throbbing bass that rattles the ribcage and causes hackles to rise up where none have appeared before is a bit much!) California's Las Cafeteras were a tad over-exuberant, and Italy's Kalascima (above) strayed too far from their trad roots in Puglia to an indecipherable cacophony of hip hop and computerized bass for much of their set. The bagpipes looked good but were never heard, but the band did come up with a delightful singalong "Sex, Drugs and Pizzica" - which sounded more like "Sex, Drugs and Pete Seeger" - which is a rather fitting description of the VFMF down the years, don't you think?

4. Thanks to the Rogue volunteers at VFMF

We ran a "secret" booth at the festival, and I want to say a big Thank You to Kate Semple - our Volunteer Coordinator - for assembling the crew, and to Merv, Lyndsay, Partice, Charlie, Will, Norah, Alma, Shannon, and Stewart for keeping things going and disseminating information and enthusiasm about our concert series to all who stumbled upon us over the weekend. Also big thanks to Bill Hooker for driving the tent to the venue and back, to Paul Norton for fast-tracking the production of posters and rack cards, and to Jasper Sloan Yip of CiTR for instructing me on the broadcast equipment on Friday - and getting it to work properly when it really mattered on Saturday (and to David Firman of the VFMF for the loan of a functional router!) I had a wonderful conversation with Calexico's Joey Burns towards the end of the radio show, but it looks like the show was not recorded, so there is no podcast. Waaah!!

I had two more bits of shocking news this week: Lee Currell, one of our stalwart volunteers for many years, was expecting to fly to Italy for vacation last week. Instead she received a terrible diagnosis on the eve of her flight, and commenced chemo therapy instead. This is devastating for her, and we will miss her terribly at The Rogue. We wish her all the best as she faces the biggest fight of her life. If anyone can beat this, she can. 

Secondly my good friend and former radio "apprentice" at CiTR, Susi Lanagan, has decided to give up her immensely popular radio show, What The Folk, on PBS Fm in Melbourne. As technology becomes increasingly complex Susi has become increasingly frustrated with it, so, sadly, her 16 year radio career is about to end. I cannot begin to express the extent of my disappointment. I like to see us as two pillars of good music - one in each hemisphere. Hers was a much bigger audience, too. I will, of course, carry on, but life and music on the radio will seem strangely empty and less fulfilling without her lovely radio voice and exemplary musical taste gracing the airwaves.

5. On to Mission

We are off to the Mission Folk Music Festival next weekend. I'll be co-hosting Sunday evening, and it looks like a great weekend of music will be happening once again at Fraser River Heritage Park. I hope you can make it!

6. Radio Waves
I will be spinning tunes by many of the performers from the Mission Folk Festival line-up on this week's Saturday Edge On Folk8am to noon on Plus some of my faves from last weekend at Jericho Park and some of the music that didn't make it to air last Saturday in my run-down of western Canadian folk festival highlights for 2023. There will be a few new releases too. I hope you will tune me in and turn me on again this weekend. 

These photos came after Margaret and I had finished packing up the Rogue booth on the festival site on Monday. We then spent a few hours on the beach (me in the hammock, for the most part - my "office" for the day!)