A Magnificent Seven!
This show is sponsored by a generous donation from TOM NESBIT. Thank you for your support of the Rogue Folk Club!
Over the next five weeks The Rogue presents seven concerts with some of the most creative and exciting artists from the wide world of folk and roots music. We have presented some fabulous concerts in 2023, but I have no hesitation in saying that this sequence of shows marks the pinnacle of our programming this year! We have blues and activism from Guy Davis (USA), Danish trad meets Celtic tunes with Mads Hansels Kapel (Denmark) and the North Shore Celtic Ensemble (BC), Canadian CD launches with The Fugitives (BC), Good Lovelies (ON), and Connie Kaldor (PQ), world-renowned flamenco guitarist Juan Martín (Spain), and a celebration of the traditional music and song of Newfoundland with Rum Ragged (NL).
We have a fabulous venue, superb sound engineers, incredible musicians, dedicated volunteers, reasonable prices for tickets and refreshments, and all we need now is YOU, good people. Please come to these concerts - all of them if you can, or catch the Live Stream of the shows if you can't make it in person. We really need your support - and so do these amazing musicians and singers.
1. Guy Davis, Sunday October 8th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
When Guy Davis plays the blues, he doesn't want you to notice how much art is involved. "It takes work making a song that's simple, and playful, and easy to do," he says. "And I don't want people to see that. I want to uplift and create something that causes delight. And I want some little eight-year-old kid in the front row to have big eyes and say, 'Hey, I want to do that!'."
Davis' much-praised 1995 debut, Stomp Down Rider on Red House Records, marked the arrival of a major talent, earning acclaim for his deft acoustic playing, his well-traveled voice and his literate, yet highly accessible songwriting. He's barely rested since then, taking his music to television (the Conan O'Brien and David Letterman shows) and radio (A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, World Cafe, E-Town), as well as performing at theatres and festivals. And he's played the four corners of the world, with a recent tour taking him from the Equator to the Arctic Circle. He played the Ukraine in summer of 2014, just a week or so before the statues of Lenin were torn down. He even played for the visiting Queen of Denmark when he performed at a children's home in Greenland.
"I feel like I've only hit three corners of the world, with a lot more to go," he says. "With the world falling apart it's up to all of us to be ambassadors and to spread the music everywhere we can. There's nowhere that I don't want to play."
His parallel careers– as a musician, an author, a music teacher and a film, television and Broadway actor—mark Davis as a Renaissance man, yet the blues remain his first and greatest love. Growing up in a family of artists (his parents were Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis), he fell under the spell of Blind Willie McTell and Fats Waller at an early age. Guy's one-man play, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, premiered Off-Broadway in the '90s and has since been released as a double CD. He went on to star Off-Broadway as the legendary Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, winning the Blues Foundation's "Keeping the Blues Alive" award. He followed the footsteps of another blues legend when he joined the Broadway production of Finian's Rainbow, playing the part originally done in 1947 by Sonny Terry. Along the way he cut nine acclaimed albums for the Red House label and three for his own label, Smokeydoke Records; and was nominated for nearly a dozen Blues Awards.
So it's no wonder that Davis is reluctant to define himself simply as a bluesman. "To me, a bluesman is somebody who has to carry a knife or a gun and enter dangerous situations and sometimes fuel it with alcohol—That's not who I am. I call myself a blues musician, and to me the blues is a broad title. I include some ragtime, I make a nod to New Orleans, and a nod to the fife and drum players. And I always include things that make you want to dance."
Tickets for the 14th Rogue Folk Club LIVE show - and first for over 5 years - with Guy Davis are available here. Watch-At-Home tickets can be purchased here.
This show is also sponsored by a generous donation from LYNN LEDGERWOOD. Thank you too, for your support!
2. Mads Hansels Kapel (DK) & North Shore Celtic Ensemble (BC), Thursday October 19th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Mads Hansens Kapel is a young and creative wind blowing over the Danish dance music scene. The band members have roots in widely different genres, but found a common love for the Danish traditional music and the renewal of it. These five young men live by the maxim "have fun first, ask questions later". They interpret the old melodies with ferocity, authority and a lot of heart.
We saw them at Folk Spot Denmark, Tonder Festival, 2019. Great fun!
Since their formation in 2015, Mads Hansens Kapel has played in many countries beyond their small kingdom of Denmark. Sweden, England, Germany, Estonia, and Finland have all had the pleasure of the group and their playful approach to the folk music traditions. Small intimate and moving concerts, traditional Danish ballroom dances, and crazy street parties are all part of their repertoire.
Their sound is driven by energy, cheek and a well-developed humorous fingerspitzengefühl. When all of that is said, Mads Hansens Kapel is something you need to experience to fully understand.
These 5 lads combine the dance music of Denmark with more familiar Celtic melodies, and to underline the close ties between these two long-standing traditions, we are delighted to present an opening performance featuring as many as 17 young fiddlers from the formidable North Shore Celtic Ensemble, led by Gabriel Dubreuil, Danie Lenny, and a backing rhythm section.
For tickets and information, click here.
This show is sponsored by a generous donation from MERV GILBERT and DAN BILSKER. Thank you for your support of the Rogue Folk Club!
3. The Fugitives - CD Launch (BC), Friday October 20th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
The Fugitives are an acoustic folk-roots group headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod. They’re joined by banjo player Chris Suen (Viper Central) and violinist Carly Frey (The Coal Porters). Over their first five albums, they’ve amassed a JUNO nomination, numerous CFMA and WCMA nominations, and toured extensively through Canada, Europe, and the UK.
Performance highlights include most major Canadian folk festivals, a slot at Glastonbury, and a tour opening for Buffy Sainte-Marie. In 2020, the band created 'Ridge', a WW1-centered theatre show, which was named a Globe & Mail “Top Arts Pick of the Year”, and has toured to over 30 theatres across Canada. The band has earned a reputation for unforgettable live shows, brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top-notch musicianship. As the CBC has it: “This show is simply brilliant.”
“Despite their all-acoustic lineup, The Fugitives bring enough energy to the stage to light up a small city… The East Van quartet conjures up a sound that’s like the missing link between Leonard Cohen and the Pogues.” — Georgia Straight
The Fugitives newest album, 'No Help Coming' is about the climate emergency. Which might seem like a strange leap after The Fugitives’ last album, which centered on WW1 soldier songs—but the band actually sees a lot of similarities between the projects. On their last album, they were drawn to soldier lyrics because they were as humorous as they were harrowing. “It was the voice of people in the thick of things,” says Brendan McLeod, one half of the Fugitives’ songwriting duo. “All the reading we did around the climate lacked this kind of playfulness. Part of that is the seriousness of the topic, but another part seemed like a lack of immediacy. That society still doesn’t feel, or talk, or act, like we’re in it.”
Tickets are selling fast for this CD launch show. You can purchase yours right here.
4. Juan Martín (Spain), Thursday October 26th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
Juan Martín learned his art in the land of its origin, Andalucia in southern Spain where he spent his formative years and where he still retains a home. As a teenager he played in local fiestas, weddings and baptisms, developing his knowledge and skills in the disciplines of the purest traditions of flamenco. At the age of 18 he went to Madrid where he gained wide experience with many leading players, dancers and singers. He was greatly influenced by the example and encouragement of the legendary guitarist Niño Ricardo and Juan also became a regular visitor to the home of his friend Paco de Lucía with whom he studied in his early twenties.
Juan performing at a Rogue show back in 2007
He was voted into the top flamenco guitarists by the magazine Guitar Player for two years running and was invited to perform at Picasso’s 90th birthday celebrations which later led him to record his ground breaking album Picasso Portraits. He has performed at major festivals worldwide including Montreux Jazz twice, once with Miles Davis, the First World Guitar Congress in the USA, The Adelaide Guitar Festival, Celtic Connections, Ludwigsberg , Atlantic Jazz in Canada and the Hong Kong Festival amongst others. He was also featured in the flamenco festivals in Cádiz province as well as the prestigious Ojen Festival in Málaga.
It's been over 16 years since Juan last graced the Rogue stage. You can join us in welcoming him back by purchasing a ticket here. Watch-At-Home tickets can be obtained here.
5. Good Lovelies - CD Launch (ON), Friday October 27th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
N.B. This Show Is Sold Out!
If art does indeed imitate life, the Good Lovelies have lived lives worth singing about - in all their beautiful and wondrous complexity. We Will Never Be the Same is Good Lovelies’ first collection of original material since their 2018 release Shapeshifters and, in terms of instrumentation and musical tone, hearkens back to their acoustic, rootsy beginnings nearly two decades ago.
Lyrically, the songs created by the ensemble of Kerri Ogh, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Marie Brooks, forthrightly mine the complex feelings experienced by women who have reached a point in life where they have come to ponder some of the big questions. The product of their artistic deliberations, We Will Never Be the Same strikes a tone of hopefulness, steadfastness, and perseverance, even when enduring moments of tribulation and even despair.
“What I like about the writing on this record is that it can be coming from a really personal situation in one of our lives, but the experience is universal enough that everyone listening to it can make it whatever they need it to be,” said Passmore.
Towards the end of 2021, after an extended time apart, Good Lovelies came together in person for a very fruitful writing retreat in Nova Scotia, in a cottage owned by the legendary broadcaster/author Stuart McLean. Compositions at various stages of completion were brought forward by the long-time friends and collaborators adding their own talents and observations and works to one another’s offerings.
Their only previous appearances at The Rogue were in 2011, 2012 and 2014, although they also performed at Shorefest in 2013. We are delighted to welcome them back. You can, too, if you purchase a ticket here. Remember there is no Watch-At-Home option for this concert.
This show is sponsored by a generous donation from MERV GILBERT and DAN BILSKER. Thank you for your support of the Rogue Folk Club!
6. Connie Kaldor - CD Launch (PQ), Friday November 3rd, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
"Just when you think you've got it all figured out, something roars in and it turns you about."
Connie Kaldor writes this and more about the unexpected twists and turns of life and love. She could well be writing about her personal artistic complexities. Music pundits have tried to define the essence of the prairie-born acoustic performer for a long time, but even the most eloquent have fallen short of perfection. The fact is, Connie Kaldor is a performer without borders. A contradiction in terms. 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 an artist of substance without pretension, witty and urbane without condescension. She is a fearless chronicler of the human experience without the folksong angst. Like many prairie girls in the 50s and 60s, Connie grew up singing in the church choir and listening to Patsy Cline and The Beatles on her record player. But it wasn't until the 1980s, after four years spent performing with an avant-garde theatre company in Toronto, that Connie turned to music full time and was welcomed with open arms by the folk scene.
Her live performances are legendary and her fan base broad and fiercely loyal. People come back to see her again and again because a Connie Kaldor performance is about more than just the power of music. It is also about the power of personality. What she says between songs is as intriguing as the lyrics she sings. Please come and join us as we welcome back one of our most enduring and popular entertainers for what promises to be a very memorable evening.
Connie is touring with her partner Paul Campagneand one of their two extremely talented sons, Gabriel, in support of her stunning new CD, Keep Going. She has performed no fewer than 16 times at The Rogue since 1989. Tickets for this concert are available here, and Watch-At-Home tickets can be purchased here.
This show is sponsored by a generous donation from BILL HOOKER. Thank you for your support of the Rogue Folk Club!
7. Rum Ragged (NL), Friday November 10th, 8pm, Mel Lehan Hall at St. James (3214 West 10th Avenue)
This concert will celebrate the life of Margaret Sargent-McTaggart, often overlooked as the initial pioneer and initiator of the National Museum of Canada’s folksong research program. This program collected and documented folksongs in Newfoundland in the 1950s and 1960s. Originally from Ontario, and after spending some time in Newfoundland, Mrs. Sargent-McTaggart settled in Vancouver.
Formed by Aaron Collis and Mark Manning, Rum Ragged takes a bold approach to the distinct folk music of their home, Newfoundland. These new champions of East Coast music enliven and enlighten audiences with both songs and tune sets which they deliver with an honest swagger that is far beyond their years. These 2021 Juno Award Nominees take a bold approach to the distinct folk music of their home, with a reverence for their roots and a creative, contemporary edge, they quickly became known as amongst the finest performers of the great, living, musical traditions of Newfoundland.
Rum Ragged showcasing at Folk Alliance in February
Boasting bouzouki, fiddle, bodhran, banjo, guitar, and button accordion, these lads present their signature brand of Newfoundland folk. Always honest, thought-provoking, and often humorous, Rum Ragged’s live show makes them a fast favourite with any audience. Their combination of striking vocal harmonies, staggering musicianship, and captivating storytelling gives concert-goers an experience they won’t soon forget.
Amongst The Rogue's very first presentations - prior to becoming know as "Rogues", were two sold-out nights with Figgy Duff at The Cultch. Since then, every time we have brought in a Trad Band from "The Rock" we have sold the place out and the shows have been truly memorable. So, come on, all ye fans of NL and Maritime and Celtic folk! We need you to help us maintain that amazing tradition of rollicking good times with a distinctly east coast / west coast flavour!
Don't miss this special show! Tickets are on sale here - and going fast!
This show is sponsored by a generous donation from THE McTAGGART FAMILY. Thank you for your support of the Rogue Folk Club!
8. The Rogue Live Streams Will Continue!!
We have secured some funding to enable us to continue our unique presentation of concerts streamed live to your home - wherever you may be. Thanks to Hubcast Media we are able to simulcast most of our concerts, and we really hope you will support us if you can't make it to the hall in person. (All remaining 2023 concerts will be streamed, with the exception of The Good Lovelies, who asked us not to broadcast the show. It will be a sell out, so grab a ticket while you still can!)
One added bonus of our streamed shows is that you can watch them any time! So please support this uniquely fabulous feature and enjoy our musicians whenever and wherever you have a strong internet connection. Looks best on a big TV screen and sounds best with good speakers. But still pretty good on a decent laptop with (preferably) external speakers.
9. Guitar Wizards
We are co-operating with the Vancouver Classical Guitar Society to spread the word about our resepctive concerts which feature brilliant guitarists in the next few weeks. We are extending our membership benefits / prices to their members for the Juan Martín concert at The Rogue on October 26th, and our members can enjoy reciprocal discounts on tickets to the November 4th concert at the Vancouver Academy of Music (1270 Chestnut Street, Kits Point) with classical guitarists Michael Kolk and Anna Pietrzak. Here's to two great nights of guitar wizardry to launch this new alliance!
10. The Rogue Annual General Meeting
Our AGM will take place downstairs at St. James Hall on Friday November 3rd, at 6pm - just before the doors open for the Connie Kaldor concert. We encourage all Rogue Folk Club members - past and present - to come early and help us maintain our Society status by attending this important event. You may also wish to renew your membership, sign up, or just check on your membership status. So please come early!
11. Live Celtic Music Streams from Cape Breton - and Wednesday evening Trad Sessions at Hynes Pub in Kitsilano
I can't make it to Cape Breton this week for Celtic Colours, but will tune in every day to catch the Live Stream events, which are offered free of charge on their website www.celtic-colours.com from 3:30pm Pacific Time. They can be viewed any time up to 3pm the following day. Performers include: Le Vent Du Nord, Blazin' Fiddles, Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, 6 Hearts (surviving members of East Pointers & Vishten), Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, J.P. Cormier, Jocelyn Pettit & Ellen Gira, John Doyle, Mama's Broke, Beolach, and Welsh trio Vri. I'm watching a captivating performance right now with Manx singer Ruth Keggin and Scots harper Rachel Hair, Vri, and Scotland's awesome Blazin' Fiddles!
We have an informal trad session every Wednesday from 7-10pm at Hynes Pub at Broadway and Collingwood in Kitsilano. Please drop in for a pint and or a meal, and enjoy some spirited playing - and the occasional song.
12. Radio Waves
On the October 7th edition of The Saturday Edge On Folk on www.citr.ca from 8am to 12 noon I aired a major feature on the aforementioned Celtic Colours performers, plus a few interesting versions of songs from Bob Dylan's 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited - which is the subject of Steve Dawson's latest collaborative project coming to the Kay Meek theatre in West Vancouver next Friday and Saturday (Oct 13 and 14). I also featured music from The Rogue's "Magnificent Seven" concerts, and a selection of exotic songs gleaned from the pages of UK world music monthly magazine, Songlines. Plus a few surprises along the way! If you missed it, why not check out the podcast? I hope you will tune me in and turn me on, this and every Saturday morning.