Juno-winning jazz guitarist Mike Rud shows off riveting solo wizardry on Miniatures

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At the Victoria International Jazz Festival
Friday Jun 24, 2016, 9:30 pm at the Pacific Restaurant at Hotel Grand Pacific
Saturday Jun 25, 2016, 12:00 pm at Centennial Square
Saturday Jun 25, 2016, 9:30 pm at the Pacific Restaurant at Hotel Grand Pacific

At the Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Wednesday, June 29, 7:30 pm at Frankie’s Jazz
Tickets: $15

We spend so much time listening to great jazz musicians trade licks within larger ensembles that we almost never get to appreciate what they can do when placed alone at centre stage.

With Miniatures, Juno-winning guitar sensation Mike Rud reminds us in such riveting fashion that you might not want to see a full-band show ever again.

Already named one of the Ten Outstanding Jazz Albums of 2015 by CBC Music, Miniatures sees Mike singing in understated, emotion-rich tones reminiscent of French chanson while playing separate melodies on guitar – resulting in captivating, intimate vignettes.

As a musical feat alone, it’s pure wizardry.   But not only does the one-time Vancouverite effortlessly play multiple lines with no multi-tracking; he executes it with such emotional depth and flawless attention to detail that your average non-musician will be far too caught up in the feeling of the pieces to realize just how genius they are. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin celebrates the spirit of musical community on Auprès du Poêle

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Auprès du Poêle launches June 10

Canadian album launch concerts :
June 30 – The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse – The Pourhouse, Charlottetown, PEI
July 2 – The Trailside Café, Mount Stuart, PEI
July 3 – The Souris Show Hall, Souris, PEI
July 7 – Hugh’s Room, Toronto, ON
July 8 – Almonte Celtfest, Almonte, ON
July 9-10 – Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia, ON
July 13 – Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
July 15-17 – Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Vancouver, BC
July 22 – Summerside Lobster Festival, Summerside, PEI
Aug. 6 – Tide & Boar, Moncton, NB
Aug. 7 – Festival Acadien de Clare, Clare, NS
Aug. 13 – Cloggeroo Festival, Georgetown, PEI
Aug. 14 – Festival Acadie de Caraquet, Caraquet, NB
Aug. 15 – Conseil communautaire Beausoleil, Miramichi, NB
Aug. 15 – Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, Fredericton, NB
Sept. 22 – Deep Roots Festival, Wolfville, NS

It was late fall and early winter in Joliette, Quebec – the epicentre of traditional Quebecois music in Canada.
PEI’s emerging young traditional music stars Ten Strings And A Goat Skin are in the studio recording their new album with Leonard Podolak of the Grammy-nominated Duhks.
A veritable who’s who of traditional music is streaming in and out of the studio – some to play a few bars, some just to say hello and spread some cheer: the legendary Yves Lambert and his La Bottine Souriante co-founder André Marchand; pianist and accordionist Josianne Hébert; members of Les Poules à Colin – the band featuring the daughter of iconic Quebecois musician Claude Methé – and members of the Duhks.

It started to feel like … well darn it, like home! A tight-knit circle of neighbours who get each other through the frigid winters by filling their nights with music and good cheer.

So was born Auprès du Poêle (English: “Around the woodstove”), a sizzling album that celebrates community and survival, both lyrically and in the circumstances of its creation. Read the rest of this entry »

West My Friend ponders the role of art and artists on Quiet Hum

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Summer tour
June 11 – Sweetwater905 Festival, Rolla
July 5 – Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
July 9 – Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam
July 22 – North Quarter, Victoria
July 29 – Filberg Festival, Comox
July 31 – ArtsWells, Wells
Aug. 2 – Golden Ears Farm, Chase
Aug. 3 – Grist Mill and Gardens, Keremeos
Aug. 4 – Harmony Arts Festival, North Vancouver
Sept. 9 – Wildwood Artist Retreat, Pender Island
Sept. 10 – Mayne Island Concert Series, Mayne Island
Sept. 21 – Kingfisher Farm, Surrey

Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, Joanna Newsom and the Punch Brothers, and forged from the same adventurous acoustic music scene on Vancouver Island that brought forth acts like Jenny Ritter, Outlaw Social, and Oliver Swain’s Big Machine, West My Friend delivers an immensely clever album of indie roots and chamber folk that contemplates the role of music and musicians in 2016.
It features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals from Eden Oliver; catchy arrangements of bass, mandolin and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk and pop influences; and highly original lyrics that offer unique takes on art and life. Read the rest of this entry »

Veda Hille returns to solo recording career with Love Waves

Veda Hille photo

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2013.

Berlin.

An artist’s retreat of sorts.

Veda Hille starts plunking away at David Bowie’s “Teenage Wildlife” and thinking how devastated she’s going to feel when it comes time for Bowie to leave the earthly plane.

She’s so moved she creates her own, slightly-rewritten cover of the song – framing it as a conversation between her, Bowie and her younger self – and records it for her forthcoming album.

Yet again, Veda Hille is ahead of her time.

It’s been some 25 years since she first turned East Van’s underground art scene on its head with her furious, jagged, piano-playing, found fragments of lyrics, dissonant jazz passages and contrasting beautiful, heart-rending melodies, ultimately fashioning one of the most wildly original and profitably obscure music careers in Canadian history.

Now, she is releasing her first new original studio album since the birth of her son seven years ago, Love Waves, and it’s the sort of complex, fearless reflection on maturation and motherhood that only an artist like Veda could create. Read the rest of this entry »

Christa Couture’s Long Time Leaving is a celebration of “ordinary” heartache

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“Criminally under-rated” – The Georgia Straight

April 7 – Duncan Showroom, Duncan, BC
April 8 – Solstice Café, Victoria, BC
April 9 – CBC Studio 700, Vancouver, BC
April 10 – The Schoolhouse, Ymir, BC
April 11 – The Ironwood, Calgary, AB
April 14 – Times Change(d), Winnipeg, MB
April 20 – The Bassment, Saskatoon, SK
April 23 – The Blue Chair, Edmonton AB
April 24 – R ‘Ouse, Sherwood Park, AB
April 28 – The Burdock, Toronto, ON
April 29 – Le Cagibi, Montreal, QC,
May 1 – Live on Elgin, Ottawa, ON
May 5 – Rose & Kettle, Cole Harbour, NS
May 6 – Homeport Homestages, St. John, NB
May 7 – Grimross Taproom, Fredericton, NB

For most musicians, the break-up album is the quintessential songwriter cliché – bringing with it the burden to eek out originality from an oversubscribed muse.

But for award-winning indie artist Christa Couture — whose first three albums reflected on her teenage battle with cancer, the loss of her left leg to the disease, and the deaths of both of her young children under separate circumstances — the opportunity to write songs about such ordinary heartache seemed like a welcome reprieve.

On the Steve Dawson-produced Long Time Leaving, Christa offers a truly unique take on the topic thanks in part to a long and complex relationship with grief that’s given her rare insight into its nuances.

It’s a mostly upbeat album filled with sweet soaring hooks, whimsical melodies, clever word-play and Christa’s trademark sweet, quirky vocals.

It is at times an album to sing along to, even an album to do housework too (!!) – something Christa was striving for – and an album about continuing to move forward in the aftermath of tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »

Trailblazers in Ukrainian cultural revival return with new album

Zeellia photo 2

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Vancouver’s Zeellia formed around the fall of the Soviet Union,
return as the independence fight heats up

Album launch for Tse Tak Bulo/That’s How it Was
April 2, 8 pm, at the Ukrainian Hall
Tickets are $20 in advance from High Life Records
$22 at the door

Born out of the Ukrainian cultural revival that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union; nurtured during Vancouver’s global music “golden age” in the early 90s; and recently revived in conjunction with a renewed fight to protect Ukrainian independence, Vancouver’s Zeellia has been at the forefront of a global Ukrainian cultural Renaissance for more than 20 years.

It combines the powerful, piercing harmonies and mournful, minor key melodies of Slavic folk music with a modern artist’s approach to arranging.

Founded and fronted by Beverly Dobrinsky, the ensemble returns after an extended absence with Tse Tak Bulo/That’s How it Was, a collection that is both beautifully reverent toward Ukrainian tradition – Dobrinsky has even included the voices of the now-deceased elders from whom she first learned her repertoire – and filled with vital new energy in the form of clever re-workings of many songs. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Dawson launches Solid States and Loose Ends with a Black Hen Traveling Roadshow Revue

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The Black Hen Traveling Roadshow Revue 2016 features Dawson, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Russell deCarle and Roxanne Potvin!

Mar 29, 2016 – Penticton, BC, The Dream Cafe
Mar 30, 2016 – Penticton, BC, The Dream Cafe
Mar 31, 2016 – Campbell River, BC, Tidemark Theatre
Apr 1, 2016 – Victoria, BC, Alix Goolden Hall
Apr 2, 2016 – Vancouver, BC Blue Shore Financial Ctr for the Performing Arts
Apr 4, 2016 – Whitehorse, Yukon, Yukon Arts Centre
Apr 6, 2016 – Winnipeg, MB, West End Cultural Centre
Apr 7, 2016 – Saskatoon, SK, The Bassment
Apr 8, 2016 – Sherwood Park, AB, Festival Place
Apr 9, 2016 – Calgary, AB, Festival Hall

Part of the vision for Steve Dawson’s forthcoming album, Solid States and Loose Ends, was to put together a really hot band and kick some musical ass – so it stands to reason that Dawson would tour that new record with an equally kick-ass group of musicians.

Dawson will launch Solid States with the latest installment of the Black Hen Traveling Roadshow Revue, a much-anticipated showcase of A-list roots and blues talent that recalls the days of the touring revue shows of the ‘60s, like Stax and Motown.  This time, the lineup features Dawson, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Russell deCarle and Roxanne Potvin. Read the rest of this entry »

An evening with Grammy Award-winning artist Judy Collins in Ottawa (Sold Out!)

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Judy Collins and special guest Garnet Rogers
Friday, March 11, 2016, 8:00 pm, at Southminster United Church
15 Aylmer Avenue at Bank Street, Ottawa
Tickets $46.50 at www.folkzone.ca
(includes all processing fees)

This concert is a fundraiser for the Ottawa Grassroots Festival taking place at Southminster United Church from April 21 to 24, 2016 – see www.ottawagrassrootsfestival.com

Grammy Award winner and beloved folk artist Judy Collins inspires audiences with her sublime vocals, her boldly vulnerable songwriting, her fascinating personal anecdotes and her firm commitment to social activism.  In the 1960s, Judy evoked both the idealism and the determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices.  Five decades later, her luminous presence continues to shine brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work. Read the rest of this entry »

WCMA nominee Matt Patershuk uses sophomore album to memorialize his sister

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I Was So Fond of You is dedicated to the memory of Clare Patershuk

Album launch dates

March 16 – Dawson Creek Art Gallery, Dawson Creek, BC
March 17 – Grande Prairie Live Theatre, Grande Prairie, AB
March 18 – Festival Hall, Calgary, AB w/ The Crooked Brothers
March 19 – CKUA Radio Performance Space, Edmonton, AB
March 20 – The Geomatic Attic, Lethbridge, AB
March 21 – Village Guitar & Amp, Saskatoon, SK
March 22 – TBA, Regina, SK
March 23 – West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg Manitoba
April 2 – Northern Lights Folk Club, Edmonton, AB

Country music is the music of heartbreak, and Matt Patershuk’s got plenty of heartbreak to sing about on his forthcoming sophomore album.

Less than six months after releasing his auspicious, Steve Dawson-produced debut, Outside the Lights of Town, and earning the rapt attention of the music media, Matt’s beloved younger sister, Clare, died senselessly in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.

I Was So Fond of You is Matt struggling through song to make sense of that loss. Read the rest of this entry »

Montreal’s Neema teams up with Lanois collaborators for breathtaking third album Painting My Wall Gold

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Emmylou Harris appears on backing vocals on Painting My Wall Gold

Street Date:  March 4, 2016

Album launch concerts:
March 11 – Sala Rossa, Montreal, QC

April 1 – Palais Montcalm, Quebec City, QC

April 17 – Hugh’s Room, Toronto, ON

From the opening strains of the joyful “For You,” featuring glorious harmonies by Emmylou Harris, to the sultry, Middle Eastern-flavoured “Come;” the soulful, minimalist cover of the Creole “Papa Loco;” the bittersweet choruses of “That’s Where I’ll Be,” and the French language cover of Steve Earle’s “Goodbye” done in the classic understated style of the French chansonnières, the breathtaking third album by Montreal artist Neema – titled Painting My Wall Gold – overflows with the kind of wisdom, maturity, nuance and diversity that only comes from having packed a lot of living into a relatively small number of years. Read the rest of this entry »