May Song Circle Jack Cole
We closed out the season on a very
positive note! May's Circle was devoted to Canadian folk songs,
and, while we left a lot of ground uncovered, we managed
songs written and/or performed by Stan Rogers, Gordon Lightfoot,
the Arrogant Worms, David Essig, Bill Gallaher, Jakki Ridley,
Great Big Sea, Eileen McGann, Louis Riel (!), Oscar Brand, and
many many more. Clearly, we could have several more such nights
and still not complete the topic
.if fact, I think we should!
The group welcomed two new members with
terrific voices and lots of enthusiasm. And it was great to have
Mary Jarrett back with us, and to hear Gwen's voice! But what
I found the most gratifying was that 5 of the 17 people were under
16 and at least half under 30 - it's really encouraging to share
these songs with (I hate to say it) the next generation. And speaking
of that, I have to award 4 full demerit points to Christa,
who, after I commented that I had first heard a particular song
in Merrick Jarrett's folk music course, piped up that so had she
- "17 years later". Now, I question her math - it's
just not possible - but appreciate even more the legacy of those
courses at UW. I wonder what folkie students do there now??
And that leads me to Merrick's remark
that his memoirs of 50 years in music are basically finished,
and the photographs are being scanned for printing. He hopes to
have copies by the end of the summer. If we're lucky we might
see them for the Bill Gallaher concert at which Merrick is opening.
Now, Merrick isn't pushing these; he put his memories on paper
for his family and friends, not as a money-making scheme.
But, having had a sneak preview, I can say that they are fascinating
reading for anyone who knows Merrick or for anyone who is a history
or music buff. Remember to ask Merrick next time you see him!
So that's it for the summer. There is
still a Black Walnut night in June, then I hope to see you all
in the fall for more concerts and Song Circles. Have a great summer
and enjoy the festivals!
OCSC Concert News Jack Cole
I told you last month about house concerts
for Bill Gallaher and Harmony Road and Cathy Miller,
and a return to Kitchener for Two Thousand Years of Christmas.
We've sold a few subscription
series tickets for these concerts, but there are still many available.
Just a reminder that the subscription saves a dollar for each
of the 3 events, and gives you a chance to reserve space at Two
Thousand Years of Christmas. It's not too early to plan your fall
I've recently received some promotional material and thought I'd share a couple of quotes.
On Bill Gallaher & Harmony Road (Friday, August 29, $14):
On Cathy Miller (Friday, September 12, $12):
There is also a chance that we may be
helping with another concert in the fall, for a pair of musicians
from Newfoundland who soar on fiddle and guitar. If this develops
I will let everyone know. But please, order tickets for these
Black Walnut Folk Club: Changes Afoot
After two years in the Jester's Court
in Kitchener's Victoria Park, the Black Walnut Folk Club is moving
to a new home in Waterloo. The Park was a convenient location
for their open stage, but I'm really looking forward to
a venue where the heaters make less noise than the performers!
Not only that, but they are changing the night from Saturday to
Friday, on the third weekend each month. Hopefully this will bring
more people out, as Saturday tended to be a conflicting night.
The new home is a familiar one to me
- the Laurel Room at the University of Waterloo. For the first
couple of years that I lived in Waterloo (I won't say what
years, or Christa may revise her guess in the opposite direction)
I lived in a basement room off campus. One night each week I treated
myself to a gourmet cafeteria meal at one university or the other.
The Laurel room was simply the South Campus Hall cafeteria back
then; music was at the Sunday night coffeehouse in
the CC Pub - now known as the BombShelter. But I will happily
return to the Laurel Room for great folk music in the fall. Friday
nights, starting September 19, at 8 PM. Admission remains $3,
although close by parking adds $1.50 . Good luck to the BWFC (and
their new logo (?) ).
Album Reviews Jack Cole
The dollar figure is what I would pay
for the album; FYI my average 'club' CD costs about $7.50 (big
sale last month!).
Garnet Rogers Night Drive Rating: $22
My sister gave me this disc, and my
first impulse on spinning it up "Oh no. Loud and electric!".
But having some faith in Garnet I set aside time for a proper
listen, and am very glad I did. Garnet is a master of delivery,
and knows how to pick and pen songs to deliver. True, some are
loud and electric - especially Colliertown. But some are
soft and gentle (Corrinna Corrinna) and some are downright
brilliant. There are a couple of covers, an instrumental, and
the much talked about suite Golden Fields / Borealis / Night
Drive. This may be the best GR album so far, but be prepared
for a bit more volume than last time.
Bill Gallaher & Harmony Road Across the Divide Rating: $20
Another fine recording from Bill Gallaher,
Jake Galbraith, Maureen Campbell and Mike Jones, a sampling of
good things to come in August. Highlights for me are The Wild
McLean Boys and Lunenburg Town, which is why I handed
those songs around at the last Song Circle! But there are many
more singable tunes here - songs about sealers stranded on the
ice, traders heading for Canada, a couple swept up in the gold
rush, and his journey to carry her body home to Ontario. Some
humour, some romance, and a great deal of Canadian history, all
wrapped up with terrific choruses. Another ideal Song Circle album
from Gallaher & Co.
Kevin Kennedy with Samantha Kennedy When I Was One and Twenty / (905) 874-1162 Rating: $13
I don't recall being contacted by Kevin
(from Brampton); I've not heard of him before or since; but this
CD showed up in my mail slot. The 17 songs are a beautiful collection,
and make the CD worth owning if you don't have them elsewhere.
For example: Kitty Bawn O'Brien, Fiddlers Green, Maggie, From
Clare To Here, Cape St. Mary's, The Foggy Dew. There are also
3 fine originals. According to the liner notes (and there must
be a story here) talent on the album includes Jonathan Lynn, Rick
Fielding and Sinead O'Connor. But, while the songs are
wonderful, the album is best described as "pleasant".
It never hits the emotional chord and offers little new.
Great Big Sea Play Rating: $18
After Up the boys from
St. John's had a hard act to follow. And nothing can compare to
them live. So it's not surprising that Play is a
slight disappointment, yet still full of spunk, drive and joy
and one of the 'funnest' of the year. Certainly they have brought
in the talent: Danny Greenspoon to produce; the Barra MacNeils;
part of Blue Rodeo; Oliver Schroer and several I don't know. Most
songs are ripping Newfoundland versions of traditional songs,
but there are a couple of covers (notably End Of The World)
and several originals. If you haven't seen them you might think
some of it pretentious, but make no mistake - they have fun and
mean it. In order: see them live, buy Up, then buy
Leahy Leahy Rating: $17
This is an all instrumental album from
Lakefield Ontario's Leahy family. It's nearly an all fiddle album,
with 3 members of the clan working that particular instrument,
but predominantly Donnell, described in the liner notes as having
"FEROCIOUS fiddling talent". The other 5 brothers and
sisters (down from 11 in the original band) play keyboards, bass,
guitar, mandolin, drums and stepdance. I bought this album (yes,
paid full price) after seeing a bit of the video for The Call
To Dance, and have enjoyed it. A variety of styles (a Hungarian
dance, a "down south" set) make it hard to peg this
album; if you like energy and fiddle music, catch them this summer!
Upcoming Events (Check Acoustic Cafe for more!)
Jun 21 Black Walnut Folk Club, Jester's Court, Victoria Park, Kitchener. Open stage, 8 PM, $3. One final time at this venue!
Check the attached list for more info!
About this newsletter..... It's
emailed if I have your address. It's available at OCSC and BWFC
get togethers. Also available by regular mail, but for that I
request a few stamped envelopes or a contribution to postage.
I understand Modabo CDs are only a couple of weeks away! I'll
let you know when I get the box! Thanks to all for a fine season
- a bit of a different feel every month. Looking forward to next
season after a wonderful run of festivals! We nearly had
a new venue for OCSC too, complete with concert room - missed
it by a hair. Sigh.
Here is information about nearby festivals
that I have been able to scrounge from various sources. I make
no promises to accuracy, but it should be pretty good!! I have
listed some performers that I find particularly noteworthy - apologies
if I have left out a favourite. Prices are minimum weekend rates.
Mariposa July 5 Bracebridge 416-588-3655 $ ??
Bracebridge did well last year, so they're
back again. Lennie Gallant, Moxy Fruvous, Dawnbreakers, Holmes
Hooke. 10 AM to midnight.
Celtic Continuum Jul 12-13 Collingwood 705-444-7750 $ 10
Music + workshops by craftspeople. Harbord
Trio, Don Ross, Len Wallace, Rick Fielding, Mary Anderson, Glenelg
Home County July 18-20 London 519-432-4310 Free
My favourite, and not yet missed festival celebrates 24 years! 150 craft vendors and 7 stages. Stephen Fearing, Mae Moore, Cassandra Vasik, Tony Quarrington, Don McGeoch, Jackie Washington, Sneezy
Waters, Gopher Baroque, Bobby Watt,
Doug McArthur, Rick Fielding, Les Barker.
All Folks Festival July 19-20 Kingston 613-549-3705 Free
Two stages, open stage, workshops. 11
- 11 on Saturday, 11 to 6 on Sunday. Tamarack.
Hillside Festival July 27-29 Guelph 519-763-6396 $50
Eclectic festival at Guelph Lake. Valdy,
Connie Kaldor, Colin James, Oliver Schroer, O.J. Anderson and
many varied perfromers.
Blue Skies Festival Aug 1-3 Clarendon (Ottawa) 613-279-3260 $ ??
One of the ones that people rave about.
600 camping and 400 day passes. Lineup includes Erin Benjamin
and Fred J. Eaglesmith.
Caledon Folk Festival Aug 1-4 Caledon 905-951-2415 $ ??
In the Albion Conservation area; camping,
beach etc. Stephen Fearing, Norm Hacking, Joe Hall, John Gorka,
Michael Smith, Don Ross, James Keelaghan.
Mill Race Festival Aug 2 Cambridge 519-621-7135 Free
In beautiful, downtown Cambridge; music
and dancing. Nonesuch, Ad Vielle Que Pourra, Beirdo Bros., Beverlie
Robertson, Dixie Flyers, Murphy Family.
Earth, Air, Fire & Water Aug 8-10 Goderich 519-524-8221 $ ??
This festival follows the Celtic College.
Not much info (where are you Deb?) but Les Barker is there, and
Pierre Schryer (?).
Festival of Friends Aug 1 - 4 Hamilton 905-525-6644 Free
In Gage Park - a fabulous lineup, but
beware that some performers come only for their main stage show.
Bruce Cockburn, Great Big Sea, Leahy, Downchild
Blues Band, John Allan Cameron.
Scottish Festival Aug 8-10 Fergus 519-787-0099 $ Individual events
Lots of fun celtic stuff. Leahy,
Rawlins Cross, John Allan Cameron, Seven Nations, Celtic Offspring,
Cobbler's Apron, Mary Anderson, Failte.
Summerfolk Aug 15-17 Owen Sound 519-371-2995 $ 50
of the summer it seems. I expect to make it back finally, to hear
Modabo, Leahy, Shari Ulrich, Trout Fishing In America,
Bob Snider, Moxy Fruvous, The Paperboys, John Gorka, Gwen Swick,
Cindy Church, Lawrence Gowan, Melanie Doane, Arrandale, Les Barker,
Eaglewood Earth Aug 22-24 Pefferlaw 416-481-5506 $ 30?
My other favourite festival, 'cause
of the intimate atmosphere. Connie Kaldor, Bobby Watt, Norm Hacking,
Bayside Folk Festival Aug 22-24 Penetanguishene 705-549-2150 $ ??
Formerly the Songs of Sail - I guess
the "sea" theme didn't hold. Features a Friday night
cruise concert. Bill Gallaher & Harmony Road, Finest
Kind, Sweet Tyme (way to go Sue!), Tanglefoot, Enoch Kent,
Ottawa Folk Festival Aug 22-24 Ottawa 613-520-2772 $ Free ??
The other festival of the summer!
Bruce Cockburn, Valdy, Shari Ulrich, Ian Tamblyn, Tamarack,
Cindy Church, The Arrogant Worms
.. 150 performers!!!
In Britannia park.
Wye March Festival Sep 13-14 Midland 705-526-7809 $ ??
Environment festival in a beautiful
setting. Finest Kind, Bill Garrett & Curly Boy Stubbs, Steel
Octoberfolk Oct 18 Brantford 800-265-0710 / 519-759-7676 $23.50
Back for their second year, with indoor
workshops and concerts in the evening. I hear last year's was
a lot of fun. Lennie Gallant, Lynn Miles, Don Ross, Orealis, Arrogant
Worms, Ed Miller, Tanglefoot, Erin Benjamin, Richard Knecthel,
Donald McGeoch, Alfie Smith, Elysian Dreams. Brantford Folk Club.
...and Peterborough (Aug 23-24, 705-749-3639), Tillsonburg (Aug 23-24, 519-842-6151), Morrisburg (Jul 12, 613-543-3704), Perth (Jul 26-27, 613-264-1190).