Tickets - $20
In the Greenbank area tickets are available at:
Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St West,in Uxbridge, 905-852-4282
P O E Design, 146 Queen St, in Port Perry, 905-985-0060
Tickets are also available by calling 905-985-8351 or 905-852-7578.
The Greenbank Folk Music Society
2009-2010 Concert Listing
October 10, 2009
From their website:
Three forces of nature meet in bop ensemble, a Canadian super-group featuring folk legends Bill Bourne and Wyckham Porteous, along with up-and-coming singer-bassist Jasmine 'Jas' Ohlhauser. Combining Bourne's grit, Porteous' warmth, and Jas' energetic devilry, the three manage to catch lightning in a bottle.
Bourne, who is cut from the cloth of a classic troubadour, was called by Texas songwriting legend Tom Russell "a shining light in the North American folk and roots scene."
Porteous matches Bourne's nearly legendary status and was called by Andrew Loog Oldham "Leonard Cohen meets Harry Dean Stanton, a warm, warm, performer whose voice is like a bottle of wine who has matured into a friend."
Jasmine 'Jas' Ohlhauser is the wild card of the bunch, an exuberant 25-year-old who also plays with the Edmonton band Lilys On Mars. With the addition of her dance theatrics, bop ensemble shows come close to performance art.
Each of the three is great on their own ... together they're something truly special.
November 7, 2009
From their website
The Henrys is a Toronto-based, nearly instrumental quartet. Their music features the sound of an antique slide guitar called a Kona (and other slide guitars), along with the usual stuff - vocals, organ, bass and drums - and sometimes the unusual stuff: conch shell, quarter-tone trumpet, chordette, drums played with a root, sonar zombie, steel drums. Is This Tomorrow is their fifth release. It joins four other internationally acclaimed CDs: Puerto Angel (1994), Chasing Grace (1996) Desert Cure (1998), and Joyous Porous (2002), as well as a solo CD, Atlas Travel, by the band's leader.
The band has been performing (on and off) for 15 years, with concerts around the world, including the Sweetwaters festival in New Zealand, the North Sea festival in Holland, SXSW in Austin, Texas, Toronto's Harbourfront Centre (including a duet with east Indian slide phenomenon V.M. Bhatt), and many others. They headlined at NYC's famous Bottom Line in 1998 . It is the eclectic nature of their music that makes them equally at home in jazz, folk and indie/alternative venues.
The group's distinctive sound is due in large part to the use of Kona. The Kona, played by leader Don Rooke, is a rare acoustic instrument with unique tonal purity. Konas were manufactured out of Hawaiian koa wood in California in the 1920s. It is played slide style, flat, with a small steel bar. The Henrys combine the sound of the Kona with electric guitar, bass, trumpet and conch shell, drum kit, and sometimes organ and voice. As well as mixing up a unique collection of instruments, the original music they play also mixes disparate influences, most notably a roots style based in folk and blues with the overlay of a more current jazz vocabulary. Some have described it as occupying a space between the classic roots sound of Ry Cooder and the modern jazz harmonies of Bill Frisell.
Descriptions by the press of The Henrys' distinctive music run variously as "cocktail music for rough cider drinkers," "a relief for souls that are fed up with pop music," "sprightly, balming, edgy and eclectic," "tropical noir," "an almost ambient concoction of swinging jazz, country and blues tinged by flickering neon," and, simply, "essential."
The 1994 independent Canadian release of their Puerto Angel led to international exposure. The album was picked by the Ottawa Xpress as the number one CD of the year. As well as the instrumental core, guests on that record included Mary Margaret O'Hara, whose stunning vocal style is heard on four tracks, from the peaceful country waltz The One Rose to the twisted funk of Muscle Beach.
Soon after its release England's Demon Records (Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe) released Puerto Angel in Europe. The influential Q Magazine gave it a 4-star review. Mojo called it "a delight on numerous levels." The CD was subsequently released in the USA where Ink Magazine called it, "Classic Americana. Wonderfully arranged, sharply talented and springing from the sheer joy of playing. Something extraordinary."
The follow-up CD, Chasing Grace, was greeted with equal enthusiasm: "Sinuous slide guitars and torque-wrench tight rhythms. The compositions and playing are impeccable. Make this one of your essential albums," said Folk Roots Magazine from the U.K. Around this time the band was invited to Austin, Texas to perform at the famous SXSW festival.
Desert Cure was finished just after the band's European label, Demon Records, was sold. Many groups, including The Henrys, found themselves suddenly without European distribution. Fortunately a label in Italy quickly released Desert Cure in October '98, to rave reviews. Guitar Player magazine commented: "The third disc from this Toronto combo firmly establishes Don Rooke as one of acoustic guitar's greatest unsung heroes. Rooke is a startling original who seems constitutionally incapable of resorting to slide cliches."
Is This Tomorrow was released in June 2009, and includes, along with the CD, a DVD of still photographs set to more original music by the band. The disc was given 3 1/2 out of 4 stars by the Globe and Mail and featured as the recording of the week.
Soon after the release of Desert Cure, The Henrys traveled to New York to perform at The Bottom Line, and to festivals in New Zealand and Holland. They continue to perform wherever they can afford to.
Joyous Porous was recorded mostly in Toronto during 2002. It again features the crystalline vocals of Mary Margaret O'Hara, along with Toronto musicians David Piltch, Jorn Anderson, Michael White, John Sheard and Hugh Marsh.
December 5, 2009
The Good Lovlies
From their website
The Good Lovelies are not your run-of-the-mill "all girl" band. At a time when too many of us are affected by gloom, doom and advancing recession these three women are the perfect antidote.
Armed with a pile of instruments, a repertoire of sassy and sophisticated songs and an effervescent sense of humour they never fail to charm even the toughest audiences.
The aptly named Good Lovelies are Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore, all of them best friends and refugees from solo careers. Described as "flirty-bluegrass" and "the mischievous Andrews Sisters" the Toronto-based trio rely on unerring three-part vocal harmonies, clever songs and, onstage, convulsively funny repartee.
The trio started as a group only two years ago. Since then, they have quit their jobs (or successfully begged for leaves of absence), played countless clubs and coffee houses and half a dozen folk festivals, completed a 40-date tour from Montreal to Vancouver Island and back (by car and without quarrelling) and released a five-track EP with the playful single, and CBC Radio favourite 'Taboo.'
Not to mention singing backup on Jill Barber’s latest CD, earning CBC airplay, opening for the likes of the Arrogant Worms and Lynn Miles, holding down a weekly spot at the uber-hip Cameron House and selling out a solo show at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room.
The Good Lovelies’ first full-length self-titled CD, released in January 2009, contains 11 finely-crafted original songs with catchy lyrics and memorable melodies. The album borrows styles from bygone eras, all the while keeping the music current and relevant.
Produced by Les Cooper (Madison Violet, Craig Cardiff, Jill Barber) and Adam King, the CD features guest musicians Christine Bougie, Darcy Yates, Drew Jurecka, Justin Rutledge, Joel Stouffer, Spencer Evans, Michael Davidson and Marc Rogers.
Apart from the new album, the Lovelies are gearing up for another major cross-Canada tour, and will be featured at a number of festivals this summer including Mariposa, Ottawa, Calgary, Regina and Home County Folk Festivals.
Spreading sharp, light-hearted music from coast to coast is the plan for 2009. And after that? Well, there’s a huge country south of Canada that could use some laughter and another dose of hopeful goodwill from their neighbours, and the Lovelies are just the women to provide it.
January 16, 2010
Carlos del Junco
From his web site:
Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated "of the reeds") immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school math teacher at a student talent night. In his early 20's del Junco was immersed in a visual arts career; he graduated with honours from a four year programme, majoring in sculpture ( click here to see photos ) at the Ontario College of Art. Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music: "Music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes."
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed "overblow" technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica . Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry - a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music. Read more . . .
February 13, 2010
Sheesham and Lotus
Forget a write up here. Get over to the site and see what the boys are up to. Hours of fun at youtube as well. These guys are too good for words.
March 13, 2010
From his web site:
"The influences never stop." That's Canadian singer songwriter James Keelaghan talking. Could be the slogan for folk music.
But James is answering a question about his own musical background. Who influenced him? How did someone who "didn't come from a musical family per se" become a leading international musical figure? First, he says, the family loved music and offered appreciation and support. Then there is that influence factor: "My father was a great influence as a story teller, my mother for a sense of humour. I listened to a lot of Irish traditional stuff when I grew up, tempered with Jethro Tull, Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell and Captain Beefheart."
"Liam Clancy for voice and guitar style, the poetry of Yeats. I loved Harry Belafonte - the world's greatest stage performer; and Pete Seeger - a fine balladeer. But influences never stop. I am influenced by David Francey, Oliver Schroer, Hugh McMillan and a host of others now.
Don't forget to throw in the history influence. Keelaghan studied history at the University of Calgary and his passion for it has inspired some of his most celebrated songs.
His debut album, Timelines (1987 Tranquilla Music) was a collection of historically themed ballads. On his ninth album, A Few Simple Verses (2006 Jericho Beach Music), he's coming at history the way a folk singer would, unabashedly paying tribute to songs he loves, many of which his father used to sing, many of which have no definite origin, all of which are part of living history.
Of course, every album features James' baritone, a voice that soothes, seduces, and packs a punch. It is an influential voice, in an oral tradition where performance is arguably where it all happens.
"I love touching people as a performer," he says. "Putting a song across so that people get inside the story. I love the immediacy of it, the feedback.
"I love audiences in Denmark and Australia. Totally unrestrained and ready to let you know what they think in the most emphatic terms. I love touring in England and Australia. England for the ancientness of it, Australia for the newness of it."
Obviously, Keelaghan is not having any trouble 'breaking' out of Canada, He has a devoted following around the world, with star turns at such venues as Denmark's Tonder Festival, the Hong Kong Festival and Australia's Port Fairy Folk Festival.
And you just know that with every trip across the water, those influences are percolating. He's one of Canada's greatest songwriters, and he's written songs recorded by the likes of Cry,Cry,Cry. But he can sing too, you know. Like, really sing. In a resonant baritone voice that has been called everything from sweet and smooth, to coffee-rich, to glorious.
"Keelaghan's voice is so easy to listen to that the thorns in his lyrics can catch the listeners unawares," comments Dirty Linen. "I am not just a pen," James points out wryly. "I am a voice as well."
Voice and the love of song is what it's about on Keelaghan's latest CD A Few Simple Verses. On this album, James sings other people's songs, longtime favourites of his. "Some I learned when I was very young, songs my dad would sing," he says. "Some are songs that have been important in my musical development, some I chose for emotional reasons. All of them are lyrically superior, melodically appealing."
"And they tell good stories," he adds. It's all part of the Keelaghan's tradition, the vital world of rumour, love, document, and adventure that is folk music.
Who wrote the songs? It's folk, remember, "Most of them we don't know," says James. When he does know, it is part of the story of the song. "'Harvest Train' was written by the great great great grand uncle of Joan MacIsaac, who I learned the song from. 'Farewell to the Gold, written by Paul Metsers in 1969, is a song that wandered the world relentlessly, though its author has stayed fairly well put. 'Sweet Thames' was written by Ewan MacColl , one of the monster folk writers of the 20th century. 'My Blood' was written By Jez Lowe and me, about growing up with Irish roots."
Jez Lowe is one in a long list of musicians who play with Keelaghan on Verses. For Keelaghan, the diversity of musicians he recorded with is one of the most exciting things about the album: the Irish band Danu; James Fagan and Nancy Kerr (BBC 2's folk artists of the year 2003); Jordan McConnell from The Duhks; Stephen Fearing; Ruth Moody from the Wailin' Jennys; Geoff Kelley from Spirit of the West.
Don't try to picture this group gathered around a mic on a front porch somewhere. It's the 21st century in a living tradition, and Keelaghan is not afraid of change. "To record a traditional Irish tune with a couple in Australia and do it basically by broad band is cool," he says "Though maybe a bit non-traditional."
With these songs, and that voice, we don't need to worry about the tradition. It is in good hands.
April 17, 2010
Russell de Carle
Prairie Oyster front man and bassist Russell deCarle has earned 5 Juno awards and numerous CCMA and Big Country Music Awards. His unique vocal style and seasoned songwriting technique have kept Russell at the forefront of Canadian country music. DeCarle has also been awarded the SOCAN’s Song of the Year twice.
May 8, 2010
From his web site:
Some say he was born into it, some that he was born with it, while others claim he has earned it. With one foot planted firmly in folk music’s traditional roots and the other reaching into its dynamic future, Nathan Rogers isn’t entirely sure what ‘it’ is; singer, songwriter, guitarist, throat-chanter, percussionist, revivalist, or innovator. Whatever it may be, “Nathan has the ability to turn the folk world on its ears.”
Like many, it all started at home but what a unique home it was. Nathan’s first experience picking up the guitar was an attempt to copy the challenging riffs his brother David created after studying with celebrated virtuosos Don Ross and Preston Reed. His sister Beth demanded perfection in all vocals as any self-exacting classical voice teacher would, while his mother initiated him into the business side of the music industry. His father and uncle informed both his writing style and an ethos of Canadian people that shines in his lyrics. Read more . . .