5 amazing Nov. double bills at Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club … and 2 other killer shows!
November at Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club features some amazing twofers – everything from a Juno-winner paired with a WCMA nominee to a CBC Searchlight winner paired with a Juno nominee. Oh, and the two shows that aren’t double bills feature Juno-winners Le Vent du Nord and Rankin Family member Mairi Rankin respectively. Hopefully you’ve got a big concert-going budget this month. It would be awfully hard to choose between these.
For more information about or tickets to any of these shows, visit www.roguefolk.bc.ca.
Stephen Fearing / Matt Patershuk – Nov. 1 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
Juno-winner Stephen Fearing was born in Vancouver but grew up in Dublin, Ireland, where his schoolmates included future members of U2. In 1981, he moved to Minneapolis, MN and immersed himself in the music scene, learning the fundamentals of song-writing and performing while washing dishes to stay alive. By 1984, he was back in Vancouver determined to become a professional musician. In the years since, he’s been named one of the finest songwriters in Canada. He built a national and international audience for his music, doing it old-school through countless performances at intimate venues and on the concert stages of festivals and theatres across Canada, the US, and the UK. That includes appearances at major events like the Reading Festival and WOMAD, to name just a couple.
For more than a decade now, Alberta artist Matt Patershuk – when he’s not building bridges or chasing his family’s ever-growing herd of horses, sheep and goats around his land – has been writing and performing some of the most beautiful, endearing and true country music ever created. A master songwriter, Matt finds his truest expression in the intersection between lyrics and melody. As someone who believes that less is often best, Matt communicates a lot more soul and range of emotions in a single verse than other artists can in a whole song.
Trivo / Kurai Mubaiwa – Nov. 3 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
All proceeds from this concert will go to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports grandmothers (“Gogos” in Zulu) raising a generation of children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in 15 African countries.
TriVo is the trio of veteran Vancouver-based performers Karla Mundy, Dawn Pemberton and Brian Tate. Karla is the versatile vocalist previously known as a founder of the Celtic roots quintet Cleia and the globally-inspired septet the Shirleys (a.k.a. The No Shit Shirleys). Soul singer Dawn has lent her formidable chops to a cross-section of gospel, jazz, funk and world music projects, including Five Alarm Funk, the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and the aforementioned Shirleys. Composer and musician Brian founded Vancouver’s 100-plus voice City Soul Choir and is known internationally for his lively choir workshops, excellent conducting skills, and inspiring choral compositions and arrangements.
Drummer and marimba and mbira player Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa was born in Zimbabwe in 1976 and immigrated to Canada in 2002. In 1994, he moved to the city of Harare where he facilitated and coordinated the Streets Ahead program, which focused on teaching street youth to play marimba. In 1998, Kurai toured West Africa and Europe with Chiwoniso Maraire and opened for Cesaria Evora. He is a former instructor in the Britannia World Music program in Vancouver, and he contintues to teach workshops and perform as part of the groups ZimbaMoto and Zhambai Trio.
Fortunate Ones / Sherman Downey – Nov. 8 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
Maybe they’re fortunate, or maybe the Newfoundland duo of Catherine Allan and Andrew O’Brien is just that good. Their debut album,The Bliss, was nominated for a Juno Award. They scored two #1 singles on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20 and won the 2016 East Coast Music Award for Rising Star Recording of the Year, the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, and four 2015 Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards. Over the last five years they have played over 300 shows together, and they even got the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he singled out a track from their 2016 Christmas EP, All Will Be Well, as one of his favourite listens for the holidays.
Sherman Downey’s radio-friendly brand of upbeat folk/pop appeals to a wide range of audiences, and his debut album, Honey For Bees, earned him Music NL’s Male Artist of the Year award. His second release, The Sun In Your Eyes, was awarded MusicNL’s Pop/Rock Recording of the Year award and given Newfoundland and Labrador’s SOCAN Songwriter of the Year distinction – as well as an ECMA nomination for Group Recording of the Year (with his band, The Ambiguous Case). The album’s first single, “Thick as Thieves,” won Sherman the CBC’s inaugural Searchlight Prize as Canada’s Best New Artist.
The Tim O’Brien Band / The Burrying Ground – Nov. 22 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien grew up singing in church and school, and after seeing Doc Watson on TV, he became a lifelong devotee of old-time and bluegrass music. Kathy Mattea scored a country hit with his song “Walk The Way The Wind Blows” in 1986, and soon, more artists like Nickel Creek and Garth Brooks were covering his songs. Over the years, Tim has released 15 solo albums and numerous collaborations. He’s performed or recorded with Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Bill Frisell, and Steve Martin. After many years navigating the outskirts of bluegrass and acoustic music, Tim’s dusky, unmistakable vocal timbre and instrumental stylings have recently landed him with two feet squarely back in bluegrass territory.
The Burying Ground formed in 2014 as a duo, but Woody Forster and Devora Laye are often accompanied by a rotating cast of masterful session and backing musicians. They are steeped in influences from 1920’s ragtime, country and western, Mississippi blues and New Orleans jazz. Woody’s complex blues guitar and rags are punctuated and raised high by Devora’s tightly syncopated washboard, with playful rolls and staccato jumps and stops. Their solo and combined vocal styling is deeply resonant and heartfelt.
Le Vent du Nord – Nov. 26 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
The award-winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord is a leading force in Quebec’s progressive francophone folk movement. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while enhancing its hard-driving soulful music (rooted in the Celtic diaspora) with a broad range of global influences. The instrumentation includes button accordion, guitar, fiddle and hurdy-gurdy. Since its inception in August 2002, Le Vent du Nord has enjoyed meteoric success, performing well over 1,800 concerts over five continents and racking up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos, a Félix, a Canadian Folk Music Award, and an Artist of the Year award at the North American Folk Alliance annual gala.
Marin Patenaude / Mark Stuart – Nov. 29 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
Raised in rural Horsefly BC, country folk artist Marin Patenaude is the younger sister of Juno-award winner Pharis Romero (Pharis and Jason Romero) and thus was part of the same familiy band her sister grew up in. She studied vocals extensively through the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Capilano College jazz program, and she’s an accomplished piano player and guitarist who can play an old guitar like a long lost lover.Influenced by Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt and Tori Amos and inspired by a love of nature, magic and the human condition, Marin skillfully transforms these themes into charming songs.
After many years on the Americana/folk circuit, country-tinged singer-songwriter Mark Stuart has cultivated a very rounded performance that consists of storytelling, flashy guitar chops, and songs that draw from his rock, blues, country, and folk music roots. Tennessee-based Mark has mostly toured solo or in a notable duo with his wife, Stacey Earle. There were also stints along the way as a sideman for Steve Forbert, Freddy Fender, Steve Earle, and Joan Baez, among others. If placed on the bill with a contemporary artist, he is usually asked to play guitar on their portion of the show. Just ask Ray Wylie Hubbard or Jimmy LaFave.
Mairi Rankin and Eric Wright – Nov. 30 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square
Mairi Rankin is one of the hugely influential Rankin Family – legends on the Canadian music scene – and she plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, NS, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and a sideman and is a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beolach. She has also performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name but a few. Eric Wright, cellist of The Fretless fame, joins Mairi in an inspired pairing. Eric picked up the cello at age seven, and by 13, he was teaching group and private lessons in Vermont, while playing in numerous chamber groups and orchestras. Eric attended the Berklee College of Music, where he studied folk styles, and graduated Magna Cum Laude as a professional music major, focusing on Irish cello performance.