Home Feature SIX shows to kick off the Rogue Folk Club’s 2023-24 season

SIX shows to kick off the Rogue Folk Club’s 2023-24 season

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I hope you saved up lots of money over the summer because the Rogue Folk Club has just launched its 2023-24 concert series, and that always comes with a problem: how do you choose which shows to go see?

The September line-up alone features SIX concerts! Six!

They range from Vancouver’s prodigal daughter of Americana to some Scottish music sensations and a tribute to the legendary Gordon Lightfoot.

And that’s just this month! There are more months after this!

The Rogue continues its practice of selling online tickets to its shows so that those not in Vancouver and those of us vulnerable to COVID can attend.

Here’s what we have to choose from this month.

Colleen Rennison – Sept. 9 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square

Many people believe that Vancouver produced nobody more ready and able to mount the world stage than Colleen Rennison. If a barrier existed to greater fortune then it was Colleen herself, since the outsized talent is matched only by her outsized demons. The singer-songwriter doesn’t hesitate to admit this on her latest album, Persephone, which marries lacerating confession to ebullient, uplifting songcraft. Just a few years ago, Colleen was roaring through the streets of Austin, Texas—sans helmet—on a motorbike named “Persephone”, but eventually, she repeated her burnout pattern in Texas, as she had previously in New York and Vancouver. Returning to her hometown just in time for a pandemic and the devastating realization that she had, in her own words, “no real friends,” Colleen hit the very last wall. Enter Stephen Jeffery, a longtime admirer who offered shelter and the space to get clean and make the record she had been incubating for years. Producer Felix Fung was tapped for his savant ability to conjure the vintage feel Rennison wanted, a record that harkens back to the luxurious, cinematic work of showbiz queens like Bobby Gentry, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. It’s a fully formed, two-sided album of country, soul, and pop, hitting all the necessary points between Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and Motown.

Winter Wilson – Sept. 14 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

UK based, Kip Winter and Dave Wilson have performed in Germany, Australia, Spain, Canada, Belgium and New Zealand. They’ve released a string of critically acclaimed albums, one of the highlights being Live & Unconventional. It is in live performance where these two really excel. Kip Winter and Dave Wilson bring a sense of intimacy to every venue, blending superb, often hard-hitting original songs, stunning harmonies and musicianship with sometimes hilarious humour and tales of life on the road. Kip (vocals, accordion, guitar, flute) ?”simply has a voice to die for” (?John Roffey, Maverick Magazine), whilst Dave (vocals, guitar and banjo) is now rightly recognized as being amongst the top tier of British songwriters, with his songs sung in folk clubs across the UK and beyond. Together, their voices are sublime. You will laugh; you may cry. You will certainly want to see them again!

Brandon Isaak – Sept. 23 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Yukoner Brandon Isaak is an authentic, heart felt roots and blues songster who always delivers the goods. He is an award-winning musician with a passion and a thirst for the history of music and origins of the blues, and it shows in his live shows. He is an entertainer as well as a gifted musician. So many artists today just sit and play and don’t connect with their audiences. Brandon’s affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none, as anyone who has had the privilege of being a part of his audience will tell you. He brings a firebrand style of guitar as well as incredibly stirring vocals that truly have to be witnessed to be appreciated! He is VERY much in the moment as he rips it up, and we know you’ll be impressed with the caliber of showmanship.

Talisk – Sept. 24 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Ground-breaking, chart-topping, genre-bending, globetrotting, instantly enthralling — it’s little wonder that Talisk ranks highly amongst the most in-demand folk-based groups to emerge from Scotland in the last decade and more. Mohsen Amini (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Musician of the Year), Graeme Armstrong and Benedict Morris (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year) fuse concertina, guitar and fiddle to produce a ground-breaking, multi-layered signature sound that has captivated audiences around the globe. The three seemingly acoustic instruments in the hands of three master craftsmen create one unmistakable, bold sound and captivating live show.

Luke Wallace and The Pairs – Sept. 29 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Luke embodies a new wave of politically charged folk music, writing the soundtrack for a movement of people rising up to meet the social and environmental challenges of our times. You can find Luke at folk festivals all over the west coast or leading rally-sing-a-longs at Canada’s biggest climate marches. Known for his catchy songwriting and inspiring musical delivery, Luke continues using his music to amp up and inspire the folks fighting for a better world.

Powered by soaring sister harmonies, the Pairs are a quirky trio with unbottled chemistry that quickly connects them to their audience. With three distinct lead singer-songwriters, The Pairs offer a unique blend of music with stories of life’s hope, hilarity, and hardship. These classically trained vocalists blur the line between the stage and the crowd as if we’ve pulled up a seat around their family’s lively kitchen table.

Oliver Swain’s Legacy of Lightfoot – Sept. 30 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Following the graceful passing of Gordon Lightfoot in May 2023, musicians Oliver Swain and Dylan Stone collaborated to organize a concert to celebrate Gordon’s life and music. Swain and Stone are two of British Columbia’s greatly accomplished and experienced songwriters and performers, and they combine their decades of experience to give a meaningful and engaging performance of Lightfoot’s enduring catalogue of music. They surrounded themselves with a talented cast of supporting musicians to form The Legacy of Lightfoot and quickly found an overwhelming response to their show. What started as a humble celebration of Lightfoot’s music has now been elevated to a full touring theatre production that is connecting to large audiences and giving the spirit and legacy of Lightfoot’s music new life and longevity.

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