Home Feature 9 shows to choose from in the Rogue Folk Club’s March Line-up!

9 shows to choose from in the Rogue Folk Club’s March Line-up!


As the weather mellows out, the Rogue Folk Club is expecting some more gnarly artists for its March line-up, which features nine concerts!

They range from Scottish up-and-comers Ímar to a beloved musical comedy trio to the Penguin Eggs/Roots Music Canada Critics’ New Discovery of the Year.

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 is a taste of what you can choose from this month!

Pat Chessell Band | Sinead X Sanders – Mar. 2 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James Community Square

In a country that loves its Celtic music, it’s no surprise that Vancouver’s Pat Chessell has become known as one of the most exciting roots artists in Western Canada. Pat’s rootsy vocal style, charismatic stage presence and expert musicianship (guitar) are making for an ever-growing audience of enthusiastic fans. While his mostly original music falls solidly under the broad umbrella of Celtic, Pat’s range is prodigious and eclectic. It’s been variously described as straight-ahead folk, upbeat Celtic influenced Canadian folk/pop and moving mid-and-up-tempo contemporary Celtic, among other labels. His tunes have also, on occasion, known to be tinged with Americana influences.

Raised on jukebox-era rock & roll, blues, R&B, country, jazz, & punk rock, Sinéad X Sanders cut her teeth playing the bars & pubs of Vancouver, BC. Her voice has been compared to that of everyone from Wanda Jackson to Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin to Elvis Presley — but she doesn’t quite sound like any one of them, or possibly, anyone else you’ve ever heard. Having picked up an all-star band of Vancouver music veterans including Dave ‘Double D’ Dykhuizen on lead guitar (Muddy Goats, Leonard & the Lab Rats), Bob Petterson on bass (Mike Van Eyes Band, Eddy D & the Sex Bombs, the Frank Frink Five), & Sandy Bone Smith on drums (the Twisters, SandyBone & the Breakdown), Sinéad X Sanders is set to record her first full-band release in 2024.

Aleksi Campagne – Mar. 3 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Aleksi Campagne is uniquely qualified to offer a contemporary, indie-folk take on the time-honoured fiddle-singing tradition. He received both a Canada Council Grant and a FACTOR Grant to fully fund the recording and production of his highly-anticipated ten-song debut album For the Giving / Sans Rien Donner, launched in the fall of 2023. Still based out of his hometown of Montreal, Aleksi floors audiences by singing while bowing his violin and seamlessly navigating songs in English and in French. His original music blends folk songwriting with an edgy, multi-layered sound resulting from his unique combination of voice, violin, and looping- effect pedals.

James Keelaghan & Jez Lowe – Mar. 8 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Through a career that now spans almost four decades, Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award winner James Keelaghan has created a repertoire of incalculable importance – a unique body of work, either inspired by or drawn from the folk tradition. His 10 solo albums are flush with enduring lyrical relevance. Take the beautiful but heartbreaking ballad, “Jenny Bryce,” for example. From any point of view, it’s indistinguishable from the numerous traditional tracks covered on his disc A Few Simple Verses.

For the last 30 years, singer and songwriter Jez Lowe has taken his songs of life in his native North East England to audiences across the world, sometimes solo, sometimes with his band The Bad Pennies, and sometimes in a variety of collaborative and commissioned musical enterprises, all of which have made him one of the most hard-working and popular acoustic/folk artists of the present day. He’s been nominated for Folksinger of the Year in the BBC Folk Awards, Album of the Year in the US-based Indie-Acoustic Awards and a Sony Radio Award for his contribution to the prestigious Radio Ballads series for the BBC.

The Arrogant Worms – Mar. 9 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

The Arrogant Worms began as a comedy troupe performing songs and sketches on campus radio. The early feedback on the live shows was clear: lose the sketches. So the songs endured and they all remain because the band hates to throw anything out.

The songs were written to make fun of a big dumb world. Luckily, the world is still dumb and The Arrogant Worms (Mike McCormick, Chris Patterson and Trevor Strong) still have plenty to sing about. The shows are fast, furious and family friendly. The wit is quick, the satire is biting and the musicianship is second to none. Their appeal has earned them fans from kids to parents to grandparents to Princess Leia.

Get Back Unplugged – Mar. 14 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Get Back Unplugged started as an idea of Vancouver-based folk-pop trio The Wahs (Cam Wilson, Andy Hillhouse, and Brent Gubbels), after seeing the recent Peter Jackson-produced documentary about the famous Get Back recording sessions and the celebrated Beatles rooftop concert.

It’s been said that the sign of a great song is when it can stand on its own, without any need for complex production. With the warmth of voices in five part harmony, and the simple beauty of acoustic instruments, Get Back Unplugged aims to revisit some of the best loved songs of late-period Beatles, and to deliver them with the joy and spontaneity of friends singing around a kitchen table.

Twin Embers | Dani Larkin (St. Patrick’s Day Double Bill) – Mar. 17 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Having lived coast-to-coast, and little bit everywhere in between, Danielle Leonard has worked with a variety of bands over the years, both in the studio and on the road! She is an experienced performer and instructor in various Celtic and Canadian styles, and has toured across Canada and the United States, both as a solo and group performer. Danie loves to try new takes on old tunes, and incorporate her own tunes into the mix.

Annika Wilson has made quite the name for herself as one of Vancouver’s finest fiddlers. Inventive and lively, Annika’s fiddle style is heavily influenced from Cape-Breton and Scotland, but is in no way bound by it. Her music has led her to perform on both coasts of Canada, the US, & Ireland. She has also received instruction from some of North America’s top fiddlers including Mairi Rankin, Natalie MacMaster and Liz Carroll.

Beguiling, intense, driven folk songs expertly accompanied by guitar and banjo, singer-songwriter Dani Larkin moves through ruminations on love and experiences of wildness, loss and mystery, steered with a gentle strength and engagingly calm conviction.

Larkin’s debut album, Notes For A Maiden Warrior, was nominated for ‘Best Single’ (2022), ‘Best Album’ at Northern Ireland Music Prize (2021) and Best Emerging Artist at RTE Folk Awards (2021), which put Larkin firmly on the map of contemporary Irish artists to take note of.

Ímar – Mar. 21 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

There are many reasons to be excited about new Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar – not least a line-up featuring current and former members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk, Barrule and Cara whose collectively crammed trophy-cabinet includes the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year, 2016 Radio Scotland Musician of the Year, BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and several All-Britain & All-Ireland titles. By far the best and biggest reason, however, is how excited the band are themselves.

Matthew Byrne – Mar. 23 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers, Matthew Byrne’s repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody – and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room. His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements.

Van Django – Mar. 30 at Mel Lehan Hall at St. James

Van Django is an acoustic string ensemble made up of four of Canada’s most talented and eclectic musicians: violinist Cameron Wilson, guitarist Budge Schatke, guitarist/cellist Finn Manniche and bassist Brent Gubbels. Van Django’s music is well-rooted in the gypsy jazz of 1930’s Paris France, but beyond that it’s all pure blue-skying—flights of dazzling fancy, driving rhythms and boundless creativity featuring original compositions and arrangements including humorous mash-ups that showcase their eclectic influences in full regalia.


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