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Monday, July 22, 2019 | 8:30pm Monkey House Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 Sophisticated musicianship, imaginative lyrics, and a flair for melody are signatures of the sound of Monkey House, a sound that has earned the group serious critical acclaim, peer respect, and a steadily expanding international following. Those characteristics are again evident on Friday, set for release on ALMA Records July 26, 2019. It is the fifth full-length release from the L.A./Toronto combo that has just celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years of playing together. That rare longevity has resulted in an invaluable empathy in the musical interactions of the core members: singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin. Monkey House founder Breithaupt explains: “Because I’ve been working with Justin, Pat and Mark for so long, I have such a good feel for what they do well. I can play to their strengths, I can take a polaroid of something in my studio and have a pretty good idea of how it’ll pan out when the band sinks its teeth into it.” Also contributing prominently to Friday is the elite Toronto horn section of William Sperandei, Vern Dorge, John Johnson, William Carn and Tony Carlucci, as well as percussionist Art Avalos. Adding to the comfort level in the studio for the recording of Friday was the return of the team of co-producer Peter Cardinali and engineer John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, reprising their roles from previous Monkey House records. Cardinali also plays bass on four tracks. All but two of the tracks on Friday are solo Don Breithaupt compositions. He co-wrote “Say It For The Last Time,” with Chris Smith (ex-Regatta) and Guido Luciani, while “Book Of Liars” is a cover of a song by Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. “As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter’s death hit me hard,” says Don. “I thought it’d be a nice gesture to do one of his.” Breithaupt is a prolific songwriter who collaborates regularly with such acclaimed songsmiths as Marc Jordan, Jay Graydon, and (his NYC-based brother) Jeff Breithaupt. He explains that the stress on solo compositions on Friday “had to do with getting songs that felt like they belonged together. When they are coming from multiple sources, it’s harder to make them all feel integrated.” The generous 12-song collection certainly does sound cohesive, while possessing enough musical twists and turns to keep things interesting. Don terms Friday “an album that may be more rhythmically-based than any of the previous ones. For the last album , I made a concerted effort to write each song at the piano. With this one, I was often looping rhythms and playing along with grooves, even on the first day of writing. When you have a rhythm going, it gives everything momentum.” “A couple of songs here show more of an ’80s influence from bands like The Police and XTC. It still sounds like Monkey House, but it’s fun to stir in a couple of extra ingredients each time and see how they mix in. If you’re thinking of Friday on a compass, it has moved a few degrees towards R&B, soul and blues as opposed to some songs on earlier albums that were more poppy or Beatles-derived.” As has become the norm on Monkey House records, Friday features some notable guests. Guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs) and trumpeter Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan) have guested on previous albums and make tasteful contributions here, as does Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Ground Up artist Lucy Woodward (Rod Stewart) adds background vocals throughout, while famed vocal quartet The Manhattan Transfer add their magic to the choruses of “The Jazz Life.” Don explains, “I’m proud to say The Manhattan Transfer have been big fans of Monkey House for a while. Their presence is a major vote of confidence for me, as I’ve loved their stuff since the seventies. It’s hard to mistake the sound of those four incredible voices together.” One song sure to provoke discussion is “10,000 Hours,” described by Don as “a winking spoof” of Malcolm Gladwell’s famed maxim. “You have to do the right stuff, not just put in the time,” he stresses. The tune features both funk and Latin feels, with Lettieri soloing in both styles. Don notes, “I have a tradition of having at least one poppy, quirky, outlier track on an album. This time, it’s ‘(I Wanna Ride) Shotgun,’ which is designed to be fun and funky and stick in people’s heads.” It’s a tune as warm and breezy as a Malibu drive in a vintage convertible. Equally catchy is “I’ll Drive, You Chill,” an engaging tale of a woman leaving her “pet-friendly pharmacy” life plan behind as she takes to the road in search of adventure with a total stranger. The song vividly showcases Breithaupt’s skill in creating intriguing characters and narratives. As for the album’s title, Don explains, “As I was looking for a thread in the new material, I noticed the word Friday coming up in the lyrics. I thought, ‘This is our fifth album, and Friday is the fifth day of the week. That’s a nice tie-in.’ Plus, I was born on a Friday, and Friday is the ‘go out and enjoy’ night of the week.” The ever-increasing audience for Monkey House music is gratifying for Breithaupt. “It means I have the luxury of putting the band at the top of my work pile, where it belongs,” he stresses. “I can put in the time and try to have every record outdo the last one.” Monkey House has done exactly that with Friday, an album that rewards listening every day of the week. * Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.Find out more »
Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | 8:30pm Eilen Jewell Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 American Songwriter describes Eilen Jewell as, “one of America’s most intriguing, creative and idiosyncratic voices.” The Boise, Idaho songwriter is one of a kind. That singular voice springs forth from a woman of more than one mind, and she taps into many of them on Gypsy (August, 2019 Signature Sounds Recordings). By turns personal and political, pissed off and blissed out, Jewell’s first album of original material since 2015 expands brief moments of joy into lifetimes, and distills epic sentiments and persistent doubts into succinct songs. Jewell seamlessly blends heavy electric guitars and dirty fiddles on the rollicking country rocker “Crawl” with the sweet and understated horn section of the tender “Witness. “79 Cents (The Meow Song)” skewers sexism and discrimination with pointed humor over a circus bed of musical saw and horns. Longtime fans who love Eilen Jewell in classic country mode will delight in the pedal steel driven “These Blues” and the sole cover on Gypsy, “You Cared Enough To Lie,” written by fellow Idahoan and country legend Pinto Bennett. Rather than pulling artist and listener this way and that, the tensions within and between these twelve tracks propel Eilen Jewell’s eighth studio album forward as a remarkably cohesive full-length. * Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing feesFind out more »
Thursday, July 25, 2019 | 8:30pm SongStudio Gala Admission: FREE * *Please not that online ticket sales are not available for this workshop. Entry is FREE for everyone but to reserve seats close to the stage, please call the box office at (416) 533-5483. On Thursday, July 25, 2019, we’re hosting the annual SongStudio Gala, where participants take over the stage at Hugh’s Room Live stage for performances of the songs written or worked on during the workshop week. Up to twenty-four (24) performers will join the all-star backing band, who “wing it,” learning the songs on the fly. It makes for an exciting, unpredictable evening of music with everyone on their toes, listening all the way. For some participants, it will be their first time performing with a professional band, and for all, it will be the first time performing with THIS veteran band, who include: Allister Bradley / keyboards Steve Goldberger / bass Ryan Granville-Martin / drums In the past, workshop co-founder Rik Emmett (Triumph) was the band’s lead guitarist, but this year Rik is opting to keep it casual, and will be present for in the judging panel if his schedule allows. Meanwhile, expect to hear from several other hotshot guitarists, but workshop organizers haven’t yet made a decision about who it will be. Admission is FREE FOR EVERYONE, and while the seats must be reserved by phone, the audience is encouraged to make dinner reservations early as this annual event fills up quickly. * Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing fees.Find out more »
Friday, July 26, 2019 | 8:30pm Folklife Advance $20.00 / Door: $25.00 Jayme Stone’s Folklife treats old field recordings not as time capsules, but as heirloom seeds passed down from a bygone generation. Planting these sturdy seeds in modern soil, this versatile gathering of musicians has cultivated vibrant Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos, and stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes for contemporary listeners. Their concerts and educational programs are moving, inventive, and participatory experiences that prove folk songs are indeed perennials for the people. *Advertised pricing excludes taxes and ticketing feesFind out more »
Saturday, July 27, 2019 | 8:30PM Debi Botos Advance: $20.00 / Doors: $25.00 * From an early age, Debi Botos has cultivated an interest in Hungarian Gypsy music (where she was born). Now 23, as a self taught musician, Debi continues to explore and experiment with the sounds of the Legendary Django Reinhardt. Through gigging around the Toronto Circuit and growing up in a very musical Botos Family, she has found a sound that is both contemporary and an homage to the Greats. Debi has had amazing opportunities to meet and play with some of the most influential musicians in this style. Incorporating colourful and inventive sounds from her Hungarian Gypsy roots to the music of Django Reinhardt, she is creating a beautiful fusion of swing and free improvisational music. She will be joined by her family and good friends on stage singing and playing authentic Hungarian Gypsy folk music as well, all with a jazzy twist. Ever-evolving, Debi has written multiple compositions (that she will be debuting) infusing both these styles and creates a moving yet very enjoyable atmosphere that feel electric, traditional yet modern and continues to amaze her audiences at venues and concert halls across the country. * Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.Find out more »
RICK SCOTT with Pied Pumkin and Roots & Grooves | A celebration of Rick’s Induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame!
RICK SCOTT Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and raconteur - and Canada’s leading proponent of Appalachian mountain dulcimer -- Rick Scott has become his own genre. His gift for combining warm-hearted humour and poignant human commentary has earned him a devoted following from four generations around the world. From earliest beginnings as a street musician, over 45 years Rick has performed in 11 countries and released 18 albums honoured with three Juno nominations and WCMA, Parents’ Choice and Canadian Folk Music Awards. He’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation and curator of the tiny Protection Island Museum. Getting a star on Granville Street returns him to his roots as a busker, immortalized in Ryan Larkin’s groundbreaking 1972 animation ‘Street Musique’ in which Rick turns into a cartoon (and wrote the score). Now he’s performing with the Vancouver Island Symphony and having the time of his life playing with brilliant young keyboardist Nico Rhodes in the inter-generational duo Roots & Grooves. Join Rick Scott, Nico Rhodes, Joe Mock and Shari Ulrich for a smorgasbord of folk, blues, memories and merriment. Representatives from the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame will be there to present this iconic BC entertainer with his award. PIED PUMKIN Absolutely original and iconic pioneers of Rogue Folkishness, Vancouver's legendary trio Pied Pumkin String Ensemble have been creating vibrant infectious music since the 70s. The Pumkin have been on longtime hiatus, their last show was 7 years ago. Joe lives in France and Rick and Shari have farflung solo careers. But for one night only they’re coming together one more time to celebrate Rick’s induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, joined by young keyboard ace Nico Rhodes.They’re delighted to be welcomed back to the Rogue Folk Club to share another historic occasion. A little history: in the mid 70's Pied Pumkin's mixture of timeless music, fearless arrangements and irreverent humour defied categorization and made the group a West Coast favourite. Their combination of dulcimer, violin, guitar and flawless harmonies created a sound completely original and enduring. Their self-produced two LPs sold over 30,000 copies for their own Squash Records, one of Canada's first independent labels. After Shari's departure to join The Hometown Band in 1976, Rick and Joe continued performing and recording for eight more years as Pied Pear, then each Pumkin went on to their own successful solo career. In 1999 Pied Pumkin got back together for the first of a dozen reunion tours. Their 1998 retrospective CD 'Plucking DeVine' made CBC's Jurgen Gothe's Top Ten Album list and was nominated as Best Folk/Roots Album in the Pacific Music Industry Awards. At midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999 they played for 15,000 people, headlining Vancouver's Millennium celebration. In March 2000 they released 'Pied Alive', 13 songs recorded in 9 different communities on their hugely successful 33 concert tour of Western Canada. Their 2007 children’s CD 'Pumkids' won Parents’ Choice and Canadian Folk Music Awards. Pied Pumkin’s last tour was in 2012 when they opened the 35th Anniversary Vancouver Folk Festival. Don’t miss what might very well be the last Pied Pumkin reunion. ROOTS & GROOVES Hillbilly concertos, Appalachian grooves…Veteran dulcimer maverick and young keyboard ace join forces for an intergenerational smorgasbord of roots, rhythm and groove! What do you get when you combine a famed folkie with a rising star seasoned expertise and youthful exuberance old school groove with Broadway chops? Rick Scott and Nico Rhodes blur all boundaries. In a word, (well okay - two words) they cook! Rick Scott is legendary for his capacity to combine music and humour to uplift and refresh the human spirit. For 50 years he has entertained audiences from four generations around the world. Nico Rhodes is astonishing, a classically trained jazz pianist constantly reinventing and conjuring rhythm. At age 8 Nico wrote Rick a fan letter, and at age 23 he orchestrated Rick’s music for symphony. He’s in constant demand as an arranger and musical director for long run stage shows when not playing jazz with his own trio or touring with Rick or his mother, renowned chanteuse Joelle Rabu. Together, Rick and Nico create an alchemy of mastery and merriment that must be seen to be believed. “Incredible musicians, wonderful entertainers, Rick and Nico together are a force of nature. Their performance blew the crowd away, two standing ovations and a very happy audience.” - Whistler Arts “Rick and Nico reinvent 10. The energy they pour into their performance could light up a city. So much talent, so much joy, so much love.” - Duncan ShowroomFind out more »
Tri-Continental is a collaborative evolution that fuses the talents of three wonderful guitar-players, singers and songwriters from Canada. There are no musical boundaries present in this one-of-a-kind blues/folk/world music mélange. Tri-Continental present a truly unique - and critically acclaimed - sound that is a great success in terms of soulfulness and presence, intensity and atmosphere. Bill Bourne - vocals, acoustic guitars, fiddle Bill Bourne is a masterful guitar-player and improvisor blessed with an vocal charisma of great intensity. A popular solo artist and songwriter in his native Canada, his past work also features a stint with popular Scottish folk outfit Tannahill Weavers and others project with folk artists like fiddler Shannon Jackson. His Juno-nominated solo album Victory Train was just one of his solo releases that introduced his individuality and musical integrity to the Canadian audience. Bill Bourne is quite a character - with the everpresent black top hat as his trademark. Lester Quitzau - vocals, slide guitars, acoustic and electric guitars, kalimba Lester is of Dutch/Danish descent. He plays soulful acoustic electric folk, blues and roots music. With an understated mastery and grace, the Juno award winning musician explores the space between the notes, as much as the notes themselves. Lester’s musical roots run so deep he can craft a musical cloth that quilts together ringing peals of West African-sounding guitar with the feel of free-form jazz, threaded through with unmistakable strands of gutbucket blues. Madagascar Slim - vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, valiha Totally in line with the blues tradition, this man from Antananarivo/Madagascar has chosen a moniker as his "blues name". A Toronto resident since 1979, Randriamananjara Radofa Besata Longin (that's his full name) is a good example for a truly bi-cultural artist. The musical worlds of the Africa are certainly part of Madagascar Slim's genetic make-up as well. An expert in the popular 'Salegy' dance style featuring intricate fingerpicking patterns, his life was changed forever when coming across the music of Jimi Hendrix. He has been inflicted with the blues virus ever since. Speaking of his own music, Slim likes to use the expression "Malagassy Blues". An expression right to the point, as his playing features blues riffs and African rhythms going hand in hand. His 1999 solo effort Omnisource made waves on the Canadian blues and world music scene and he received a Juno award for it. In Tri-Continental, Slim is also featured playing the valiha, a special zither from Madagascar made from bamboo. Michael Treadway - drums, percussion, vocals Michael “Barefoot” Treadway from British Columbia has been added to the performing group. “It’s all different because of working with Michael.” explains Lester Quitzau. “He can play all the different grooves that Bill, Slim and I have in our back pockets and he glues it all together. Now it feels as if there’s no limitations rhythmically as to what we can do. He’s an amazing drummer who can seem to play anything.” Bourne agrees that Treadway — who plays a drum kit and hand percussion — is a major find. “Michael is just a fabulous guy and a great drummer, and he’s in his thirties, so it’s kind of an injection of youth into the whole equation too.” Well over a decade after their last recording, a new one has finally arrived in the form of Dust Dance, an album that picks up where 2004’s Drifting left off, seemingly without missing a beat. As Tri-Continental, they create a sound that is based in blues and is greater than the sum of its parts. With a couple of songs that are closer to world music and a couple of others that lean to folk/country, the disc has plenty of variety. A synthesis of their individual talents that should make for an exciting evening!Find out more »
SARAH JANE SCOUTEN Three-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee, Sarah Jane Scouten's music delivers a signature mix of vintage folk and country, with modern sounds and subjects. Sarah Jane is steeped in North American and British folk music from years of finding folk music at its source, from the folklorists of Vancouver Island to all-night jams in West Virginia, Sacred Harp singing in Kentucky, the song craft of Nashville, two-stepping in Louisiana and her Glasgow roots. Touring throughout North America and Europe, this seasoned performer boasts a top-notch live band and considerable acclaim for her last three full length albums. Raised in a musical family on Bowen Island BC, where harmony singing was as common as watching television, Sarah Jane commits to her roots, using her warbling voice and knack for storytelling to captivate and transport her audiences. Her songs run the emotional gamut, creating a world of characters who come alive in her often haunting, and equally whimsical ballads. Like any songwriter worthy of the name, she explores love with a fine-toothed comb, but isn't limited to romantic love. Love of a place, a time, the natural world and all its inhabitants tug at her sleeve, which she handles with equal power to delight and break a heart. Sarah Jane's upcoming fourth album Confessions, recorded in Toronto with veteran producer Andre Wahl, out soon on Light Organ Records, is a further exploration of Americana sounds and song forms. It is a collection of revelatory songs -- a series of confessions -- which valorize, condemn and eulogize the most important relationships of her life to new harrowing heights. Quotes: "Sarah Jane Scouten showcases a major talent and a whole lot of versatility." - No Depression "An agile voice, ruminative songwriting, and love for classic country, indie pop, and everything in between." - American Songwriter "Drawing upon traditional melodies that almost biologically are instantly singable, but combining them with emotions, sentiments and stories that are relatable even now. Stan Rogers was able to do it, Ron Hynes was able to do it, Kate McGarrigle was able to do it, and Sarah Jane Scouten is able to do it." - Tom Power, CBC q JOHN SMITH John Smith has built a reputation as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and songwriters. Born in Essex, raised by the Devon seaside, and making his bones in the bars and clubs of Liverpool, John has released five albums with over 10 million Spotify streams. He has played to audiences all over the world in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls. He is a genuine folksinger, an inquisitive truth-seeker, devoted song interpreter and enchanting writer. Steeped in the lineage of British folk, taking his cue from Richard Thompson and John Martyn, Smith has evolved a transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. John’s intimate takes on love, loss and the journey we make, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following. His honey-on-gravel voice and mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar are undeniable. Sometimes using a slide, sometimes with guitar on his lap, sometimes detuning mid-song, Smith’s obsession with the instrument has made a master of him. Whether by way of album or concert, he leads the listener, enthralled in his presence, on a viscerally emotional journey. A contributor and collaborator, John quickly and effortlessly earns the esteem of his comrades and heroes. He has opened for folk greats including John Martyn, Davy Graham and John Renbourn, who called John Smith “the future of folk music.” On the contemporary side, he has also opened for Iron and Wine, Tinariwen, and Ben Howard. He has guested with artists such as Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Glen Hansard and Rodney Crowell; and in his occasional role as sideman, he has played guitar for artists such as David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Lianne La Havas, Joe Henry and Joan Baez. He has released five records - his most recent “Headlong” (2017) reached #15 in the Indie Breakers chart, #1 on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart, and amassed over 10 million Spotify streams. Quotes: “The future of Folk Music” - John Renbourn “You’re smiling even as tears catch in your throat.” -Mojo “Far from the connotations his name brings, John Smith is one of a kind.” -Wonderland“Refreshing openness and honesty.” -Total Guitar “I believe in John Smith; his motivations are pure, his vision is straight, his music is honest and true.” -Kelly Joe Phelps “A guitar genius…He sounds as though he arrived 60 years ago but looks startlingly young, perched on a chair, quietly confident, charming and instantly engaging.” -The Sun “Staggeringly good.” -Acoustic MagazineFind out more »
Exclusive New Music Debut - Two Sides of Canadiana Chris Frye spreads his wings again - over a decade since his last solo release, the lead singer/guitarist and songwriter with Canadian folk-roots heroes The Bills has teamed up with some of the country’s most soulful musicians to create an energized, intelligent, soulful, fun and funky new record of his latest original compositions: Two Sides of Canadiana. Featuring an eight-piece band, including horn section, the new material is indeed separated into two sides of musical pleasure: The Heat (full-blown, good-time roots/soul), and The Chill (folksy, acoustic-based Canadiana). All with a deep focus on themes and topics that Chris sees defining this nation and his place in it. The Analog Ghosts is Chris’ umbrella name for whichever incredible musicians and singers he recruits to help him realize his latest musical vision. In this case, it’s all about Canada’s (and its southern neighbour’s) somewhat painful growth into the third decade of the 21st century. From his draft-dodging, peace-loving fiddler father to his mother’s family’s three centuries in what is now Quebec, Ontario and B.C., Chris draws upon stories and themes both old and arrestingly current to conjure up a grooving, pulsating and poetic ode to the nation he loves so dearly. This concert will be the debut of Chris’ new music, and the band will be frightfully special, including: Miguelito Valdes on trumpet: having emigrated from Cuba after touring the world with members of the Buena Vista Social Club and the Afro Cuban All-Stars, Miguelito is true super star. A mind-blowing, world class player. Brooke Maxwell on keyboards and saxophone - the composer of music for one of Canada’s best known, off-Broadway musical theatre pieces, Ride the Cyclone, Brooke is one of Chris’ dearest friends and a constant musical collaborator. Peter Dowse on bass - one of the funkiest Canadians to ever pick up a four-stringed instrument, Peter recorded for years in New York and Montreal, playing on hundreds of classic R&B, soul and funk albums. You have to hear him live to believe his soul and groove. And the list of amazing Analog Ghosts goes on. Expect a fantastic, fun, and deeply Canadian musical journey as Chris Frye and the Analog Ghosts provide an old-fashioned, light-it-up, good time, thought-provoking evening of Rogue summer magic. There will even be a few Canadian classics by other songwriters thrown into the show for good measure!Find out more »