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March 2019

Rosie & The Riveters

March 3 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PST
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$26

Rosie & the Riveters never planned to get political. But opening a newspaper or watching the news these days made it impossible to see the status of women around the world and stay silent. The result is Ms. Behave - a collection of gritty, sultry, vintage-inspired folk anthems that paint a portrait of a woman’s voice in a man’s world. Produced by Joshua Van Tassel (Rose Cousins, Sarah Slean, Great Lake Swimmers), their sophomore album loudly echoes Aretha Franklin’s demand for R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Their first single, “Let ‘em Talk”, lays down a Bill Withers-inspired groove and is a response to how women’s behavior is judged in society. A quick read through other titles like “Gotta Get Paid” and “I Wanna be King” gives an idea of what they have to say. Ms. Behave was released in April 2018 and remained in the top 10 US folk music charts for 17 weeks. It peaked at #3 on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20, and was featured in publications such as Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Parade Magazine and PopMatters. Rosie & the Riveters invests 20% of their merchandise profits into women’s projects and businesses around the world through KIVA.org. They’ve helped women like Alice in Kenya expand her horticulture farm and Maria in Ecuador purchase a sewing machine for her tailoring business. To date, they’ve contributed more than $12k to over 300 projects around the world. “Rosie & the Riveters put on one of the best live shows you’ll ever see - you’ll go home with a big smile on your face. — Rich Terfry, CBC Radio 2 

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Carlos del Junco & The Blues Mongrels

March 7 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PST
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$28

It's probably a good thing Carlos del Junco wasn't there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harp players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols ... Carlos is one of those players whose music is so advanced that when it comes to awards, it's either retire the category or rephrase the question to "Best Harmonica Player Not Named Carlos". This includes two Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen, Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada. To say he plays the harmonica is like saying that Jimi Hendrix plays guitar. He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands. Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz . The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock. 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 program, majoring in sculpture 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. Carlos is certainly not your straight-ahead blues harmonica player. He will occasionally take a blues standard and flip it upside down to breath new life into it. 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.

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Còig

March 9 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PST
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$30

With the release of the new album Rove, Nova Scotia's powerhouse Còig (KO-ig) has cemented its status as one of today’s most exciting new North American Celtic groups. With a combined total of over 30 group and solo awards and nominations, the four members of the band are already recognized as major stars of the Celtic world. Rove is drawing rave reviews from fans and critics and has recently been recognized with a 2018 East Coast Music Award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year, a 2018 Juno Award nomination, and 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award and Music Nova Scotia Award nominations. Còig's like no other, thanks to the unique mix of four different talents. They all have traditional roots, but each brings something more. Fiddler Chrissy Crowley has touches of world and contemporary music. Pianist Jason Roach has a jazz degree, Darren McMullen (guitar, banjo, mandolin, etc.) has worked everywhere from Irish to rock groups, and fiddler Rachel Davis is the most Cape Breton trad, but with folk and roots infused flavours as well. The group’s debut Five, released in June, 2014, earned them the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album of the Year, the Music Nova Scotia Award for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year, and the 2015 East Coast Music Award for Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year. That was followed by 2015’s Carols, already a yearly holiday favourite. Ask anyone who has seen them, from New England theatre stages to huge European festivals to their own beloved small halls of Cape Breton, and you'll always hear about Còig's energy. Trad fans love them of course, and the crowds are growing all the time.  "We really feed a lot on the energy we get from the crowd, everybody is hootin' and hollerin' and clappin' and stompin' and goin' on," says multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen. "We want our shows to be more where we're all just having a party together." Còig's music is a unique combination of influences that could only come from these four players. It's traditional for sure, but it's performed in a lot of non-traditional ways. "We all come from sort of a traditional background, but then we have different influences that we're interested in," explains fiddler and singer Rachel Davis. "Jason (Roach, pianist) has a jazz degree, and listens to a lot of different music. Chrissy (Crowley, fiddler) likes to dive into a lot of world music, Darren (mandolin, guitar, banjo, etc.) comes from a kind of Irish theme from playing around Halifax. More of the traditional Cape Breton stuff is really what I love, plus all the folk songs, so it's an interesting mix.” Rove sees the group move from playing all instrumentals to including several vocals, from both Davis and McMullen. Crowley says they all knew Davis had a lovely voice, but she had to be coaxed into it. "In her mind she could sing a little bit, so the songs got staggered slowly into the show. With every performance somebody would say that it adds to the energy."

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Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen | Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

March 10 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$32

ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY Some things you know are just meant to be—but even when you do, it’s nice to get some outside affirmation. So while Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were sure that their musical partnership was the right move at the right time, it was still welcome news when their debut Compass Records project, Before The Sun Goes Down, earned a nomination for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy just about the time that Ickes took leave of the band he’d been in for nearly 20 years to make the joint venture the centerpiece of his career. And with the release of their new project, The Country Blues on July 8th the pair build on the first one’s strengths to take their unique musical conversation to an even higher level. “Rob’s helping me to explore more of what to play and when to play it,” says Hensley, who’s made the transition from hot-shot guitar phenom to well-rounded instrumental and vocal powerhouse look easy. “I’ve been in a band for so long that I’m really enjoying the simplicity of the duo thing—and Trey’s done a lot of band stuff, too, so we’re on the same page,” responds Ickes, whose award-winning resonator guitar work not only helped to power famed bluegrass ensemble Blue Highway for two decades, but appears on hundreds of bluegrass and country albums. He has won a staggering FIFTEEN awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association for Dobro Player of the Year. Fun pervades their latest Compass Records release The Country Blues, even when the subject matter’s as mournful as the post-romance desolation of Hank Williams’ classic “May You Never Be Alone.” “I hate to use the word,” Ickes chuckles, “but we really did pick the material organically.   Our gigs in town have acted as a workshop—you can try something new during a show at the Station Inn and work it out right there. So when we got into the studio, we just blasted through, doing a few takes of each song, without stopping for anyone to fix anything. And then Trey and I went through the takes to make our choices.” After all, when something’s meant to be, the best thing to do is to get out of the way and let it go. I'm sure I don't make a true 'critic' since I'm already such a fan, but this album from Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley is a wonderful piece of work. And my songwriting side is truly overwhelmed. Thank you, thank you, thank you. - Merle Haggard.    FRANK SOLIVAN & DIRTY KITCHEN Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen were named IBMA’s 2016 Instrumental Group of the Year for the second time, with a third nomination in 2017. Their critically acclaimed album Cold Spell earned a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year, yet the accolades don’t end there. Solivan, with banjoist Mike Munford, 2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year, award-winning guitarist Chris Luquette and bassist Jeremy Middleton, simmer a progressive bluegrass stew of infinite instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills soon to be featured once again on their new album If You Can't Stand the Heat slated to drop January 25th, 2019. Since leaving the cold climes of Alaska for the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., Frank Solivan has built a reputation as a monster mandolinist — and become a major festival attraction with his band, Dirty Kitchen. Their respect and deep understanding of the tradition collides, live on stage, with jazz virtuosity creating an unforgettable, compelling performance. I’ll eagerly wait for Frank Solivan’s new CD. The taste I had at Saturday’s show left me wanting more. Here’s what I’d suggest. Listen, when it’s out, to Mike Munford’s fantastic instrumental, Crack of Noon. To me, it’s proof that Solivan, Munford, Chris Luquette and Jeremy Middleton are the best instrumental unit in bluegrass these days. - David Morris, Bluegrass Today. 

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Ímar

March 20 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$28

Glasgow’s hottest new folk property, five-piece Ímar have created more than a bit of a stir in little over a year since their formation. Their debut video, unleashed to the world during Celtic Connections 2016, has been viewed in excess of 200,000 times - whilst their touring credits already including the opening set at that year’s Cambridge Folk Festival (technically, the band’s first billed gig - a plaudit surely amongst as rare as they come) and headlining a stage at Belgium’s Dranouter Festival just a week later. "Energy that’s seemingly bursting to let loose" - The Herald The Irish and Manx flavoured quintet now present their debut album - Afterlight - released on January 27, 2017, at their official Celtic Connections debut in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. This ahead of a UK launch tour in April, and numerous summer festivals including Denmark’s legendary Tønder Festival where they were one of the first six names to be announced for its 2017 outing. With a line-up featuring members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk and Barrule, and a heavyweight collective haul of top prizes – including the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Musician Of The Year, 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles – the group’s formation embodies a personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene. "Exceptional" - The Living Tradition Adam Brown (bodhrán), Adam Rhodes (bouzouki), Mohsen Amini (concertina), Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes) and Tomás Callister (fiddle) share a strong background in Irish music – although only Murphy actually hails from Ireland; Rhodes and Callister are from the Isle of Man, whilst Amini is a Glasgow native, and Brown originally from Suffolk – and it is these foundations which underpin many of Ímar’s distinctive qualities, in both instrumentation and material. Ímar’s unmistakable synergy, however, centres on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language, and a similar, clearly potent, kinship endures between their musical traditions. "Genuinely jaw-dropping collective virtuosity" ***** The Scotsman AWARDS 2018 Musician of the Year BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018 Horizon Award BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 Folk Band Of The Year MG Alba Scots Trad Awards 2016 Musician of the Year BBC Radio Scotland 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award

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Paul Pigat’s Boxcar Campfire

March 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$24

Originally created as a way of “bringing it down a bit”, Boxcar Campfire has taken on a life of its own as this new recording and touring project allows a more reflective and insular shade of Paul Pigat’s creativity to come into play. Those with sharp ears will hear snatches of everything from Debussy to Jimmy Rogers blues inflections thrown into the mix, but — as always — the sounds Pigat creates are all his own. Blessed with a jazz man’s sheen, a rockabilly heart and a hobo’s soul, there aren’t many genres of music that don’t pull at Pigat’s wayfaring imagination like a magnet. With long gone days of railroad steam trailing out back of his head as he sings of possums in the pot and holes in his heart, this music gets you in the mood to hit the open road. Set for release on March 22, 2019, The Game is Paul’s second instalment of what will be the Boxcar Campfire trilogy. Full of imagery of the open road and a rapscallion’s slant on the human condition, Pigat takes the listener on an acoustic journey with a distinctly bluesy tinge filled with humour and insight. With Pigat on vocals, guitars and harmonicas, with special guest Marc L’Esperance on additional vocals and percussion, 'The Game' features seven originals and three reimagined and exceptionally creative covers, including a brilliant rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. The Boxcar Campfire trilogy was born in 2009 with the self titled first solo recording Paul Pigat’s Boxcar Campfire. It gained critical acclaim and was a unexpected departure from Pigat’s more well known alter ego, Cousin Harley. The Game is a direct continuation of that first recording but with a distinctly more satirical flavour. Reminiscent of the great works of Hoyt Axton and Randy Newman, Pigat’s latest offering is stripped down, sometimes introspective, sometimes humorous and always entertaining.

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Kat Danser & The Tall Tales … with Steve Dawson

March 22 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$24

Kat Danser’s music is a steel belted radial easily flexing between a dusty gravel road and a fresh coat of asphalt. True to her Polish-Gypsy heritage, Danser is in perpetual motion and her swampy roots and blues style is a fine-tuned reflection of life lessons from the road. Edmonton’s Kat Danser doesn’t just play the blues - she studies it, lives it, breathes it and elevates it from sweaty, smoky beer joints to elegant centre stage in the finest of concert halls. Her sweet vocals, lyrical genius, and instrumental prowess beautifully combine with her sharp wit and commanding stage presence to deliver unfailingly memorable live performances. Her fifth album, Goin’ Gone, is a collaboration between Danser and multi Juno award winning producer Steve Dawson and is on Black Hen Music and distributed by True North Records. This recording is a highly energetic album that sits the listener right beside her on the vinyl seat of a 1949 Ford Lead Sled as she rolls and rumbles through the Deep South, USA. It celebrates her passion for the roots of blues music and her achievements as a graduate student at the University of Alberta where she has now officially become Dr. Kat Danser with a PhD in Ethnomusicology. A national touring and award-winning artist, Danser has performed at the 25th Anniversary of Canadian Women in Blues at Massey Hall in Toronto, the Calgary International Blues Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Calgary Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Folk on the Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, Regina Folk Festival, Saskatoon Blues Festival, Lethbridge Jazz Festival, Vancouver Island MusicFest, The Winspear Centre’s ‘Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts’, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Harmony Bazaar Festival, Mountainview Music Festival, Islands Music Festival, and the Winter Roots & Blues Festival. Her accolades have been many. Danser is a three time nominee for a Western Canadian Music Award and a national Maple Blues Award - Best New Artist of the Year, winner of the Ambassador of the Blues Award (Blues Underground Network) and the International Blues Competition Best Independent Blues Album, as well as being voted to have made one of the Top 5 Roots & Blues Albums of 2014 (CBC Radio & Blues Underground Network). Kat Danser is also a nationally award winning scholar and has presented at conferences throughout North America. She combines her performance and education skills to assist community building between marginalized peoples and educational institutions. Toward that end, Danser has been the Artist in Residence at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts (Calgary), facilitated music and healing at the U-School Program for Marginalized Youth and the Foothills Youth Psychiatric School, and instructs her own Music Education Program across the lifespan from elementary schools to adult instructional camps. Danser’s primary goal is to use music as a space for personal exploration and as a method to strengthen intercultural relationships. The show is on the road, and coming to Vancouver. This will be a special night, as producer Steve Dawson himself will leading the band on the CD release show. This is a rare opportunity to see the prodigal son return, as his move to Nashville has precluded the Vancouverites from hearing him around here much any more.

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Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman

March 29 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm PDT
St. James Hall, 3214 W. 10th Ave.
Vancouver, British Columbia V6K 2L2 Canada
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$28

The celebrated virtuoso partnership of “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland On Sunday) and “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fRoots), has by now brought its special musical vision to venues large and small - from the tiniest of historic churches in England, Germany and Italy to palaces in Kyoto and Istanbul, London’s Barbican, Sydney Town Hall and the Philharmonie in Cologne – in twenty-two countries on five continents. Their performances - described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music” - are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous: a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit. They've made many appearances on TV and radio and their busy touring schedule has brought them to twenty-one countries on five continents. Máire and Chris made their début as a duo on the main stage at the 1987 Cambridge Folk Festival. Highlights from their career since then include a 1988 tour of Australia as special guests of Siamsa Tíre - the Irish National `Folk Theatre - in celebration of Australia's Bicentennial, at the invitation of Bob Hawke, then Prime Minister of Australia; a concert in the Ottoman Çiragan Palace as part of the Istanbul Harp Encounter in 2010; a concert with revered Japanese percussionist Stomu Yamashta and Ensemble Kabul in Nijo Castle (the Shogun's Palace), Kyoto, Japan; many wonderful trips to Italy; a magical concert at the castle in Malcesine, Italy, overlooking a moonlit Lake Garda; four Irish Folk Festival tours of Germany in the late 80s and early 90s; four major tours of Australasia as part of the Guinness Celebration of Irish Music. Guinness Australia issued a special edition of their can for the Guinness Celebration of Irish Music tour of Australasia 1990, showing Máire and Chris’s names and listing all the very prestigious tour venues! More recently, their schedule has included headlining appearances at festivals in New Zealand (Whare Flat Folk Festival), Ireland (The Gathering Festival) and the USA (North Texas Irish Festival), and extensive touring there and in the UK. They toured in Australia (twice), the USA (four times), Canada, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and the UK, performing at thirty-seven festivals. What's Been Said: “Music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music” - THE IRISH TIMES (Ireland) “Did things I have never heard a harp do before... Astonishing... an extraordinary event” - CLASSICAL GUITAR (UK) “Their blinding technique, sizzling Irish reels and hot jazz improvisation brought an extended standing ovation... Newman has the great gift of being informative and hilarious simultaneously” - THE WEST AUSTRALIAN “This celebrated duo took the place by storm. Stately Carolan tunes, jazzy Django-ish numbers, dazzling Doc Watson style flat picking fliers, driving Irish dance tunes - this pair can nonchalantly do the lot. Guitar players applauded and went sadly home to burn their instruments!” - THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH (Ireland) “So moving - technical brilliance and beauty that brings tears to the eyes" - IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE "The mood is ever changing - sometimes haunting, sometimes boisterous but always magical. The pair's imaginations know no bounds..." - THE BRISBANE COURIER-MAIL "Spectacularly good and technically brilliant guitar and traditional Irish harp duo at the forefront of the renaissance of Celtic music. Simply stunning" - TIME OUT "I watched (with a mixture of fascination, awe and sheer delight) as their fingers danced on the strings, weaving strands of melody together like ivory spiders on speed. Their introductions to the various pieces were every bit as delightful in their own right as the music itself. I found myself wishing they could stay, and not for musical reasons; their personalities are every bit as charming off stage as on. I think they took a bit of my heart with them when they left. May they return with it soon." - HARP BEAT (San Francisco)

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