Search

DanStYves.com

Pluck, Strum, Plunk & Bow Stroke: Roots, Folk, Blues & Americana

Category

Live Music

Roots Resonator (finally) launched!

Ellen-Portraits-Color-11

Dan St.Yves’ Roots Resonator

 

I’ve been grappling with trying to get all of my social media/websites links under one umbrella, and I’m still working on that 🙂

However, I’m happier with THIS site than I have been, and my scattergun approach with interviews finally has a new name – Roots Resonator. I launched that the other week with an interview ahead of Ellen Doty‘s appearance at Bragg Creek Performing Arts.

Still have work to do, but I am determined to get this stuff together, so that people don’t have to stumble upon it simply by luck and pluck…

Check out the feature I did on Ellen for my online Calgary Herald space!

Gordon Lightfoot In Pictures

IMG_4055

One of Canada’s greatest treasures, shaving off just a few chips from an ice cube atop his massive iceberg of a career last night.

Of all the treasured memories, the most poignant had to be “If You Could Read My Mind”, made infinitely more poignant by his frailty.

IMG_4051

IMG_4058

IMG_4061

The 12-string used to play "Early Morning Rain"
The 12-string used to play “Early Morning Rain”

 

Buddy Guy @ The Deerfoot Inn

IMG_4019

 

Buddy Guy

Deerfoot Inn & Casino

What a night – a relaxed and playful legend absolutely , winning over the audience as he paid tribute to fellow guitar slingers throughout his own showcase.

Here’s a few pictures…

You had to be there…

Micah Barnes’ “New York Stories” (reviewed)

micah-album

Opening up with the title track of his new album, Micah Barnes foreshadows the intricate sounds that pervade every moment of his lush latest release New York Stories. Unlike a bevy of contemporaries that have chosen to interpret the classic American songbook, Barnes sets about establishing his own foothold in the genre – with considerable authority.

Building on the opener’s atmosphere that frankly sets the bar well over the moon, After The Romance then transports listeners back to an intimate piano bar or nightspot of yesterday, when you still had smoke swirling around the candles on the tables. While times have happily changed enough to see the tobacco smoke gone, it is a testament to the strength of this genre that the timeless music is still so very welcome today.

Starting Tomorrow is the sort of classic that Elvis might have included in his latter ’60’s cover selections, as he moved towards interpreting broader influences outside his own rock and country roots. Harlem Moon showcases Barnes’ vocals, and the shuffling I’m Going Back To My Used To Be is the sort of song that Tony Bennett would have worked up one side and down the other, had he the opportunity to have done so.

I’ve only just mentioned half of the ten tracks, but each one goes forth to validate the prudent decision for Barnes to recreate the era, rather than cover Fly Me To The Moon for the umpteenth time.

Quoting a snippet from a press release, it didn’t take long for listeners and critics alike to embrace this collection. “Following the release of the title track and the first single in April 2014, New York Story reached Number One in Canada and Top 20 on the U.S. iTunes jazz charts, which resulted in Barnes being named the Toronto Indie Music Awards as best Jazz Act of 2014. The full release debuted at Glenn Gould Studio, May 3, 2015.”

The authentic feel is certainly reinforced by the inspiration for the project – while Barnes was romancing his partner (who was working on Broadway at The Palace Theatre) they lived in an  apartment on Lenox Avenue in Harlem, right on the site of the legendary Savoy Ballroom, just a few blocks from the Apollo Theatre. Barnes went a step further by renting an hourly piano studio off Times Square to sketch the songs that would become New York Stories. The results speak for themselves, as the piano players and crooners of the day did back then.

In short, the recording oozes the legendary musical heritage of a New York City that spoke on behalf of an entire country, if not the globe, along with the era that it pays ample tribute to. Whether you’re a fan of modern day jazz artists like Diana Krall or the original signatories to the enduringly popular soundtrack of America, Barnes proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he belongs in the company of any of the greats in his genre.

By the time I’ve Been Awake Too Long comes along, you will wonder which of these songs will be lovingly covered by another artist in the decades to come.

Micah Barnes, New York Stories

Brent Tyler, LeE HARVeY OsMOND Links, Plus Pics

I’ll be posting reviews here soon of the brand-new CDs from Calgary’s Brent Tyler (Love Myself) and LeE HARVeY OsMOND aka Tom Wilson (Beautiful Scars), but first off, here’s links to their recent show at Bragg Creek Performing Arts, along  with a couple of stellar pics courtesy of Chris Bone Photography.

Click here for the preview from my online feature in The Calgary Herald. Sure, it’s already happened, but I think there’s still some good info on both artists!

Brent Tyler, Courtesy Chris Bone Photography
Brent Tyler, Courtesy Chris Bone Photography

Click here for my review of the show, again from my online space in The Calgary Herald

Tom Wilson, aka LeE HARVeY OsMOND, courtesy Chris Bone Photography
Tom Wilson, aka LeE HARVeY OsMOND, courtesy Chris Bone Photography

As well, here are direct links to my full audio interviews with Brent Tyler and Tom Wilson, which can also be downloaded for free from iTunes – ThatDanGuy’s Podcast.

Enjoy! Check back in a few days, and I’ll hope to have those CD reviews posted…

Ringo At The Palms

OK, in my defence, I had been following the latest All-Star Band tour details from Ringo’s site, and the LAST DAY of his 2015 tour was supposed to be at the Palms in Vegas, which is why we decided to go catch it there. I’ve missed him before, most recently in Calgary a few years ago, and I wasn’t about to miss out again.

Two days after we get back to Alberta, dates are announced for Edmonton, and…freakin’ Calgary – go figure?

Well, who knew?

I had approached his publicist to try and line up a brief interview while I was there, but no response. I’ve got a broader piece for my Calgary Herald blog, reflecting on his first solo release post-Beatles, and his upcoming Postcards From Paradise.

Screenshot 2015-03-22 10.19.23

Ringo Starr, the only other surviving Beatle I had yet to see perform live, and man, he did not disappoint, not even one iota. An amazing show – actually a bit like going to a festival of sorts, with his All-Starr Band bringing together a stellar lineup of classic rockers and artists I would have happily seen otherwise. Todd Rundgren, Santana co-founder Gregg Rolie, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Mr Mister’s Richard Page, Gregg Bissonette & Warren Ham – each getting to showcase several of their own biggest hits alongside Starr’s catalogue from the past 40+ years – astounding!

IMG_3908

The setlist is available online, but the show itself clocked in around 2.5 hours – Ringo only snuck off during one song, the rest of the time he was singing himself, or drumming along to classic rock hits like Evil Ways, Africa, Love Is The Answer, Hold The Line and so many more.

From his own library (as well as from his time with The Beatles and Rory Storm & The Hurricanes) we were treated to It Don’t Come Easy, Boys, Honey Don’t, and the rousing singalong Yellow Submarine.

IMG_3903

 

For a longtime fan, you couldn’t complain, let alone coming away with the added bonus of some of the biggest hits of the 70’s and 80’s from the original artists. Pretty darn cool by any standard.

IMG_3886

Steve Lukather was killer on guitar riffs and his own hits with Toto – Africa, Rosanna and Hold The Line. In our VIP box we had a group of young fans that were really getting into the show themselves, and towards the end one of the guys confided that his one friend there was Lukather’s daughter.

IMG_3883

Gregg Rolie was at the top of his game on hits from Santana, where he was the original vocalist – Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman, and Oye Como Va – a big part of my teen years’ listening!

IMG_3881

We had also missed Todd Rundgren when he was here in Calgary a couple of years ago, but he did some fine work on I Saw The Light, Bang The Drum All Day and Utopia’s Love Is The Answer

IMG_3896

I’ve read reviews that griped about Mr. Mister’s Richard Page being part of this ensemble, but he was terrific, and it was fun to hear Broken Wings, Kyrie, and a more recent solo track, You’re Mine. Kudos also to Warren Hamm and Gregg Bissonette!

 

IMG_3921

 

It may have been a long wait, but the show was unreal and surreal. Big part of my musical history came alive. Thanks Ringo – I’ll have a broader piece soon to link to…

20150330_010309000_iOS

“Me & The Mrs” CD Release Party, a review, photos – and a surprise podcast

Me & The Mrs
Me & The Mrs

Made my way out to Rosebud, Alberta last night for the CD release party of Me & The Mrs “The Frogs Sang Symphonies”. Although I wasn’t able to stay to the end, what I did see was really a delight, having enjoyed their new CD very much since getting an advance copy before interviewing them for a feature in my Calgary Herald blog.

Paul Zacharias
Paul Zacharias

On that, I also discovered over the weekend that my recording of that phone interview worked out to have some pretty good sound quality, so I have added that to my podcast series – I hope they don’t mind 🙂

The Frogs Sang Symphonies is the result of the couple (Paul & Heather Zacharias) getting a RAWLCO radio grant to support the cost of recording, which took them to my hometown of Winnipeg to make the CD with John Paul Peters of Private Ear Recording.

Heather Zacharias
Heather Zacharias

The outcome from that session is a heartfelt effort with lush and varied instrumental additions that don’t overpower their sound.  Lonesome pedal steel sounds that would be right at home on a Hank Williams track back their patriotic reflection of touring in Oh Canada. A Prophet Has No Honour bursts into a rising crescendo of  horns above the traditional folk sounds.

Their harmonies are perfect on the beautiful Yours Anyway – the melodies as captivating as the lyrics, songs like that particular one keenly reflecting their deeply rooted folk influences. Throughout the entire disc really, the two reflect back their life in the sights and sounds of a smaller community, with eyes that have seen the rest of the country and its people with insight and commonality. Lyrically, Zacharias has a gift of the storyteller and the composer – a nice combination to bring to your craft in this sort of career endeavour.

Having attended the launch for the new CD, I forgot completely having previewed their first release The Ghosts Of What Became from their website (you can order both albums there directly, and the latest is a digital download in iTunes). My misfortune, I failed to snag a copy.

IMG_2284

IMG_2287

 

From that disc at the show last night, they told the story behind Listening To That Sound, a poignant enough track as it is, but even more touching when you know where it came from.

The release party also featured a couple of additional musicians (banjo & violin) backing Me & The Mrs to help recreate the sounds on the CDs, and three warmup performers, Cassia Schramm, Travis Friesen and Natalie Inga – there must be something in the water out there in Rosebud – too bad I didn’t have a chance to try a glass myself before I headed back to Calgary…

IMG_2270 IMG_2272 IMG_2274

Check out my pre-launch feature from the Calgary Herald blog by clicking that hyperlink above, and listen to the audio podcast as well. You can also download that for free in iTunes (ThatDanGuy’s Podcast).

Visit Me & The Mrs online to find out even more – you will not regret picking up either of these albums of rising Canadian folk talent.

In & Around Cowtown: March 6, 7, 8

Looking to catch some live entertainment this weekend?

How about:

Woody  – the story of an adult Pinocchio and what happened to the puppet who wanted to be a boy after the blue fairy granted his wish. For more info visit Birnton Theatricals website. Runs tonight and tomorrow (afternoon and evening) at Arts Commons, formerly The Epcor Centre For The Performing Arts.

MG3 (Montreal Guitar Trio) – internationally acclaimed guitar ensemble appearing at Bragg Creek Performing Arts. Click here for my preview and interview with member Marc Morin. Times and ticket info on the BCFA website.

Me & The Mrs. – CD launch party in Rosebud Sunday night. On their website, click to “Shows” for more information. Click here for my preview interview.

Steven: The Steven Truscott Story – continues at The Pumphouse, presented by Workshop Theatre. A compelling story of the Canadian justice system’s shameful treatment of a wrongfully accused teenager, and his 48 year battle to clear his name. Links to interviews, preview and review. NOTE: most nights sold out.

And Then The Lights Went Out – continues at Stage West Calgary. A popular fiction writer battles a heat wave and writer’s block in this Alberta-based comedy thriller. Click here for review and interview links.

Awesome Allie First Kid Astronaut – Storybook Theatre presents an adventure that’s out of this world – a normal kid heads into outer space! Visit Storybook’s website for times and tickets, opens tonight!

That’s a handful of what’s going on in and around Calgary – get out and support live theatre and live music!!

MG3-ma préférée

Recession-Era string band making timely visit for Alberta’s tough times

GuyForsyth2_photocreditMattSturtevart

 

You just can’t make this stuff up, – or realistically plan to have this sort of thing happen even coincidentally. Consider how far out a club typically likes to plan their season, and similarly imagine how much a touring act has to consider their own schedule.

There likely could not have been any possible way that the Calgary Folk Club’s Artistic Director Suze Casey would have booked a Recession-era string band for a show in Calgary, just as the province is slipping into an economic downturn.

Sometimes these things just sort of work out for themselves.

Guy Forsyth enthusiastically fronts a creative and diverse collective of acoustic performers known as The Hot Nut Riveters, billed as Texas’ original Recession-era string band. A quick perusal of their website videos confirms that the musicians are truly top-notch, but the magic with this group I would bet is the show, live and unpredictable. In the moment.

This is show business. We’re entertainers, we want to take them somewhere, Forsyth explained during a phone interview.

Indeed, you’re unlikely to see the dizzying assortment of creative instruments alone during their performance of songs dating back decades, if not over a hundred years. Forsyth even declined to let me in on what one of those possible instruments might be – but based on his mention of it, I’d bet on there being an appearance. He did confide that touring with a saw isn’t as easy as it used to be…

1

You are sure to see a wide assortment of folk acoustic guitars, banjos and more. Their repertoire (based on listening to recent CD Moustache Girl) plays like an amalgam of Spike Jones, early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Old Crow & The Medicine Show, along with even some Marty Robbins and influences of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. All that, along with a healthy dose of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, if that was moved from Minnesota to The Ozarks for a chautauqua show.

High Resolution Photo (Pledge)

Also on the bill Friday night, local singer/songwriter Scott MacKay will be fulfilling a bucket wish list item he’s had since discovering the club, and attending some shows there. He is humbled by the opportunity to have been asked to play there, and is truly jazzed for his slot on the schedule this season.

Originally from PEI, this transplanted Alberta poet with six strings conjures up memories of musical greats, elements of Sun Records-era Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Ricky Nelson. His songs are lush, heartfelt and rich of voice – that is to say, both as a vocalist, and as a songwriter.

Interestingly, the common denominator for both these artists is the changing face of the music business. Forsyth admitted it isn’t as easy as it used to be to eke out a living as a musician, and appreciates anyone that leaves the comfort of their sofa to come see the band’s shows.

MacKay is over 40% on the way to his own target to funding his next CD on PledgeMusic – so (brief sermon here) maybe support these artists when they tour – come see the shows, and buy their music. It’s a small investment to keep extremely talented musicians in the game, with huge returns for you and the artists.

Or, keep saying you hate Nickelback and ensure that you’ve remembered to pirate their latest album online…your call.

The Hot Nut Riveters, along with leader Guy Forsyth will be here in Calgary Friday night for an appearance at the Calgary Folk Club, along with Scott Mackay.

Listen to my entire interview with Guy Forsyth, and my interview with Scott MacKay on my podcast site, or download them for free from iTunes (ThatDanGuy’s Podcast). Both are very eloquent, and share much more about what they are doing.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑