Like their root vegetable cousins, roots musicians tend to produce in the autumn; a slate of live shows provide the harvest.
Next weekend, St. James Gate celebrates the release of their new album License to Kilt at the Blarney Stone North.
A wee céilidh is sure to break out as the boys bring their lively blend of Celtic and eastern sounds to the pub.
Make sure you pick up a copy of the disc while you’re there — it is a fine keeper!
Bluegrass with Edmonton’s Bix Mix Boys at the Lacombe Memorial Centre on Sept. 12 with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets at the door will be $10.
Also on Saturday, Sept. 12, The Bop Ensemble — Bill Bourne, Jas Ohlhauser and Wyckham Porteous — visit the Matchbox. Guests Scott Cook and Jesse Dee & Jacquie B round out an evening’s entertainment. Tickets at Ticketmaster.
Featuring Lynn Miles, Melanie Doane, Annabelle Chvostek, and Catherine MacLellan, The Sirens of Song songwriter circle comes to the Memorial Centre on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with tickets available from the Black Knight Inn ticket outlet.
The Kathy Kallick Band comes to town on Friday, Sept. 25, for the first Waskasoo Bluegrass concert of the season.
The very talented group is augmented on this night with guest fiddler Laurie Lewis, herself a star on the bluegrass circuit.
Tickets for this Elks Lodge performance are available at several area outlets including 53rd Street Music, The Red Deer Book Exchange, and Jackson’s Pharmasave in Innisfail.
Finally, country stars George Jones (Oct. 15), Brooks & Dunn (Oct. 22), and Alan Jackson (Nov. 20) appear at the Centrium.
This week, two Canadian blues album reviews:
Nanaimo-based David Gogo is a veteran on the Canadian blues circuit and he returns this fall with his 10th album of electric guitar-oriented shuffles and R&B boogie dance tunes.
The originals are power blues-rockers of the finest sort, with changes of tempo that encourage air-guitar miming from listeners and vocal arrangements that recall Tom Wilson (Where the Devil Won’t Go) and Carlos Santana (Lies). Different Views is soaring voices, power chords and waves of organ, tightly arranged for maximum impact.
A pair of crack covers — Don’t Bring Me Down, owing as much to David Johansen as it does Eric Burden, and John Stewart’s Gold — serve as recognizable anchors. The 1979 hit receives a vital update, with Gogo’s whammy bar altering the familiar melody and Carolyn Mark holding her own in Stevie Nicks’ harmony spot.
Different Views is a blues album that holds up to repeated listens.
Songs from the Road
During his life, I largely ignored Jeff Healey, the Toronto blues and jazz guitarist who died in early 2008. While friends were grooving to his radio hits, I was busy with John Hiatt, Dave Alvin and the Razorbacks.
This seamless set, collated from festival and club appearances during the last two years of his life, serves as a solid introduction to the bluesy side of Healey while providing longtime followers much to savour.
Showcasing the breadth of Healey’s gifts, most tracks clock in at over five minutes, allowing these roadhouse jams to evolve. I Think I Love You Too Much and Angel Eyes represent Healey hits, while the catalogues of Cream, Willie Dixon, The Beatles and The Allman Brothers are expressively mined by Healey’s impressive band of blues brothers.
Songs from the Road is a fine addition to the Jeff Healey legacy.
Donald Teplyske is a local freelance writer who contributes a twice-monthly column on roots music; visit fervorcoulee.wordpress.com for additional reviews. If you know a roots music event of which he should be aware, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org