An eventful few weeks on the roots music front are coming our way.
Tonight, the long-awaited appearance of The Shaman is scheduled for the Matchbox Theatre. Latin rhythms will emanate from the guitars of Calgarians Mauricio Moreno and Manuel Jara. Tickets available at the box office and — perhaps — at the door.
The Lester Quitzau Trio returns to Red Deer on Jan. 29 for an Elks Hall performance; the remarkable Alberta native presents blues, rock and jazz sounds that remain popular. Tickets at the Black Knight Inn and Valhalla Pure Outfitters.
The following evening, on Jan. 30, New Brunswick’s very impressive Matt Andersen appears at The Vat. Andersen performs original material and intense interpretations of rock and blues standards. Andersen’s powerful delivery goes over equally well whether one is familiar with his material or is experiencing him for the first time.
Songwriter and singer Sam Baker returns to Alberta on Feb. 14 and makes his Red Deer debut at The Matchbox with Gurf Morlix serves as sideman. When I picked up my ticket at the theatre last week there were still some available, but I wouldn’t wait too long; expect this concert to sell out.
on Feb. 26, Ian Tyson visits the Memorial Centre with tickets available at the Black Knight Inn outlet.
Tickets for bluegrass stars Lonesome River Band — appearing at Festival Hall on Feb. 28 — are available from Gale at 403-347-1363 and will be at the usual outlets soon.
Finally, Alberta bluesman Mark Sterling brings his Songs of John Lennon show to the Matchbox on March 6.
This week’s disc review:
The Wheat Pool
Sounding like Elvis Perkins after spending a train ride being tutored in wordsmithing by Tom Russell and in melody from Chris Stamey, Edmonton’s The Wheat Pool has garnered positive press from publications far beyond our province’s borders.
Their sweeping amalgamation of rock, country, blues and folk influences place the Canadiana quartet firmly at the fore when one considers premier roots outfits.
For the uninitiated, The Wheat Pool’s second album contains not only evidence of development since their impressive debut two years ago, but is a refinement of a mature and distinctive sound.
It is a harder album, one that endures comparisons to Canadian bands including The Western States and The Deep Dark Woods while holding up to notables including Son Volt and Wrinkle Neck Mules.
Hauntario’s 11 tracks explore personalities, relationships, and places from a Canadian perspective. Guitar-based, the sounds created by this quartet fronted by brothers Robb and Mike Angus inspire images of lush prairie land and cityscapes stained by dark remnants of failed and lost love. Crazy Horse rumblings within tracks such as This Is It and Evangeline and the free-spirited minimalism of Nervous Bird further illuminate influences.
This one has been out for a couple months and sends out vibes that resonate long after initial listens.
It is an album that one appreciates more as time passes, as the intricate compositions become familiar and ingrained.
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 email@example.com