Waskasoo Bluegrass bows out with a concert

This weekend, the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society wraps up 11 years of presenting the best of bluegrass with Nova Scotia’s The Spinney Brothers.

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This weekend, the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society wraps up 11 years of presenting the best of bluegrass with Nova Scotia’s The Spinney Brothers.

Sunday evening’s concert will be the final Waskasoo Bluegrass concert, and all are encouraged to take in what may well be a last chance to hear professional bluegrass at Red Deer’s Elks Lodge on Oct. 23.

Tickets on sale at 53rd Street Music, Parkland Mall, The Key Hole, Jackson’s Pharmasave in Innisfail, and at the door.

Tonight, New Brunswick’s Ross Neilsen brings his rocking blues trio to The Hideout. Next weekend, local talent is featured at The Hideout: Steve Arsenault is playing Friday and The Boom Chucka Boys Saturday. Into November, look for Dustin Bentall (Nov. 4), Tom Wilson (Nov. 5), The F-Holes (Nov. 9), Tim Hus (Nov. 11), and The Wailin’ Jennys’ Ruth Moody (Nov. 13).

Speaking of Hus, the country singer brings his trio to the annual Jeans Joint SpookFest the afternoon of Oct. 30. Tickets for this house concert are available by calling 403.357.4728.

The Vat features blues from The Dream Band Oct. 27; with Robbie Laws, Tim Williams, Steve Pineo, and others, this should be a lively evening.

Continuing the tradition of ‘First Friday of the month’ concerts at The Hub on Ross, Calgary’s After the Storm, featuring former members of The Wild Colonial Boys, appears Nov. 4. After the Storm is the Calgary Folk Club’s House Band and these veterans of the Alberta roots community are joined by Sylvan Lake’s Ruined Escape Plan.

For tickets and information, contact 403.340.4869.

This week’s disc reviews:

Matt Andersen

Coal Mining Blues

Busted Flat Records

Matt Andersen, the larger-than-life blues singer and guitarist from New Brunswick, has released the album that we’ve known he’s had in him.

Featuring a strong, focused sound— without doubt influenced by producer Colin Linden — Coal Mining Blues is a more thoughtfully executed project than some of Andersen’s earlier releases, albums that sometimes suffered from too much flash and showmanship.

As a result, the best songs, including originals Fired Up, I Work Hard for the Luxury, Home Sweet Home (featuring Garth Hudson), and the title track- are more complete in their execution, but are not dramatically superior to the songs that ‘fill-out’ the disc.

Start to finish, this is a very strong roots album. Charlie Rich’s Feel Like Going Home brings the album to a powerful yet restrained close, revealing Andersen’s growing maturity as a singer and artist. (www.StubbyFingers.ca)

Dehlia Low

Ravens & Crows

Rebel Records

In a year that has revealed an incredible wealth of bluegrass, acoustiblue, and jamgrass recordings from youthful performers — among them Bearfoot, 23 String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, April Verch, and Sierra Hull — the strongest of the bunch may belong to North Carolina’s Dehlia Low.

Fronted by the beautifully-voiced Anya Hinkle, this five-piece’s sound has been described as Appalachiagrassicana and that about covers it.

With roots in bluegrass and mountain music, this smooth-sounding outfit doesn’t just sing about little cabins, faithlessness, and Glory; their approach blends acoustic country and bluegrass into a fresh-sounding, banjo-less amalgam that is bright and firm, revealing a mettle that is as impressive as it is non-traditional. (www.DehliaLow.com)

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 fervorcoulee@shaw.ca