Dakh Daughters Debut at The Cultch

Part of The Cultch Femme Series, Dakh Daughters it making its Canadian debut at York Theater until January 19, 2019.

Dakh Daughters
Dakh Daughters photo: Tetiana Vasylenko

The cabaret-style performance sees six performers from Kyiv’s Dakh Theatre, taking the stage to create a unique evening of genre-bending music. The Dakh Daughters rotate through a wide variety of instruments; wind, percussion, keyboards and strings. Sung mostly in Ukrainian, and bits of English and French, with English surtitles, the traditional Ukrainian folk, pop, and original works songs are arranged to blend a diverse range of styles. Ballads bleed into rock, rap mixes with pop and reggae lends its beats, to create a weirdly satisfying cacophony of sounds. As with the music, the sextet’s costume changes take them from a start as hip babushkas with hints of DEVO, to burlesque-punk divas, stylish sirens, and political patriots.

Talking about the performance doesn’t do the rock-opera justice, there’s no way to describe the connection the music had with the audience. The opening night audience seemed to have a number of Ukrainian fans who connected to the music, singing along with the tunes, acknowledging the topics. An audience member near me went from laughing with the lyrics to being in tears during one of the heartfelt ballads.

Dakh Daughter
Dakh Daughters photo: Igor Gaidai

During the show’s encore the Dakh Daughters were very thankful to their first Canadian show and felt the audience was receptive enough to draw attention to the Crimean conflict and Oleg Sentsov, and other Ukrainian political prisoners being held in Russia.

Dakh Daughters; Natalia Charpe, Nina Garenetska, Nataliya Halanevych, Tetiana Havrylyuk, Solomiia Melnyk, Ganna Nikitina, take the stage at the York Theatre January 15 – 19, 2019. Visit thecultch.com for tickets and more information.

Vancouver Folk Music Festival Debuts 2018 Line Up

From July 13 to 15, 2018, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will once again take over Jericho Beach Park.  The 42nd Annual Festival brings folk fans, friends and families, another line-up of the best of traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the world.

Neko Case

Legends, up and comers, deliver global rhythms, from the likes of Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Rodney Crowell and James McMurtry; to The Dead South, Carole Pope and Archie Roach or Ranky Tanky, Wazimbo & Banda Kakana and Dakhabrakha.  The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has an extraordinary range of cultures and genres on stage – a gathering of sound, sight and experience you simply won’t see anywhere else.

The line up for The 2018 Festival includes;

Ry Cooder

Art Bergmann, Wallis Bird, Mariel Buckley Band, Steph Cameron, Neko Case, Ry Cooder, Joachim Cooder, Rodney Crowell, Alex Cuba, DakhaBrakha, Dálava, Darlingside, Guy Davis, The Dead South, Las Estrellas de Vancouver, Mick Flannery, Dori Freeman, Gamelan Bike Bike, Ilaria Graziano e Francesco Forni, Gordon Grdina’s Haram, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Iskwé, Kacy & Clayton, Martin Kerr, Ezra Kwizera, Grant Lawrence and Friends, Little Miss Higgins, John Lowell Band, A Familia Machado, James McMurtry, Melingo, Mike Munson, Murfitt and Main, Dawn Pemberton, Petunia and the Vipers, Carole Pope, Les Poules a Colin, Professor Banjo & Estro Jennies, Quantum Tangle, Ranky Tanky, Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys, Archie Roach, Small Glories, Son de Madera, Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Leonard Sumner, Three Women and the Truth, Viper Central, Skye Wallace, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana, Donovan Woods

See for yourself why readers of The Georgia Straight has voted the Vancouver Folk Music Festival “Best Local Music Festival” 6 years in a row.
Discounted early bird weekend passes are on sale now for the 2018 Vancouver Folk Music Festival until May 11th

Texas Troubadours sing-along at Chan Centre

This week, the Chan Centre for Performing Arts held a hootenanny as a trio of Texas Troubadours – Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Carrie Rodriguez took the stage.

The Chan Centre’s stellar acoustics added to the simple staging and sounds of the award winning trio.  Starting off the evening, Carrie Rodriguez fiddled her way into the hearts of the audience with her folksy stories of growing up surrounded by musical influences of family and friends in Texas.  Her self-described “Ameri-Chicana” attitude, Spanglish lyrics and timeless melodies were vaguely reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt but at the same time fresh and new.  An old friend of her father, Jimmie Dale Gilmore brought his guitar to join Ms Rodriguez onstage for a duet, then took the reins for his own solo set.  A classic Texas troubadour’s voice, Gilmore’s country twang fed the audience some ‘down home’ country-folk sounds and jovial meandering stories.  Ruthie Foster joined Gilmore for one song, then displayed her own powerhouse voice for a few of her own numbers before Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Carrie Rodriguez returned for a group number before the interval.

Upon return to the stage, the second set was casual, impromptu feeling collection of tunes. Each singer lead the way with some of their own tunes, with the others joining in.  Like an old fashioned hootenanny or front porch sing-along, the audience was encouraged to join in on choruses and lend their voices whenever they felt the desire.  A great number of the audience took part and filled the Chan Centre like a country or gospel choir.  The mutual respect and admiration of the three performers was clearly evident as they supported and collaborated to the delight of the audience.

The Texas Troubadours continue to perform together and separately through the winter and spring.  Visit carrierodriguez.com, ruthiefoster.com and jimmiegilmore.com for more tour information.

Picks of the Week – July 12

Mid-July and hopefully your summer is as hot as the weather. If not, the picks of the week have lots of finds for your week’s entertainment value.

Food: Tonight, join other food lovers for Tasting Plates – Stadium District, experience the tastes of the eateries around BC Place and Rogers Arena

Broadway: Give into the spirit of the night as Broadway Across Canada brings the legendary Phantom of the Opera to the Queen Elizabeth Stage starting tonight until July 23

Folk: The 40th Vancouver Folk Music Festival finds Jericho Beach Park filling with Folk and folks on July 13,  14, 15 & 16.

Youth: Newly formed theatre company Midtwenties Theatre Society presents their first show This Is Our Youth, starting Friday July 14th at the Red Gate Revue Stage on Granville Island


Front: Fridays on Front is a new evening market experience on Front Street in New Westminster; food, artisans, entertainment and more

Adults: Friday’s in July are Adults-Only at Playland, spend your evening with a drink in hand as you wander the park surrounding my those 19+ only.

Stage: The Arts Club Theatre Company stages are loaded with entertainment; Million Dollar Quartet at The Stanley Stage, wraps up this Sunday, July 16th, Hand To God at The Goldcorp Stage, continues until June 25th and Bittergirl The Musical runns until July 29th at Granville Island Stage

Shakespeare:  Bard on the Beach is under the tents at Vanier Park, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter’s Tale are on the BMO Mainstage with The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona in previews on the Howard Family Stage.

Rock: Nineties faves Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows share the stage at Rogers Arena on Sunday night.

40th Vancouver Folk Music Festival plays July 13 – 16, 2017

For the 40th season, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival will once again take over Jericho Beach Park. From July 13th to 16th folk fans, friends and families, will find another remarkable line-up of the best of traditional and contemporary folk and roots music from around the globe.

In celebration of its 40th Anniversary, Canada 150+, and Canada’s diverse songbook, the Folk Music Festival kicks off Thursday July 13th with a free concert; Canada Far & Wide: Grands Esprit.   Today’s artists interpret and perform iconic Canadian songs by the Anglo, Francophone, and Indigenous artists who paved the way for them.  Carolyn Marks performs Spirit of the West’s Home For A Rest, Katie Moore plays Gordon Lightfoot’s Song For A Winter’s Night, Jim Byrnes, a legend in his own right, interprets River by Joni Mitchell.  Buffy Sainte Marie’s Universal Soldier is brought to the stage by Cris Derksen while Women In The Round perform Susan Aglukark’s O Siem, and Kastin’s Tshinau (what we all are) is remade by Mélisande (électrotrad), Cris Derksen and The Funk Hunters.

After an amazing opening night, the Folk Music Festival really gets moving with 50+ artists taking to the stages all day, Friday (1pm – 11pm), Saturday and Sunday (9am – 11pm).  To highlight just a few, Englishman Billy Bragg and American Joe Henry duet on Friday’s stage, Canadians Kathleen Edwards and Barenaked Ladies feature on Saturday while Shawn Colvin and The Revivalists bring their Southern roots to Sunday’s Main Stage.

There’s more than just music at the Folk Music Festival too, Little Folks Village has activities and entertainment for the young fans. The Artisan Market and Folk Bazaar brings dozens of merchants and their offerings to the shores of Jericho Beach.  Of course, no modern festival would be complete without a plethora of food trucks and dining options.

For the full line-up of Vancouver Folk Music Festival artists, merchants and ticketing information visit thefestival.bc.ca online

Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express 2016 Tour

Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express are currently on the road for their annual charitable tor around Alberta and BC.

CaribooExpress2016-11-17-at-10-25-13-pmIn its 10 year history, the roadshow has raised over $500,000 to support local charities; like local food banks, Habitat for Humanity, Inner City Kids programs, and The Potluck Cafe here in Vancouver, the event that started it all.

The 2016 tour wraps up on November 26th at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver.  The Cariboo Express line-up includes a regular cast of Barney Bentall, Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Wendy Bird, Matt Masters, and the Gold Rush Allstars. To make each show a unique local experience, unannounced special guests often pop-up onstage.

The Barney Bentall & The Cariboo Express roadshow is back in our neck of the woods this week as it makes its way closer to the Vancouver finale

Catch the roadshow onstage at the following locations; 

Edward Milne Community Theatre.
Benefitting the Sooke Food Bank

Charlie White Theatre
Benefitting the Sidney Lions Food Bank

Fulford Hall.
Benefitting the Salt Spring Island Community Services Society Food Bank

NOVEMBER 24: Kelowna, BC
Delta Grand Okanagan
Benefitting the BC Farmers Nutrition Coupon Program

The Vogue Theatre
Presented by & Benefitting The Potluck Café Society

Tickets are on sale now and available from the venues.

Light Organ Record’s Railtown Sessions – Aug 12

Last month, I wrote about the first Railtown Sessions at Light Organ Records featuring Sarah Jane Scouten.  After the success of the first edition, the second Railtown Session brings Rob Butterfield to the Light Organ Records studio, next week, August 12th,

RobButterfieldepCoverThe Railtown Sessions are a project by Vancouver songwriter/producer Andy Bishop aimed to bring attention to local artists.  Bishop invited his favourite local artists to record four original songs at Light Organ’s Railton studios.  Each of the four invited artists have recorded original tracks to be released digitally over the next months with the intimate concerts at Light Organ’s performance space.

Galiano Island based Rob Butterfield finds his influence in old-school roots rockers like The Band, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and brings his own retro -roots style to his Railtown Session on August 12. Watch and listen to Rob Butterfield’s session live streamed through Light Organ’s website and broadcast on Roundhouse Radio.  Purchase this and all the Railtown Sessions at lightorganrecords.com/store

More Railtown Sessions release shows happen in October and November then all the musicians join together for a wrap up show at the Fox Cabaret in December.