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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Calgary Folk Club 11 09 12

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review:

The Calgary Folk Club


Allen & Alexander
The Heebee-Jeebees

And once again, another terrific night of entertainment at Calgary's enduring suburban folk club. I was introduced to a couple of acts I hadn't seen before, and had a chance to revisit the Heebee-jeebees, a perennial crowd favourite wherever they play.

First up, new-to-me singer songwriter Jordan Ostrom, or her stage name Sykamore. By about the third song into her set (original "Lilacs") and the wrenching  "I Can Make You Happy", it became abundantly clear that the music biz is gonna be just fine with talent like that starting to make their way onto the landscape. Sounding like a softer-voiced Adele at times, her ability to alternate breathy notes along with strong warbles (I know - I was at a loss for descriptions - but it is a compliment...) was a pleasure to listen to.

Plus with her wry, sly sense of humour best demonstrated by a love song to a pirate ex-boyfriend, she could seque into a stand-up or creative writing career if this music thing doesn't work out. 

Find out more about Sykamore on her website.

Following Jordan was the pairing of Thelma &, sorry - Allen & Alexander - a pair of firebrands that bring a blend of solo careers into an onstage partnership that follows a country-tinged route diverting into some authentic Americana sounds.

Maybe that should be Albertana??

Acoustic guitars, a washboard, harmonica - pretty traditional stuff with rootsy (occasionally bluesy) end results. Kind of like the Dirt Band when they were still Nitty Gritty. 

This duo is made up of Jenny Allen & Leslie Alexander, a pair whose musical collaboration makes for great banter on stage, and lush harmonies on songs that they have definitely connected with, and in turn sell confidently to the audience.   

Please visit their website and give a listen to discover for yourself what they are up to...

Wrapping things up last night, the ever-popular Alberta A Capella Rat Pack - The Heebee-jeebees. Mashing up originals with a wide variety of songs from an even wider variety of eras, then basting each selection liberally with relentless comedy gets the crowd right in the palm of this group's hand every time. 

Fun is certainly the name of the game with these four gentleman, but without a doubt the skills are there in every song they have in their repertoire. Their originals often outshine the songs they cover - or apprehend to their endgame. Like a new Star Wars Theme, with a timely addition of Disney's "When You Wish Upon A Star" mashed into the intro...

They surprised me with the hilarious "I Lobster But Never Flounder", which was amazingly close to an exchange between myself and a couple of pals on Facebook - now I have to get copies of THAT song...

A person could do that right here...

Well-suited voices to blend, an informed eye for songs to shift over to the Lampoon column - and a bass singer that could make a bullfrog sound like a castrata - what's not to love?? 

At every Calgary Folk Club show I've ever attended, there has always been at least one "magic moment" in the evening. Last night's was without a doubt The Heebee-jeebees rendition of "Stand By Me". 

That right there folks, is why  this club is worth finding...

Chow for now!


Mrs. That Dan Guy said...

Oh ya, what a great night! Sykamore's original work was, at times, heart-stopping. She has ridiculous control of her vocals moving from one end of a range to another, beautiful song-writing skills. Allen & Alexander a lot of fun to watch, I loved their comedic interactions. Powerful voices, endless talent, fantastic. And the Heebee-jeebees, what a hoot! I agree, a whole lot of fun, but amazing talent, they blew me away really! Tired as heck once again from a long day followed by a late night, but ah, the Folk Club, always worth it.

ThatDanGuy said...

These guys put on one heck of a program - GREAT stuff...