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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Calgary Folk Club, 02 15 13

Calgary Folk Club
02 15 13
Lennie Gallant,
The Bombadils

The Saturday Morning "Somebody-Asked-Me-To, So-Here-I-Go" Entertainment Review: Calgary Folk Club, Feb 15, 2013

Lennie Gallant,
The Bombadils

You just cannot go wrong with spending an evening at The Calgary Folk Club.  Even with a bad cold - just try to stay away from your fellow music fans...

Last night was a perfect example of that theory. Opening act The Bombadils showcased diverse but nicely cohesive musical styles, all the while allowing for opportunities for each individual to shine within the unit.  

Offering what to me felt like traditionally classic folkie selections covering a number of genres (and often feeling Celtic with flute and piccolo throughout), this young group based in Montreal quickly won over the audience. "Blue Lullaby" began gently, with showcases for each member (as pictured, Anh Phung, Sarah Frank, Evan Stewart, Luke Fraser) before kicking into a more rollicking finale.

Sadly, I can't read my own writing from my notes this morning, but if I recall, "Peter's Lament For The Death Of The Duck" was another great showcase for the group, and even though vocalist Frank was struggling with a cold of her own, she still managed to remind me a bit of Kimberly Perry, of The Band Perry

What sold me was the stunning original "Hint", launching with haunting bow work on the upright bass. I'm guessing that song may have propelled the large crowd gathered over at the CD sales table after their set. I'll be listening to my copy later today...

Headliner (and apparently the artist-most-often-invited-back) Lennie Gallant engaged the group immediately. Currently on a tour of Alberta, fresh from shows with Symphony Novia Scotia, the stripped down performance (just his nephew Jeremy Gallant on keyboard) didn't lose a beat. Playing loads of selections from his new CD "If We Had A Fire", you could pick out the future classics, like ""Emily's Letters", and "Extraordinary Ordinary Life" - trivia note: we were seated at the same table as the Alberta couple that inspired that latter song...

The man is a storyteller, both with his music, and in between his songs. Having recently seen Tom Jackson's "Huron Carole", the two Canadian music legends share a fondness for similar jokes - but the audience LOVED it all! A true raconteur.

Gorgeous ballads like "Pieces Of You" and "God's Reply" likely led to Gallant's proclamation that of all the requests he was getting, he could only do so many - and he was only going to play a limited number of ballads. No matter, he could do no wrong onstage. Wait, that's not entirely correct. He made an error starting one song, but started over,  not a single complaint...

Incidentally, from his back catalogue, Gallant's classic "Peter's Dream" is nominated right now for CBC's Top 10 East Coast Songs. Hover your mouse over the song title back there, visit the link, and VOTE!! I did...

Chow for now!


Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Wow, wow, wow! What an evening. The Bombadils are amazingly talented with a knack for creating unique sound even in old classics. The flute player, Anh, was haunting. Incredible!
And Gallant, OMG! I was reduced to tears on several occasions. "Wounded" was beautiful and unforgettable. His nephew on keyboards is also immensely talented. He puts his whole soul into the performance and complements Gallant's voice perfectly. What an extraordinary night of talent to have been a part of of. Thank you Calgary Folk Club!

ThatDanGuy said...

Great fills for the review - I can't seem to mention everything, but you certainly highlight some of the best moments....