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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Calgary Folk Club 03 15 13

The Calgary Folk Club
03 15 13
Brother Sun, 
with Quinn & Qristina

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

The Calgary Folk Club
March 15, 2013

Brother Sun
(Pat Wictor, Greg Greenway, Joe Jencks)
Quinn & Qristina

Well, you may need to top up your coffee, I fear this particular review is going to be a lengthy one...

First off, what a perfect blend of artists for an evening of fine, diverse folk music. There really was something for everyone in the audience over three stellar sets of songs and stories last night at The Calgary Folk Club.

Opening act Quinn & Qristina sounded as if they just stepped off a fishing boat from the east coast with  sizzling fiddle and guitar to start their portion of the show. The surprise there is that they based on the OTHER coast, specifically Victoria BC. Not to quibble, these two young talents are both incredible instrumentalists, with a confident grasp of the stage and their audience. 

In particular, I was a fan of a segment with a nifty Irish tenor banjo, and "Shady Grove", a slinky blues fiddle workout - something you don't often find yourself describing in a whole lot of concert reviews...

The couple easily balanced tender gentle moments along with jigs and reels - and particularly creative work on their instruments - short bow plucks on the fiddle, and some harmonics on guitar. As a brother and sister, the familial exchanges added warmth to the experience. Although when my sister and I strummed badminton rackets in OUR basement, nothing like the sounds Q & Q created ever emerged, or prompted either of us to consider a career like these two have... 

Find out more for yourselves at their website! No surprise that they are already needing to expand their trophy case...

After a break, Brother Sun stormed the stage with an a Capella opener that was followed up by something that might have come straight from the Crosby, Stills, Nash songbook. The trio wowed the audience with seasoned individual voices for sure, but once those harmonies

The CSN comparison is just one way to try and paint a stylistic image of their united voices. Their "Highway 4AM (Driving)" had overtones of Restless Heart, and the first set closer "Shine" brought me right back to seeing The Band live. Songs like "St. Christopher", "The House That Jack Built", and the (sorry, not even a little bit of an exaggeration) stunning "Lady Of The Harbor" wouldn't be out of place in the Stan Rogers canon. 

Actually, for three Americans from Brooklyn, Chicago and Boston, Canada got a lot of love last night. There was a shout-out to the late Stompin' Tom Connors, and a performance of Dave Gunning's "These Hands" to follow up on actually seeing him perform it a few weeks ago. Surreal...

Note: this was their first Canadian tour. This might also be their first Canadian review.

I'll go over just a few of the highlights here: every single song. That's right, every single song. A remarkable performance of "In The Name Of Love". A hilarious doo-wop on Fox News. The semi-spiritual "Go Tell Mary".  As strong as each individual member is, the combination of their talents is absolutely compelling. I joked on Twitter that as the night wore on, I checked the two CDs I bought to make sure that all the songs were coming home with me. Happily, most did.

This is a group that brings so many diverse sounds and influences together to make something entirely original, and yet instantly familiar. It should be illegal to not own a copy of "Some Part Of The Truth". Incidentally, now available everywhere fine music is sold...

Discover Brother Sun online, and as the new season tickets are currently on sale, make sure you get in by visiting The Calgary Folk Club yourself!


Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Oh man, what a treat last night, what a treat! We popped in their CDs for the ride home last night and still can't believe what we witnessed last night. I love the connection between the 3 of them. It is powerful and obvious and their songs demonstrate their love for people and what is right and wrong in the world. Absolutely mesmerizing!
Big fans for life now!

ThatDanGuy said...

Yeah, kinda forgot to mention their lyrics - a bit too spellbound...