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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Calgary Folk Club October 11, 2013

Calgary Folk Club
October 11, 2013
Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys
100 Mile House

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

Calgary Folk Club,
October 11, 2013
Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys

 100 Mile House

Having caught their very brief contribution to the Alberta Flood Aid concert at McMahon Stadium earlier this year, I was anxious to hear more from 100 Mile House, the Edmonton act that opened up last night's Calgary Folk Club festivities. 

These award-winning troubadours have been picking up awards and nominations for their albums and songwriting for some time now, so it was no big surprise that by the end of their set, they had the crowd on their collective feet for a standing ovation, and well-deserved encore...

Husband/wife duo Peter Stone & Denise MacKay, along with violin and mandolin backing from Scott Zubot last night also had some assistance from cellist Andrea Case in recreating songs from their albums, including new release "Wait With Me" (soon to be spinning in my car while I drive around on weekend shopping chores). Many songs were a blend of fun and elegance, making songs like "London" and "Better, Still" fast favourites with the audience. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a good photo of Ms. Case, as there was a mic stand in the way from where I was seated. However, her contribution certainly enhanced what was already an exceptional collection of songs from a group you will want to discover, if you haven't already heard of them.

Check out 100 Mile House here.

Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys

Exploding onstage to wrap up the night with two sets of high energy were PEI barnstormers Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm boys. 

I have no idea what their opening song was named, but with heavy retro-rock influences that returned frequently during their performance, I was struggling to come with a clever term to describe some of their uptempo style.

Celtic Slap & Thunder??

Lobster Rockabilly???

Regardless, with an upright bass, heavy snare work, and what looked like a vintage lead guitar, you could have easily compared these gentleman to an East Coast version of The Stray Cats after that opening tune.

Aside from namesake Gordie MacKeeman's skill on the ever-present fiddle, as they quickly verged into showcases of reels and old time waltzes, in addition to originals that proved them impossible to pigeon-hole in any one style. 

Despite lots of retro early rock sounds (and nice tremelo from that aforementioned guitar), the Stray Cats comparison is a bit unfair. These gentleman are entirely Canadian in their approach, bringing a Barenaked Ladies combination of charm, humour, and talent to the stage. Each member seemed to take up a variety of instruments at any given time - the drummer hopping onto the bass, the bassist hauling out a banjo - even Mr. MacKeeman setting aside his fiddle to strum a guitar in one song.

The Canadian aspect was happily extended to some of their tributes to iconic artists, like Don Messer - but they also paid tribute to acts from around the world with suitable selections to highlight why this style of music endures, and connects with such a worldwide audience.

You also can't fake that kind of sincerity - when the group stopped by the CD table to sign discs and meet fans during their break, they exuded East Coast warmth - genuine folks....

And award-winners as well! The group has a 2012 Galaxie Supernova award for Outstanding Live Performance. 

Find Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys online here, and maybe pick up a copy of "Pickin' N Clickin'" while you're at it. If you seem them coming to a town near you, don't miss out!

And remember to come on out to The Calgary Folk Club yourself!




Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Whew! What a night! Fantastic performances, can't wait to listen to all the CDs you picked up Mr That Dan Guy! And Gordie's footwork, unbelievable! I thought his legs were rubber at one point, and then at one point dancing around while still playing and playing backwards? What? Unreal, loved the whole night.

ThatDanGuy said...

Two great discoveries, that's for sure!