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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Calgary Folk Club Review: Ian Sherwood with Coco Love Alcorn

Calgary Folk Club 
10 25 13
Ian Sherwood with
Coco Love Alcorn

The Saturday Morning 
"Well-Before-Noon Entertainment Review":

Calgary Folk Club

Ian Sherwood 
Coco Love Alcorn

Last night's wonderful evening of East Coast entertainment here in the shadow of The Rockies should have been sponsored by the American ice cream company Good Humor. The two genial artists incorporated engaging, warm humour into both of their onstage personas, to great effect with the audience. 

That only sealed the deal, as both musicians showcased top-notch skills and resonating songs that ensured they'd be signing CDs during the breaks. Things got even better when they joined forces for most of Sherwood's two sets. 

A little background on Ian Sherwood:

2012 Male Artist of the Year - International Acoustic Music Awards
Music Nova Scotia's 2008 & 2010 Musician of the Year
2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee, Contemporary Singer of the Year
Clearly, this gentleman's music gets noticed...

He shared a story towards the end of the evening about having an informal songwriters circle, swapping songs one night with folks like Gordie Sampson and Bruce Guthro - in case you needed further perspective of where Sherwood is held in Canadian music circles. In a case of "small world" for me, he records his albums with accompaniment from pianist Konrad Pluta, a fellow I am well familiar with in covering and reviewing Stage West Calgary for The Calgary Herald.

Getting back to last night, I was sold by the first few bars of his opening song. But as for particular highlights, "We're Not Alone", "Capetown", and the stunning "Oh Daisy" sure stood out. Not to mention his audience participation epic "You Shot Our Love Down", which took sing-a-long to a whole new level of involvement. 

Alternating guitar, saxophone, and aided by skilled sampling tracks recorded on the spot he paid tribute to Motown, and then segued into a scat-off with Coco Love Alcorn on "Short End Of The Stick". 

 Their combination enhanced what already stood well on its own merits. I'll talk about Coco in just a moment, but to learn more about Ian Sherwood, click here. If I were pressed for a comparison, I'd consider him to be a folkie Jason Mraz...

Coco Love Alcorn didn't take long to get the audience participating along with her songs, and at one point I felt obliged to Tweet about how the audience was clearly spellbound.

Bringing her musical heritage and wide range of styles together, I could hear traces of soul, R & B, jazz - all with alternating softness and barrel-housing power, yet crystal clear throughout. 

Also excellent in blending in humour, her hilarious (and depending on your perspective, somewhat naughty) tribute to her Italian road bicycle had the folk club members in stitches. "Falling Into You", "Best Part Of My Day", and "Revolution" provided a showcase for vocals, and some ukelele stylings. 

There was even an excellent bass-driven rap foray, so this artist certainly doesn't risk being pigeon-holed musically...

The crowd brought her back after a standing ovation, and their reward was the beautiful "There's A Light", performed a Capella. 

You can pick up a copy of that by visiting her website, or consider one of her other albums. I'll be listening to a signed copy of Play myself, once this review is online..

Don't forget to check out The Calgary Folk Club, and if you get out there Nov. 8 & 9, you can catch The Canadian Folk Music Awards while they are here in Calgary!



Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Hmm, posted at 10:29! Darn, I missed another good one. Can't wait to hear the CDs though. Glad you were able to enjoy Mr. That Dan Guy!

ThatDanGuy said...

CDs are spinning right now - amazing artists!!