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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Calgary Folk Club 02 28 14 (Ellis Paul, Rebecca Loebe)

Calgary Folk Club
02 28 14
Ellis Paul, and Rebecca Loebe

The "Before-Noon" Entertainment Review: 
Calgary Folk Club, 
February 28, 2014
Ellis Paul and Rebecca Loebe

On a cold Canadian evening in which even polar bears and penguins were checking into Holiday Inns for a reprieve from the polar vortex, a couple of talented American artists treated hardy attendees to a robust helping of modern folk music that warmed the crowd up quite nicely.

Rebecca Loebe started the evening off with a joie de vivre that was not blunted at all by the cold she was battling to sing through. There is no doubt she loves what she's doing, and the stories she shared between songs gave the audience glimpses into her sense of humour and a world observation view that seeps into her songwriting.

That sense of humour was most evident in songs like "Married Man", while her insightfulness showed in songs like "The Chicago Kid", and "Swallowed By The Sea".  

An alumnus of the first season of NBC's The Voice, her rendition of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" turned around the chairs of Christina Aguilera AND Adam Levine, taking her already active performing career into even more exposure, and bringing some juggling challenges with pre-booked shows overseas.

Loebe made an interesting confession towards the end of her set regarding that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of national TV exposure. Her line about the "four judgmental pieces of furniture" ran a line between doing what you do for the opinions of others, and doing what you do because it's what you love to do.

Eliciting a standing ovation, her sing-a-long encore of "Redneck Karoake Bar" was a fun lead into the break...

Check out Rebecca's website, or download her music from iTunes!

Ellis Paul is multiple award-winning American musician that was embracing his "almost-Canadian" side last night, with plenty of references to Canadians, and iconic Canadian themes. He teased about our two Gold Canadian Olympic hockey teams. He strung a thread of Neil Young through a delightful guitar story. And he ended with an encore of Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game", with the support of Rebecca and the Calgary Folk Club Sing-A-Long All-Stars.   

As a storytelling songwriter, he is only slightly overshadowed by his masterful work on the guitar. During songs like "Chasing The Beauty", or when he outright created the illusion of a three-piece band on "Maria's Beautiful Mess", Mr. Paul showcased a melodic virtuosity on "Guinness" that was the solid foundation for his vocals and lyrics.

For me, the clear winners for "Moment Of The Night" were the lovely "Home", and the insightful "Hurricane Angel". 

"Angel" reminded me of another American roots artist and a similarly themed song, slide guitarist Spencer Bohren's amazing remembrance of Hurricane Katrina in "The Long Black Line". Both haunting, both should have both of those in your collection...

However, I have to admit, when you introduce a song as a "Texas Roadkill Christmas Song", and you pen it with lyrics that include snow, cactus, and armadillos, you've got something pretty darn original there. That one was "Snow In Austin", from Paul's Christmas album. Just one of many available on his website...hint hint!

If you haven't already, you REALLY need to check out the Calgary Folk Club - these nights (even in sub-arctic conditions) are always amazing!



Mrs That Dan Guy said...

A perfect way to spend an Arctic evening! Great stories, fabulous humour and incredible talent. What a gift to us.

ThatDanGuy said...

More talent every event - great discoveries!!