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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Calgary Folk Club 03 28 14 review: Fearing & White

Calgary Folk Club
March 28, 2014
Fearing & White

The "Before-Noon" Folk Club Review:

Calgary Folk Club,

with "Fearing & White"

(Stephen Fearing & Andy White)

Talk about commitment - one arriving from Halifax, the other from Melbourne, both bringing pervasive warmth among their songs and self-deprecating exchanges with each other and the Calgary Folk Club audience last night....

With a history going back to my hometown Winnipeg Folk Festival (meeting up there in 1998), and years each on stages before forming Fearing & White, these two award-winning singer songwriters showed no evidence of the gruelling efforts (and travel hours) needed to make it in to the club for their performance. 

Talk about world music - each having an Ireland connection, blended with Fearing's Canadian residencies and White's now in Australia. The end result is certainly a diversity of riches lyrically and melodically. Trying to come up with some sort of comparison if you're not familiar with either, it was to me a bit like John Prine singing alongside George Harrison. A depth of talent to say the least...

(Stephen Fearing)

Touring a brand-new release Tea And Confidences, the first set opened with tracks from their 2011 self-titled album. 12 string guitars, bass, and about a half-dozen instruments from Fearing's Mobile Six-String Collection brought together songs like "Say You Will", "Shake The Hand"and "This Isn't Hollywood".  I have to say, I've become an awfully big fan of resonator guitars that are being used frequently now, sans slide - especially with haunting tremolo added for effect. Song after song, guitar after guitar, no surprise there was a rush to the merchandise table at the break for this music...

Hard to pick favourites from songs that stand on their own so well, but for me at least a few of the high points of the evening had to have been "October Lies", "Italian Girls On Mopeds" (along with the hilarious stories around that one), "If I Catch You Crying", "Mothership", along with the ethereal wonder of their closer "Emigrant Song". 

Well, plus one more that I couldn't quite catch the lyrics for . I jotted down "Out On The Baest West", but I'm pretty sure I'm completely wrong on that. Hopefully I'll figure it out when I listen to both those albums later today...

As I mentioned earlier, their sound combines word, folk, roots, rock and even a bit of pop. Together, it's just a winning combination. 

As it happened, I ran into the two during the break between their sets. Genuinely nice folks, and in that very short time we talked about their Alberta tour, how Fearing's Irish accent was less obvious than White's, and I got a few terrific recommendations for some music-related books and movies.

I did ask how much juggling they have to do, what with each having solo careers, their duo project, and Fearing's involvement with Blackie & The Rodeo Kings (also just releasing a new album "South"). We also heard that there's photography (Stephen) and poetry (Andy)!

Stephen suggested that it's all different parts of the "hard drive". 

For fans of all their projects, we can only hope that those hard drives never crash...

Some vital links you will need to have:

Fearing & White (if you can't catch them on their current tour, the albums are all on iTunes)

Stephen Fearing  (Incidentally, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings appeared on the legendary Grand Ol' Opry earlier this month!)

Andy White (His new solo album is "How Things Are", and check out his published work as an author!)

The Calgary Folk Club has just one evening left in this season. However, they are currently selling season passes for the new one. Try and catch the last show, and find out more...



Mrs That Dan Guy said...

Man, what a great show. I don't even know how these two were standing, let alone putting on one hell of show given their long, long travel time to get here. They made, for me, what was a crappy day, end with what was one fantastic evening! We are enjoying their CDs to carry that feeling of fantastic through the weekend and beyond!

ThatDanGuy said...

A highlight of the season for sure....