Live Wire Music Series Presents The Claytones and The Slocan Ramblers on Fri. Jan. 24th

There is a tremendous co-bill coming up soon to kick off the Live Wire Music Series at the Octave Theatre. On Friday, Jan. 24, The Claytones, a great new alt country group from the heart of the OttawaValley, will share the evening with The Slocan Ramblers, a dynamic young Toronto foursome that plays bluegrass and old-time music flawlessly and with an uncommon flair. These two enormously talented groups will give a spectacular show at The Octave!  Remember – you can now buy your tickets online at www.livewiremusicseries.ca.
The Claytones

The Claytones were born a few years ago when Anders Drerup and Kelly Prescott were cast in the acclaimed theatrical production, Grievous Angel -The Legend of Gram Parsons. Anders played the title role and Kelly was Emmy Lou Harris. Their undeniable chemistry led to the formation of The Claytones — together with bass player Adam Puddington, they have been wowing audiences with superb vocal harmonies and impressive instrumental prowess ever since. The National Post named them one of ‘5 Canadian bands to watch for in 2012’. Take a look at this live video to get a taste of what they do:

 

The Slocan Ramblers

The Slocan Ramblers started turning heads in early 2009 while playing casual gigs in the Toronto ‘roots music’ scene. Their weekly local pub gigs became a staple of the city’s thriving acoustic music activity. The Ramblers quickly earned a reputation across Canada for energetic live performances, impressive musicianship and uncanny ability to convert anyone in their path into a fan. The Slocan Ramblers have moved far beyond their pub origins.  Career highlights include standing ovations at the legendary Mariposa Folk Festival, opening for Steve Martin on the main stage at Toronto Jazz Fest, and a popular West Coast tour last summer.  The intensity and drive forged in their early bar-room gigs continue to set them apart — they are outstanding!  Check out the Ramblers live in the two songs in this video:


Live Wire Music Series presents
The Claytones and The Slocan Ramblers
Friday, Jan. 24, 7:30 pm
Octave Theatre, 711 Dalton Ave, Kingston (Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd. & the 401)

$20 in advance and $25 at the door — available now at Brian’s Record Option, Tara Foods or online at www.livewiremusicseries.ca

 The Claytones give what so many other groups only promise.  Exquisite, classic, country-soaked harmonies.  Originals that stand proudly beside the classic songs they cover with conviction.  A stage presence that marks them as serious professionals — The Claytones deliver!

James Keelaghan,  Artistic Director, Georgian Bay Folk Society

The Slocan Ramblers put on one of the most vibrant shows of acoustic music I’ve seen in some time. It’s rare for Canadians (especially young Canadians) to play this music with such authority, passion and yet ability for experimentation. Chops galore…and a handsome bunch of fellas.

Tom Power, Host of CBC’s Deep Roots, and Radio 2 Morning

 

Ireland’s Andy White at The Rankin Gallery on Friday, September 14th!

 

I’d like to share this note from Al Rankin as I’m always really excited about seeing another Andy White show because he’s one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters and a great guy too!

Hi friends, neighbours and music lovers:

Holy smoke!  Another great one at the Rankin Gallery.  He has won most of Ireland’s songwriting awards, worked with Van Morrison and Peter Gabriel and has Sinead O’Connor singing on his records.  He’s Belfast born Andy White, and he’s in the midst of a world tour that will bring him to Inverary!

You may have seen Andy when he opened for Judy Collins last year in Kingston and gained hundreds of new fans.  This one will sell out very quickly so if you would like to reserve a spot or 2 you will have to click back to me asap.  Here are the details, and more on Andy’s illustrious career below.

Andy White

Rankin Gallery, 3248 Round Lake Rd. Inverary ON
Friday, Sept. 14th, 8 pm
Suggested donation: $20
Seats by reservation only alrankin@xplornet.ca 613-353-6650

And mark down Sept. 21 on your calendar, the first Live Wire show of the new season, featuring Austin’s amazing Eliza Gilkyson with special guest, the phenomenal young Ariana Gillis.  More on that show soon!

See you at the music,
Al

Andy White, one of the great Irish singer-songwriters, tours the world with his 12 string guitar in one hand and a book of poetry in the other.  Since his breakthrough single Religious Persuasion, Belfast-born Andy has produced ten internationally released studio albums plus a host of compilations and live recordings and has won several of Ireland’s top songwriting awards.

He has merged pop sensibility with lyrical excellence, social commentary and acoustic guitars ever since his first album Rave On Andy White (1986) burst onto the scene.  Melody Maker reviewed his first album with the headline ‘Yer Man’s Brilliant!’ and Folk Roots made him a cover star.

Since then, Andy has worked with Peter Gabriel as well as some of the great names of Irish music including Van Morrison and Mary Black.  Sinead O’Connor and The Frames have guested on his recordings and Andy was included in the Irish HQ Rock Hall of Fame in 1998.

Socially aware in a way which comes naturally to someone who grew up in Belfast during the 70s and 80s, Andy’s work has always reflected his time and place.  Making this particular experience universal, his writing incorporates and transcends the boundaries of his native land.

Last year a long term friendship and writing collaboration with top flight Canadian singer songwriter Stephen Fearing produced the album ‘Fearing & White (2011).

The world of Andy White is peripatetic, intuitive, and never uneventful.  In November 2009 Lagan Press published 21st Century Troubadour, Andy’s on-the-road journal, and in 2012 an ‘album of the book’ is set for release, a two CD set featuring a compilation of songs playing throughout the pages of the book, and a series of readings from the book set to music.

Catch up with Andy’s world online via his website:

http://www.andywhite.com

and Facebook fan site:

http://www.facebook.com/andywhiteireland

Information and communication:

rose@andywhite.com

ANDY WHITE DISCOGRAPHY

1985 – Religious Persuasion EP (Stiff)
1986 – Rave On Andy White (London)
1988 – Kiss The Big Stone (London)
1990 – Himself (Cooking Vinyl)
1992 – Out There (Warners Ireland)
1994 – Destination Beautiful (Warners Ireland/Cooking Vinyl)
1996 – Teenage (Cooking Vinyl)
1998 – Compilation (Cooking Vinyl)
1999 – Speechless (Real World)
2000 – Andy White (Floating World)
2001 – Rare (ALT Recordings)
2003 – Boy 40 (Floating World)
2006 – Garageband (Floating World/Wildflower)
2009 – Songwriter (Floating World)
2011 – Fearing and White
2012 – 21st Century Troubadour (Floating World)

Live Wire Music Series Announces Its First 2012 Show With Ray Bonneville & Madison Violet!

Live Wire Music Series is excited to announce its 2012 winter line-up, which showcases some of Canada’s finest musicians.  We are kicking off the new year with a double-bill featuring the masterful blues musician Ray Bonneville, (“master of the slow burn, the gentle funk, the infectious rhythm“- The Ottawa Citizen) together with the remarkable duo Madison Violet (“exquisitely lovely and haunting harmonies- poised for greatness” – Winnipeg Free Press)

Ray Bonneville and Madison Violet
Sat. Feb. 18, 7:30 pm
Octave Theatre, 711 Dalton Ave. Kingston
Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door (if available)
On sale now at Brian’s Record Option (613-542-2452) and Tara Foods

More on these two great acts below.

And coming next – get these dates on your calendar!!!

Friday, April 13, 7:30 pm
New Country Rehab with special guests Sheesham and Lotus
Octave Theatre

Friday, May 4, 7:30 pm
Lynn Miles with special guest Lynne Hanson
Octave Theatre

RAY BONNEVILLE

Ray Bonneville is a roaming blues poet, inspired by the road and the many other places he has called home—New Orleans, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska, Boston, Seattle and Paris, France.  Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Bonneville has lived all over.  No place, however, has been more influential than New Orleans.

In the streets and clubs of New Orleans, Bonneville soaked up the prevalent take-your-time attitude that ran through the music being played there. “There’s something about the heat and humidity that makes people slow down,” he says.  “New Orleans is where I learned to take my time, to allow space between the notes so the songs could truly groove.”  That groove is at the core of Bonneville’s sound.  A one-man band, he backs up weathered, storytelling vocals with a highly percussive guitar style, dramatic harmonica lines and a foot that keeps the rock steady beat.  The result is a big sound with an almost primitive quality.  It’s visceral, raw music.

Honing his craft for the last 30 years, Bonneville’s gritty storytelling and deep-grooving blues style has won him much critical attention.  In 1999, Ray won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for his third album Gust of Wind.  His fourth release, Rough Luck, was also nominated for the coveted award.  With his 2004 Red House debut Roll It Down, Ray made himself a name in blues and roots music circles, garnering rave reviews from DownBeat and No Depression.  He has toured all over the world, sharing the bill with such blues legends as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, J.J. Cale and Robert Cray and in 2007 wowed the music industry with his bring-down-the-house performances at the South By Southwest and Folk Allianceconference.  A world-class guitarist, harmonica player and hard-hitting songwriter, it is no wonder that Ray has received rave reviews from blues, jazz and roots critics alike and can count among his fans such artists as Chris Smither and Ray Wylie Hubbard.  His current Red House Records Release, Bad Man’s Blood, is Ray at his best, stripped down and raw, with some of the best songwriting ever from his long career.

MADISON VIOLET

Finding the good in goodbye is always bittersweet.  JUNO nominated roots duo Madison Violet (Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac) can attest to that with their latest release, The Good in Goodbye.  An album born from their growth, both together and apart, The Good in Goodbye is an open diary of their personal and professional experiences together as friends and musicians, two very unique relationships that affect each other in profound ways.

Since releasing their last album, No Fool for Trying (2009), Madison Violet won the 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for their track “The Ransom,” took home the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, and were nominated for multiple East Coast Music Awards and a 2010 JUNO Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group).

Receiving a mass of acclaim from outlets including the BBC, the CBC, Maverick Magazine, NPR, and Penguin Eggs Magazine, No Fool for Trying made dedicated fans of even the most hard-to-crack critics.  Ultimately, Madison Violet captured the attention of Mojo Magazine, landing “Small Of My Heart” on the publication’s distinguished playlist, “Mojo’s Top 10,” in December 2009. Madison Violet also have the unique distinction of being the only Canadians to win The John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

As a follow-up to their breakthrough successes in 2010, The Good in Goodbye captures the duo’s growth and musical maturity.  Their distinct take on iconic Americana-inspired up-tempo melodies beautifully contrasts with their breathtakingly sweeping and personal lyrics, creating songs that blend nods to Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch with radio-friendly flecks of The Court-Yard Hounds.

The duo has sold-out venues across North America and Europe, had the prestigious distinction of touring with Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, and has shared stages with contemporaries such as Chantal Kreviazuk, Ron Sexsmith and The Indigo Girls.  With their newest effort, Madison Violet prove they’re among Canada’s brightest singer/songwriters.

From Teacher to Concert Promoter: Al Rankin Brings in the Big Names

As I help Al Rankin to spread the word about his Live Wire Music Series and Rankin Productions shows and I administer the Live Wire Facebook page, I thought I’d post this article originally published in Kingston This Week for my readers.

Reprinted from Kingston This Week

His love for Canadian roots music has opened up a second career for retired-teacher-turned-music-promoter Al Rankin of Inverary.

Rankin retired as a high school teacher six years ago, but continues to promote emerging new talent as owner of the Rankin Gallery in Inverary and as a longtime volunteer with the Live Wire Music Series. He also brings in established award-winning artists through his company, Rankin Productions.

On April 22, Rankin Productions presented [sic] An Evening with Judy Collins at Sydenham Street United Church. In February, Rankin brought The Arrogant Worms to Kingston, and last year he presented Mickey Rooney at the Grand Theatre.

Rankin never set out to be a music promoter. As a theatre arts teacher and founder of the Theatre Complete program at Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Kingston, Rankin often brought in theatre and musical performers. In the 1990s, he served five years as artistic director of the Blue Skies Music Festival north of Sharbot Lake, where artists such as Serena Ryder, Kathleen Edwards and David Francey made their festival debuts.

At around the same time, he built at addition on his 150-year-old house near Inverary, that was originally intended as an art gallery, but that instead became an intimate concert hall featuring up to a dozen concerts a year.

His skill?

He catches the acts on the road.

Rankin invites touring musicians travelling to or from gigs in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa to fill a mid-week spot in their schedule at his place. Since opening, the Rankin Gallery has hosted artists such from across Canada and around the world, including Valdy, The Wailin’ Jennys, Bill Bourne, Coco Love Alcorn, Kate Reid, Rick Fines, Lynn Miles, The Marigolds, Dala, Fruit from Australia, The Pacific Curls from New Zealand, Jez Lowe from the UK, Maeve Mackinnon from Scotland, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and, most recently, Amelia Curran and the Good Lovelies. Next up is Oh My Darling on May 15.

“People bring something to drink, maybe a snack, and a donation for the musicians. The audience loves the intimacy of the space and getting to talk to the artists. The musicians love it too, as it allows them to connect in a way that is different than a large concert hall. It is open to anyone on my mailing list and works on a first come first served reservation-only basis. I have 50 spots and room for about 10 more standing and it usually fills up very quickly.”

Rankin has become well known to agents through his work with the Live Wire Music Series and Blue Skies and the Rankin Gallery is so popular that he has to turn down most of the requests he gets to play there. Musicians, particularly solo musicians, like it because they are guaranteed an audience of 60 people and they can spend the night in the Rankins’ limestone house, enjoy breakfast with Al and his wife and then be on their way.

Rankin Productions is the name he uses for bigger, riskier shows that are beyond the scope of Live Wire.

Arlo Guthrie was the very first big show I did,” Rankin recalls. “I found out he was playing at Massey Hall and I saw he had a Thursday night available en route to Montreal. He had never been to Kingston.”

That was in 2006. A couple of years later, Rankin brought Pete Seeger to Kingston.

“Now the agents know we’re here and we get far more requests than I can handle.”

Ever the teacher, Rankin still brings young performers such as Ariana Gillis, The Good Lovelies and Welsh guitar phenom Gareth Pearson into schools with the support of the Limestone District School Board and Live Wire.

“They are such role models for these kids,” Rankin says. “And they are spectacularly talented.”

Pearson, whom Rankin describes as one of the best guitarists in the world, spent two weeks at Rankin’s house. Each day they would load up his sound equipment in Rankin’s car and visit different high schools.

“A lot of artists are uncomfortable going into schools,” Rankin admits. “They don’t just perform, they talk about what music has done for them. They play a few songs and the kids ask questions and they always love it. Gareth, for example, was dyslexic and barely passed high school. So he talked about struggling and finding his passion and turning his life around.”

Rankin says he has no “dream list” of artists he would like to bring to Kingston. “I’m happy with the quality of the musicians we do get and the performances are always so great.

“Pete Seeger was 89 when he was here – I love that – and he and his grandson put on a great show. I love the brand new acts too; I get a kick out of introducing people like Serena Ryder, Kathleen Edwards and Ariana Gillis. It’s fun to do both ends of the spectrum.

“I guess retirement gave me the opportunity to get more involved in music. I hadn’t anticipated that.”

Copyright © 2011 Kingston This Week