party, part V.|
Best of roots & blues players set to
get cookin’ again
COME ON INTO MY KITCHEN
Festival Place (100 Festival Way, Sherwood
weekend sees the fifth version of "Come On Into My Kitchen"
roll into Festival Place in Sherwood Park. Back in 1999, when
series producer Peter North came up with the concept, he had
no idea it would have this kind of legs.
"Originally, the idea was to get [blues and folk
musician] David Rea up here in some sort of concert context,"
North related over coffee last weekend. He elaborates: "I was
working with Mark Sterling at the time, and one of the things
that musicians I knew were talking about was how much fun it
was to play workshops at festivals. We decided to try to
create that on stage in a concert setting."
However, workshops are a tricky thing to orchestrate.
Many times they can end up being far less than the sum of
their parts. On the other hand, with the right musicians,
something very special and memorable can evolve.
whole process revolves around finding guys with the right
combination of chemistry and talent. They must be able to
accompany someone as well as they can front a group. Mark
[Sterling] has been the ‘ringmaster’ from the start. He brings
a load of talent and the ability to get the best from everyone
on stage," North remarks.
players that have brought their talents to bear on this
project have each offered a unique element. North catalogues
them: "David Rea brought his Mississippi background with him,
[and] Harry Manx his Indian influences. With Will McCalder, it
was that great New Orleans piano sound, and Brent Parkin,
perhaps Canada’s top blues guitarist, was the first player we
had who was ‘plugged in.’ Big Dave McLean and Mike Lent added
their own distinctive musical voices to the mix as
Saturday at Festival Place, Mark Sterling, who is
quickly becoming recognized as one of Alberta’s top acoustic
bluesmen, will again reprise his role as "Ringmaster." Doug
Andrew, of Circus in Flames, will bring his Jimmie
Rodgers/Hank Williams-flavoured country blues to the
proceedings. His distinctive voice and enthusiasm brought down
the house when he appeared here as part of the "Ian Tyson
Tribute" and the "Hanging with Hank" shows. Guitarist Brent
Parkin will return, Dave "Crawdad" Canterra will feature on
harp; for the first time, percussion, in the form of Scotty
Anderson playing a small trap kit, will be part of the
constant evolution means the project hasn’t suffered the
misfortune of becoming boring or predictable. In fact, "Come
On In My Kitchen" has seen full houses of blues fans in
Athabasca, Lloydminster, Calgary, and Fernie enjoy the show.
Later this spring, a CD featuring highlights culled over the
years will be released. "The artists involved in the show have
always sold a lot of their own CDs wherever we put (on) the
show, but now we’re going to have a disc of the show itself";
North explains, "It’s also going to be a calling card. We’ve
worked the Edmonton and Calgary Folk Festivals and had
interest in the show from the Ottawa Blues Festival. What
really thrills me, though, is how this show gives players who
would not usually appear on concert stages the opportunity to
showcase their talents to a listening, appreciative
last weekend, ticket sales have set a pace ahead of that seen
for any of the previous shows, so you’d best pick up your
tickets through Festival Place before they’re gone. If you
can’t make it to Festival Place, an electric version of the
revue, with Brent Parkin, "Crawdad" Canterra, Fred LaRose, and
Scotty Anderson will be at the Sidetrack Café for a late set
on Friday (Jan 16th).