Lucky me, indeed. Yesterday Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Tour live concert show at the old Playhouse Theatre in Winnipeg DVD arrived. A trip down familiar musical territory in my old musical stomping grounds. Bachman, in Ray Davies’ Storyteller fashion, talked of how he came to write various Guess Who & BTO hits. I remembered going to the Guess Who and Deveron dances before the former hit it big with “These Eyes.” I even helped book the band for my high school dance. Bachman is right in saying that Winnipeg in the mid-60s was the Liverpool of Canada with dozens of bands playing all over the city every weekend. It was such a mecca of original music with even the best jazz guitarist–Lenny Breau–working there.
Transition to the evening concert at Festival Place with a very talented 5-piece young southeastern Irish group Caladh Nua (pronounced Coll-ah Noo-ah). What a wonderful show to cap St. Paddy’s week. (I had been listening to 2 weeks of Irish classic folk tunes prior to this). They have a fine lead female singer whom I’d much rather listen to than a zillion Chers, Miley Cyruses, et al. Someone with a beautiful clear voice rendering tasteful songs of unrequited love. The band wonderfully played banjo, 2 fiddles, a button accordion, guitar, a bodhran (Irish drum) and tin whistles. Memorable moments included a Richard Thomspon ballad, a bodhran solo, a guitar and banjo duet, a bodhran and accordion duet. Unlike fakey, North American solo folk guitarists, this guitarist knew his chords and chord books backwards–wonderful accompaniment and blending, fun transitions, nice noteful picking–nothing boring about his playing unlike the boring, mere basic-chordy, limited North American types. Talked to them afterwards and told them they had revived my faith in folk music (which is what I played way back at the beginning when I first took to the stage in 1968). A Luck of the Irish evening, indeed.
A note on Festival Place, Sherwood Park. Top intimate concert venue in town. Great seating configuration, ample stage, great acoustics and sightlines, best refreshments, and non-stop entertainment every season in multiple genres.
Memorable concerts there in the past have included: The Mavericks, The Searchers (one of my fav ’60s UK rock bands), Felix Cavaliere (of The Rascals), Janis Ian, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Rawlins Cross.
My next visit there will be to see Johnny Clegg of South Africa again. Fantastic, spirited songs and dancing. Live concert 6 in 2 whirlwindish musical months.