Tuesday, November 14, 2006
MUSIC MONDAY: A Calgary boy takes folk music to a spiritual realm
OK, so it's Tuesday... but wait till you hear this!
It's been on my calendar for months. Calgary folk music - dare I say - icon, James Keelaghan returned home for a single show on Remembrance Day.
With his new album, "A Few Simple Verses", James explores and shares with us some traditional folk music tunes, including some Keelaghan originals.
The stage was set: The sanctuary at Grace Presbyterian Church, four microphones, five instruments, a big wooden chair and a baptismal fount! Keelaghan is known for his unique choice of venues and simplistic stage design. The backdrop to centre "stage" was the gorgeous pipe organ.
And don't think for a minute that someone like James wouldn't utilize this wonderful instrument! With James and his guitar were two very talented musicians, Hugh McMillan on Mandolin and Bass and Jaime KT on Viola, Piano and of course... Pipe Organ!
To our estimation there were approximately 500 in attendance. The floor was full. I have to say though, I'm not sure if it was simply the venue or a combination of place and people, but I haven't known a quieter audience at a Keelo show... ever!
Several years ago I caught James at the University Theatre here and it was quite a different animal. He did a solo show, all requests. Centre stage sported a rug, chair and stool, side table and a lamp. He opened the show with "Thanks for coming out this evening, and... welcome to my living room." Behind him was a screen backdrop on which they projected slides of photos he'd taken on tour. Understated and very cool.
I quickly threw together Turtle's Traditional Sampler: A collection of tunes from "A Few Simple Verses". It's a little choppy, but a taste of four tunes:
Jack Haggerty/Le Tourment
Sweet Thames Flow Softly
Buy this album - it's good food for your soul.