John & I: These Rutherfords got the blues

On October 19th, 2021, after potentially crossing each other’s music trails since about 1985, John Rutherford and I sat down to have only the 2nd conversation we’ve ever had. the first was on the night of the 44th Canadian federal election a month ago, as I left the scrolling numbers to listen to his set in the hallowed Blues Can, and was finally able to break our dialogic silence.
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Kurt Loewen and Folk friends: A human touch despite social distancing

Kurt Loewen has been to Calgary before: in fact, his parents still live here, as evidenced by them sitting just behind us when he and other locals performed at an outdoor concert in Ramsay in mid-September. It was a very folky, friendly, family event with other young adults and some parents and acquaintances wandering through the shared 2-yard space
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Keep the fire Burning Part 4: In front of an audience with the Mountain View Festival!

When I start complaining about my insistent cat, and how she’s determined to have her own opinions shared during my interview with the Mountain View Festival Artistic Director, her dog very quickly decides to voice his own remonstrations for the recording as well.

Arn’t we here to talk about the first live performance with an audience in over a year for the International Festival of Song and Chamber Music Society? Or are we here to complain about pets? The … Continue Reading >Keep the fire Burning Part 4: In front of an audience with the Mountain View Festival!

Keep the fire Burning Part 3: When pop met jazz at the proArts Society

When MUSICAlive! first gets Mark Limacher on the phone after listening to his most recent collection of piano improvisations, Things That Seemed Important At The Time, we were left wondering how this interesting assemblage of “quiet, slow, boring” works related to the boundary between pop and jazz music of the 1910’s that he would present online Wednesday.
Continue Reading >Keep the fire Burning Part 3: When pop met jazz at the proArts Society

Keep the fire burning Part 1: The Blues Can Survives!

I’ve got a briefcase over my shoulder, a white cane in my hand, and three layers over my head and covering my ears and shoulders in something that isn’t quite enough. My legs already hurt from the cold, and I’m not even at the bus stop yet!

Fortunately, the driver knows where the Blues Can is, probably because he drives past it daily in Inglewood along 9th Avenue at 14th St. He looks longingly at the curved roof with its promise of fresh as live music, and fresh as local beer.
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Andrea Koziol: ‘Let’s just make a record!’ Folk? Jazz? Improvise!!

As to where she’s been geographically, Andrea Koziol has performed from the east to the west coast of Canada, and up north and down in the prairies as well. Musically, though, the trail has been less clear.

“Both of (my most recent) albums I worked on with my husband, Tom Neuspiel, who … Continue Reading >Andrea Koziol: ‘Let’s just make a record!’ Folk? Jazz? Improvise!!

Gabrielle Papillon not just a Troubadour Singer/songwriting while Social distancing

When we originally contacted Gabrielle Papillon through her Pigeon row Records promoters, she was completely thrown by the phone call.

We had arranged to give her a day’s breather after arriving home in Canada from songwriting work in England, as it seemed likely she’d want some time to recover from the jet lag. Then the pandemic caught fire! Given that the tour she was returning home for was subsequently cancelled, and that there had been some question of her even managing to get on a flight with the Covid-19 wildfire sweeping across Europe, the last thing Gabrielle … Continue Reading >Gabrielle Papillon not just a Troubadour Singer/songwriting while Social distancing

A ‘Femme Wave’ brings art & music awareness in Festival form

When MUSICAlive! first hears about the 2019 Femm Wave Festival, it’s only a few days away! But it sounds too cool to miss, and fortunately both our photographer and the Board Member manning the front desk are willing to help us put it together for our fearless readers: we made it to Calgary’s Feminist Music & Arts Festival!
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Wicked Grin Believes the Blues Can Help Good People in Bad Times

When MUSICAlive! first learns about Murray Kinsley’s guitars for the blues-rock mix of Wicked Grin’s latest album, it’s pretty encouraging!
“I use a Fender Telecaster modified Thinline (and) I call it the ‘Frenken-Tele’ that’s the modified part); I have a 61 Strat that I used on it, and a … Continue Reading >Wicked Grin Believes the Blues Can Help Good People in Bad Times

Steven Taetz Expands His, And Our, Jazz-Pop Horizons

Steven Taetz is wandering through the streets of Toronto while we talk, going from one place to another as songwriters are inclined to do anyway: moving from one inspirational situation to another to meet the needs of their musical craft. In Steven’s case, having done time in the electronic dance and country/roots genres, we ask him what he would call the music he’s bringing to … Continue Reading >Steven Taetz Expands His, And Our, Jazz-Pop Horizons

Mariel Buckley is Driving in the Dark: Her Country Family Helps her Steer

Some accidents are not only happy, they are positively confounding. Witness MUSICAlive! popping down to a Stampede breakfast to Hear a Calgary country favourite of ours, Tim Buckley, play on the mall, and meeting the similarly talented Mariel Buckley (his sister), also singing and playing some sweet alt-country guitar. And then, when visiting the Calgary … Continue Reading >Mariel Buckley is Driving in the Dark: Her Country Family Helps her Steer

500 and Counting: The adventures of Damon and his ProArts Society

Well, now we know why Damon Johnston of the ProArts Society resonates so much with the work MUSICAlive! does: he’s been involved in many of the projects that have helped form the Calgary arts scene in the last 30 years. He’s part of our musical DNA, from Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Dancers’ Studio West, the seminal 10 Foot Henry’s nightclub (from which today’s … Continue Reading >500 and Counting: The adventures of Damon and his ProArts Society

The Once Play With Your Musical Expectations: Is it Folk, or Pop, or Indie or . . .

It occurs to MUSICAlive! afterwards that we never asked Geraldine Hollet, lead singer for The Once, the significance of the band’s name. Sure, “once” is an adverb meaning “on one occasion”, or “for one time only”; but as a noun it becomes capitalized as their bandname and means “a Newfoundland-based folk-pop trio who have been combining 3-part harmonies and acoustic guitar and keyboards to confound … Continue Reading >The Once Play With Your Musical Expectations: Is it Folk, or Pop, or Indie or . . .