THE ANDREW COLLINS TRIO
This mando maestro finds himself – through no actual fault of his own – at the epicentre of Canada’s burgeoning acoustic/roots music scene. He didn’t invent it – but he's certainly been a contributor, having co-founded seriously noteworthy Canadian bands like the Creaking Tree String Quartet, the Foggy Hogtown Boys and, more recently, his namesake Trio. That’s not to mention the fact that this prolific, robust performer – comfortable on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola and mandocello – composes, produces, arranges, writes and teaches across multiple genres, including a popular collision of folk, jazz, bluegrass, Celtic, and classical.
As Collins gathers up innumerable Juno nominations (5) and Canadian Folk Music Awards (7) won by his various ensembles, he’s zeroing in on the work he does with Trio-mates: fellow string guru Mike Mezzatesta, whose versatility shines through on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and mandola, and in-the-pocket James McEleney holding it down on the bass, mandocello and vocals. Showcasing a dizzying number of styles and instruments on stage, Collins and Co. appear to live by the old adage, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, likely keeping them just ahead of his grasp. Bending and blending genres, these musical shape shifters land somewhere between the re-imagined worlds of Béla Fleck and Newgrass invader, David Grisman.
The Trio's latest release is a new double album, grafting 11 vocal cuts (Tongues) to 11 instrumentals (Grooves) to create a seamless finish with their cleverly monikered double album, Tongue & Groove. Each cut is milled to perfection and represents a back-to-basics visitation on what the band does best -- spontaneity of the stage and rapid-fire, improvisational exchanges.
Combining a deft melodic temperament with skill and verve on banjo and guitar, songwriter Annie Lou (Anne Louise Genest) shines a keen eye and a warm heart on our lives and times, mapping a lively path through moments in which we can laugh, cry, and connect. A childhood in the heart of downtown Toronto didn’t stop this city gal from finding her country voice - her ballads, tunes, and songs are painted with a palette of old-time folk and bluegrass, and her vocal warmth is evocative of the sweet plaintive tones of the McGarrigles blended with the raw emotion of Hazel Dickens. Onstage she invites you in with grace and humour, delivering a compelling and poignant performance filled with pluck, groove, and tenderness.
This is new music, made for a modern audience, but finding its inspiration in a time when there was little separation between performer and audience – where everyone played something, or danced to it – and where music was clearly connected to the everyday lives of the people who played it.
Annie Lou’s most recent release, End Zone, a gorgeous collection of new songs; most written during the last months of her mother’s life. The title track is a deeply moving exploration of that time when the end is near, but not quite. This is not a sad record – if anything it is celebratory, and full of moments in which listeners can recognize themselves.
A multiple nominee for CFMA, WCMA, and Juno awards, Annie Lou has toured across Canada and Australia to major folk festivals, theatre venues, and showcases. She is a skilled instructor of vocals, guitar, songwriting, and clawhammer banjo, and she regularly teaches at music workshops across the country. She is also a fine caller of southern style square dances – and has led square dances at festivals, music camps, weddings, and community events across the country.
For this concert, Annie Lou will be accompanied by Victoria's acclaimed fiddle player Miriam Sonstenes, best known by her work with The Sweet Lowdown, The Unfaithful Servants and the Old Paint Duo.
Sunday February 2, 2020
8pm (doors open at 7pm)
St. James Hall 3214 West 10th Avenue
Tickets for $26 / $22 members
Available online at www.roguefolk.bc.ca, in person at Highlife & Tapestry
or call the Rogue Ticket Hotline at 604-736-3022
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