Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Busman's Holiday with Debra Lynn Neufeld

We couldn't give a Tuesday night show away to southern Manitoba. So Brandon and PLP remain mysterious places. Are they mysterious to you as well? I have a short list of unbookable towns, and Brandon, MB is on it— along with Hope, BC, Medicine Hat, AB, North Battleford, SK, Sarnia, ON and Brockville, ON. Always on route, yet never a stop. I know these places are real because I buy gas, even coffee, as the Tour passes through them every year... Anyway, with a night off Big Dave and I need to find a place to play!

We end up at a Winnipeg club called Le Garage. Our pal Debra Lyn Neufeld hosts a jam here every week. This is cool. Gord Kidder plays harp and Johanna Miller plays drums. I hope I've spelled her name right. She's a rising star of a drummer— she's worked with Big Dave for a while now, and is known for her work with the Scott Nolan band as well. I love the way she listens and plays. Her playing reminds me of Steven Hodge or Jeff Arsenault. Top flight. Gord, of course, is the godfather of western Canadian harmonica players. He hasn't travelled much during his lengthy career, staying pretty much in Winnipeg. In my opinion, one of the very best players in Canada. Always a treat to hear. If you visit Winnipeg you'll want to check the listings and go see him!

Debra kicks off the jam with a set from her band.

Soon the players are lining up and the guesting begins. This is one of the best jam nights I've witnessed in years. There are a lot of really, really good players in the house. There is some serious playing, some serious fun, and not a lot of wanking or volume.

Gord Kidder takes a break, but ducks the camera flash!

Joanna doesn't get many breaks. I'm lucky enough to get her and Gord Kidder to play with me, opening the second half of the night. Crumb— no pics. Big Dave got up next and showed us all the correct way to break strings! A line of good and interesting players continued to take their turns on the stage, and Debra Lynn played some more as well. She plays like she means it, and looks like she means it, too. http://www.debralynneufeld.com

The Dusty Roads duo got up and played— good singing, songwriting and playing in the roots tradition by these young players. I find that the musicians in this community really support each other and network beautifully. I met Dustin at the Trout Forrest Festival some years ago, and it's nice to see and hear his hard work paying off. Jessica Rae is developing into a strong singer and front person. They've got a new CD called "Searchin' for a River." http://www.dustyroadsband.com

Tim Butler is a real strong local player. Every few years I catch up with him and hear him play tasty stuff in a variety of styles. He runs a Wednesday night jam somewhere in Winnipeg, more focused— I think— on acoustic music. But tonight the battered Strat says it all. Journeyman.

Thanks for a fun night out!

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