Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Montreal Folk Fest on the Canal – June 14-18, 2017

Back in the mid-1980s – 30-something years ago – when I was running the Golem, a highly regarded folk concert venue in Montreal, I formed a committee with several like-minded people and attempted to launch a folk festival in Montreal. Despite our best efforts, it never happened.

Jump ahead more than a couple of decades to 2008 and Matt Large and Rebecca Anderson of Hello Darlin’ Productions – by then well-established as Montreal’s major producer of folk-rooted and folk-branched concerts – joined forces with Carl Comeau of Hyperbole Music and launched the Montreal Folk Fest on the Canal. Matt, Rebecca and Carl made a folk festival happen in Montreal – and it has developed into a terrific summer festival.

The festival started modestly with its main site for the first four years at the St. Ambroise Terrace behind the McCauslin Brewery beside the Lachine Canal. By 2012, the folk fest had outgrown the terrace and moved a mile or so east on the Lachine Canal to a bigger site at Ilot Charlevoix. And, by 2015, they’d also outgrown that site and moved further west on the banks of the canal to the more expansive Centennial Esplanade near the corner of Saint Patrick and Pitt Streets in the Lachine Canal Park. The festival returns there in a couple of weeks for its 10th annual edition.

Before getting to the park, though, the Montreal Folk Fest on the Canal launches with three indoor events in venues close to the canal.

First up is an opening party on Wednesday, June 14, 7 pm, at Bar de Courcelle (4685 Notre Dame West). The free event features music by the Off-Whites.

Then, on Thursday, June 15, 8 pm, there are two simultaneous multi-artist tribute concerts.

At Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay (6052 Monk) there will be “Ain’t Life Sweet: A Tribute to Penny Lang,” the late doyenne of the Montreal folk scene who passed away last year. The amazing line-up of artists paying tribute to Penny will include Annabelle Chvostek, Eve Goldberg, the Durham County Poets, Michael Jerome Browne, Jason Lang & Scudfux, Bobby Dove, Connie Kaldor, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop & Roma Baran, and Dana Whittle & Béatrix Méthé. I have to be in Ottawa that night, but it’s an evening I would not miss if I could be in Montreal. Tickets are available at this link.

Meanwhile, at Théâtre Pardoxe, there will be a concert called “Always On My Mind: The Songs of Willie Nelson” with Joe Grass, Jim Bryson, Li’l Andy, Katie Moore, Andrew Horton, Sin and Swoon, Thus Owls and more. Tickets are available at this link.

Then on Friday, June 16 (beginning at 5 pm), Saturday, June 17 (beginning at 2 pm) and Sunday, June 18 (beginning at 2 pm), the music will be in high gear on three stages at the main festival site where general admission is free of charge (tickets are available for the shaded, perk-filled, VIP section at the main stage at this link).

I won’t list the entire lineup here (check out who is performing and the schedule on the festival website at this link) but among Friday’s highlights on the main stage will be Steve Poltz, Birds of Chicago and Donovan Woods. Saturday’s highlights on the main stage will include Beyond the Pale, William Prince, James Keelaghan, and Michael Jerome Browne. And, Sunday’s highlights on the main stage will include Amanda Rheaume, Les Tireux d’Roches and Sarah Harmer.

I’ve been one of the main stage MCs at the Montreal Folk Fest on the Canal almost every year (I couldn’t be there in 2012) and I’m looking forward to be back again this year on Saturday, June 17. Please say hi if you’re around.

Congratulations to Matt, Rebecca, Carl, and the great crew of volunteers, for 10 years of the Montreal Folk Fest on the Canal – now, by far, my favorite annual event in Montreal.

Find me on Twitter.

And on Facebook.

--Mike Regenstreif

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Morning with Mike Regenstreif – CKCU – Saturday May 27, 2017

Saturday Morning is an eclectic roots-oriented program on CKCU in Ottawa heard live on Saturday mornings from 7 until 10 am (Eastern time) and then available for on-demand streaming. I am one of the four rotating hosts of Saturday Morning and base my programming on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches format I developed at CKUT in Montreal.

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and on the web.

This episode of Saturday Morning can be streamed on-demand at

Extended feature – Songs of Bruce “Utah” Phillips

This program was dedicated to the memory of the late Jimmy LaFave (1955-2017). I wrote about Jimmy’s passing on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches blog.

Chuck McDermott- Belvedere
Gin & Rosewater (Amber Gate)

Mike Regenstreif & Jimmy LaFave (2017)
Jimmy LaFave- One Too Many Mornings
Trail (Bohemia Beat)
Gretchen Peters w/Tom Russell- Guadalupe
One to the Heart, One to the Head (Scarlet Letter/Frontera)
Jimmy LaFave- On a Bus to St. Cloud
Favorites 1992-2001 (Music Road)
Christine Albert- Keep Me in Your Heart
Everything’s Beautiful Now (MoonHouse)
Jimmy LaFave- Buffalo Return to the Plains
Favorites 1992-2001 (Music Road)

Andrew Calhoun & Campground featuring Casey Calhoun- Turkle Dove
Bound to Go (Waterbug)
Eric Bibb- Mornin’ Train
Migration Blues (Stony Plain)
Happy Traum- Things are Coming My Way
Just for the Love of It (Lark’s Nest Music)
Bessie Jones & the Georgia Sea Island Singers- Sheep Sheep Don’t You Know the Road
Get In Union: Recordings By Alan Lomax 1959-1966 (Tompkins Square)
Jayme Stone, Moira Smiley, Sumaia Jackson, Joe Phillips, Felicity Williams & Nick Fraser- There is More Love Somewhere

Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop- The Hill
Red Shoes (Borealis)
Moore & McGregor- Dancing Shoes
Dream with Me (Ivernia)
Tom Russell- The Night the Chinese Restaurant Burned Down

Doug McArthur- Stumble from Vesuvio
Tears Like Rain (Doug McArthur)
Lynne Hanson- Stronger
Uneven Ground (Song Shop)
Lynn Miles- Black Flowers

Magpie, Dan Schatz, Emma's Revolution- Singing Through the Hard Times
Fred Holstein- The Telling Takes Me Home
Fred Holstein: A Collection (Fred Holstein)
Finest Kind- The Goodnight-Loving Trail
Lost in a Song (Fallen Angle)
Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard- The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia
Hazel & Alice (Rounder)
Utah Phillips- She’ll Never Be Mine
The Telling Takes Me Home (Philo)

Utah Phillips & Mike Regenstreif (2005)
Rosalie Sorrels- Rock Me to Sleep
Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen- Going Away
Live in Concert (Compass Rose)
Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin- Walking Through Your Town in the Snow
Heart Songs: The Old Time Country Songs of Utah Phillips (Rounder)
Finest Kind- The Faded Roses of December
Lost in a Song (Fallen Angle)
Priscilla Herdman & Utah Phillips- I Remember Loving You
Darkness into Light (Flying Fish)

John McCutcheon- All Used Up
Mark Ross- Look for Me in Butte
Kate MacLeod- Nevada Jane
Bruce Brackney- Hood River, Roll On
Utah Phillips- Eddy’s Song
The Telling Takes Me Home (Philo)

Michael Earnie Taylor Orchestra- Rock Salt and Nails
$3 Pants (Laughing Cactus Music)
Penny Lang- If I Could be the Rain
Stone + Sand + Sea + Sky (Borealis)
Brent Bradford- I Think of You
Rosalie Sorrels- Ashes on the Sea
Strangers in Another Country: The Songs of Bruce “Utah” Phillips (Red House)
Utah Phillips- Wabash Cannonball/Tolono
Good Though! (Philo)

Durham County Poets- The Outside Cat
Grimshaw Road (Durham County Poets)
The Vaudvillian- James St. Turnaround
Bringing Satan Down (Busted Flat)
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley- Travelin’ Blues
Morning Sun (Electro-Fi)
Jane Voss & Hoyle Osborne- Gateway Blues (Blues for Bessie)

The Eisenhauers- Rather Have You Around
The Road We Once Knew (Black Hen)
Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes- I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew
Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes (Community Music)

I’ll be hosting Saturday Morning next on June 24.

Find me on Twitter. @MikeRegenstreif

--Mike Regenstreif