Friday September 10

A solo set from Steve Fisher(of Restless Lester and the Sheep River Rounders) plus the band Collage.

Steve Fisher is best known as a bluegrass musician in bands such as Restless Lester and the Sheep River Rounders, but he is also an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist and has recently been performing more frequently in this genre. His songs and instrumentals cover a range of styles, influenced by players like Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, John Hurt and Bob Evans, and include such numbers as Deep River Blues, Stack O'Lee and I Just Want to be Horizontal.

Collage consists of the musically diverse trio of Sheri Brake, Nobuo Kawaguchi and Doug Baker. Their emphasis is on vocals, with many of their arrangements employing intricate 3-part harmonies, backed by guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass and harmonica. Their repertoire includes both traditional and modern songs in a variety of styles and languages, and maybe even an Arrogant Worms cover.

House band Ceard open the evening and the 30th season of the Rocky, with original founding member Dick Howe, plus the somewhat more recent additions to the band (in order of longevity), John Campbell, Jim Atkinson, Hal Curties and Paula McGarrigle. Expect a lively set of Scottish, Irish and North American music. And new jokes!!

Friday October 8

Lewis and Royal, plus Heather Blush.

Lewis and Royal are back for a return engagement at the Rocky after a very entertaining show three seasons ago. The duo have been together for the last ten years, performing all across Western Canada, including shows at the Nickelodeon, Lethbridge and Cochrane Folk Clubs. Their material ranges from the serious to the comic, and includes both their own songs and a good helping of songs from other sources, all presented with outstanding musicianship and a great sense of humour - and most likely will include a couple of whistle tunes too.

Heather Blush moved to Calgary from Winnipeg last year and has been performing regularly at several venues in and around Calgary, such as the Prairie Ink Restaurant, the Ship and Anchor, Karma and Jackdaw's, as well as at the Epcor Centre Song Stage, and being booked to perform at the BeatNiq vocal jazz series. Her songs are mostly folk and jazz inspired originals, and her day job (like that of most of the members of recent Rocky favourite Nothin' But Trouble) is as a music therapist.

Friday November 5

Kat Danser and Thomas Slaymaker plus Barry Luft.

Kat Danser's music and her debut CD (produced by Calgary's Ron Casat) have received high praise from several top musicians, e.g. "You gotta get this CD" - Eric Bibb, "A hidden treasure" - Hornby Island Blues Society. Kat has opened for the likes of Ellen McIlwaine and Harry Manx, as well as headlining shows through Alberta and BC. A typical performance would include a mixture of striking originals plus songs from other sources, mostly in the acoustic blues idiom, and covering a range of styles from country blues to field hollers to the blues of Robert Johnson.

Thomas Slaymaker (bottleneck and other guitars) will be known to some for his teaching at the Foothills Acoustic Music Institute, and he is also a featured performer on Kat's CD. Kevin McAuley joins in on harmonica (apparently transforming Tomcat into Kat Danser and the Alleykats).

Calgary's Barry Luft will be known to many, either as a former member of house band Ceard, or through his numerous teaching and independent concert ventures over the years. He returns to the Rocky with a mixture of all kinds of stuff - old favourites, new songs, banjo tunes and much more.

Friday November 26

Dave Gunning and Troy MacGillivray, plus Vic Bell, plus the Celtic Rabbits.

Dave Gunning has toured extensively through eastern Canada and the USA, and also recently from the Tonder Festival in Denmark to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. He's co-written songs and toured with JP Cormier among other top east coast musicians, and his recent CDs have been widely praised as the work of a songwriter who is no longer "up and coming" but has arrived.

Troy MacGillivray (from Antigonish) is equally at home on the fiddle and the piano, the latter both as a lead instrument as well as in the traditional Cape Breton accompanying role. He's performed throughout Canada and the UK, and right now is at the Edinburgh Fiddle Festival in Scotland. Whatever his role is when playing with Dave Gunning, it looks like being a very enjoyable collaboration.

Vic Bell will be well known to many from his work at the Nickelodeon as well as at numerous festivals, but some of us can remember when he was a frequent performer as a singer and songwriter. He revived his public performing career for at least one gig this summer, and now makes a very welcome return to the Rocky.

Calgary's Celtic Rabbits are members of a cult which worships the Celtic Rabbit God in the hope of improving their playing on fiddles, whistles, flutes, bodhrans and more. It seems to be working - their speed and accuracy are now very impressive (maybe the threat of being the next human sacrifice if they miss a note helps?). But seriously, they are sure to provide a very enjoyable short set of instrumentals.

Friday January 14

Robbie Burns Night.

This is the night for our very popular Burns celebration. The performers we have for this night are Jim Osborne, piper Elouise Roane, Robert Ferrier, Plaidie, Kilkenny and Ceard.We have haggis, great scotch, and bagpipes .

Friday February 11

House Band Reunion / 30th Birthday Party.

As many of you know, the Rocky is now in its 30th season, and to celebrate this the next club is a house band reunion featuring all the former Ceard members we could remember, find and persuade to come. Details are still being finalized but we're expecting the following to be on stage: Tim and Patty Rogers, John Leeder, Barry Luft, Ron Casat, Kathy Cook, Ken Persson and probably one or two more.

Friday March 11

A St. Patrick's Day celebration with Stephen's Green, plus Allison Lynch and friends.

Stephen's Green includes some of Calgary's top celtic musicians, and as well as appearing regularly at several venues in town, they played live recently on Tom Coxworth's 10th anniversary Folk Routes show on CKUA radio. The band consists of former Barrage members Denis and Lynae Dufresne (both on vocals and fiddles), Nathan McCavana (who has played with numerous bands including Cowboy Celtic) on bodhran, Graham Tait of the Wild Colonials (vocals and accordion) and Bryan Culliton (seen previously at the Rocky with Grafton Street) on guitar.

Allison Lynch played a very well received short set at the Rocky last season, and is now back for a longer set, accompanied again by Dave Settles, her dad Frank, and also this time by her brother Shane.

Friday April 15

Penny Lang and Dave Clarke

Montreal's Penny Lang, described variously as "one of Canada's undeniable treasures, a folk icon, a first lady of folk" first emerged on the North American music scene in the 1960s. After a hectic schedule in the 60s and into the 70s, she withdrew from full-time performing for a number of years, then re-emerged in 1988 to a recording and touring career that has taken her through North America and to Europe and Australia. This will be her first Alberta tour for many years.

Guitarist Dave Clarke has had a multi-faceted career as a solo performer, as a member of the Montreal folk and bluegrass group Steel Rail, as an accompanist for David Francey, and most recently as accompanist to Penny Lang.

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