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Music @C64

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Upcoming Events

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Red Dirt Skinners

May 25 - 8 pm
Centre 64
$25 members
$35 non members

 

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"If there’s a Pink Floyd of folk music, these guys are it. They’re innovative, orchestral and dreamy, and Sarah is the David Gilmour of the soprano sax." Roots Music Canada

If you like songs influenced by Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel, Supertramp, Crosby Stills and Nash, David Bowie coupled with some epic storytelling, humour and heartfelt emotions, you'll love the Red Dirt Skinners The Red Dirt Skinners have had success in both National and International awards in several genres. The Skinners' refuse to be pigeonholed; their audiences always describe them as ‘refreshingly different'. Drawing on influences from more genres than would make sense to list, the Red Dirt Skinners’ sound is instantly recognisable. Comfortably blending exceptional, almost telepathic, harmonies with the unique instrumentation of soprano saxophone and acoustic guitar, audiences fall in love with the Skinners sound.

The band’s current album, Bear With Us, is a collection of ten original songs drawing on such hard hitting subject matters as dementia, homelessness and narcissistic abuse, whilst still managing to produce soaring choruses, catchy lyrics and the ever present award-winning sound of Sarah’s saxophone solos. Bear With Us is an extremely full sounding album from two highly skilled multi-instrumentalists and straddles multiple genres. This album is a triumph to positive thinking and a further development of the bands signature sound.

Past Events

David Francey

Feb 4 - 8 pm
Centre 64
$28 members
$38 non members
Sold Out

 

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David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers” (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.

A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album Torn Screen Door came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.

Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.

"David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day." Shelter Valley Folk Festival

David Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland where he got his first taste of the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a life-long interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.

He was twelve when his family immigrated to Toronto. He says he can trace his love of the land, the history, and the people of his adopted country to weekend family drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Dad and sister Muriel sang melody, while mother and David sang harmonies.

His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail lines, farms, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards, the Yukon bush, and as a carpenter in the Eastern Townships. These experiences colour his first CD, Torn Screen Door, with songs like Hard Steel Mill, Gypsy Boys, and Working Poor and his second, Far End of Summer, with Highway, Flowers of Saskatchewan and February Morning Drive.

In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations combined with his openhearted singing style have earned him a loyal following.

David lives with his wife, artist Beth Girdler in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario. They are visited often by their son Colin, daughters Amy and Julia and grandkids Tristan, Alice and Millicent.

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Allison Russell

Feb 27 - 8 pm
Centre 64
$35 members
$39 non-members
Sold Out

 

Since the release of her first solo album two years ago, the self-taught singer, songwriter, poet, activist, and multi-instrumentalist, Allison Russell has redefined what artistry means in the 21st century. Outside Child, her often devastating, deeply moving, cathartic celebration of survivor’s joy, has become one of the most acclaimed albums of the past 10 years (various honors include three GRAMMY Award nominations, the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, the 2022 Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year Award, two International Folk Music Awards, three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and four UK Americana Music Awards). Further still, Allison has consistently used her newfound platform to elevate, educate and inspire; curating the history making Once And Future Sounds: Roots and Revolution set for the Newport Folk Festival in 2021 and mobilizing this year’s triumphant Love Rising All-Star benefit concert in support of LGBTQIA+ causes in Nashville, are just two of the many examples where she’s raised her voice with power and purpose.

 

Now comes the second chapter in herstory, The Returner, a body-shaking, mind-expanding, soulful expression of Black liberation, Black love, of Black self-respect. Written and co-produced by Allison along with Dim Star (her partner JT Nero and his brother Drew Lindsay), The Returner was recorded over Solstice week in December 2022 at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and features an astounding all-female musical collective Allison dubbed The Rainbow Coalition: Allison Russell (lead vocals, harmony vocals, banjo, clarinet)

 

Chauntee Ross (SistaStrings) (harmony vocals, violin), Elenna Canlas (harmony vocals, synthesizers, keyboards, percussion), Elizabeth Pupo-Walker (percussion), Ganessa James (harmony vocals, electric bass), Joy Clark  (harmony vocals, acoustic guitar), Kerenza Peacock (violin), Larissa Maestro (harmony vocals, cello), Lisa Coleman (harmony vocals, piano, synthesizers), Mandy Fer (Sway Wild) (harmony vocals, electric guitar), Megan Coleman (drums, percussion), Meg McCormick (harmony vocals, electric guitars, electric bass),  Monique Ross (SistaStrings) (harmony vocals, cello), Wendy Melvoin (harmony vocals, electric guitars, bass), and Wiktoria Bialic (drums, percussion). Special Guests: Brandi Carlile, Brandy Clark and Hozier joined the Rainbow Coalition Choir on “Requiem.”

 

Breaking free from Outside Child’s acoustic-based contours, Allison, JT, and Drew, built The Returner from the bottom up. The rhythm-first, genre-fluid approach¾and the improvisational energy of great female artists, sparked the album’s fierce joy and provided a wider canvas for Allison’s immense, unlimited talent. The scars remain, but, as Allison sings in “Snake Life”:

 

every scar and every bruise / shine like blue Botswana jewels /

what did not kill me, filled me / with the power of a thousand suns.

 

In all, the new album doesn’t just deliver on the massive promise of the last two years, it brilliantly exceeds all reasonable (and unreasonable) expectations and affirms Allison Russell’s place among music’s most vital artists¾and The Returner as one of 2023’s most essential recordings.

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