Archive for the ‘Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society’ Tag

The Spinney Brothers- Live in Red Deer   Leave a comment

My review of October 23’s Spinney Brothers concert is posted at\ A very good evening of bluegrass by my measure. Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald



Bluegrass & Katy Moffatt in Red Deer this weekend   Leave a comment

I’m quite excited about the live music opportunities I’m going to have this coming weekend.

As some of you may know, I am involved with Central Alberta’s Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society. For many of the past eleven years, I’ve been charged with booking the acts that are to perform for us, and we’ve had some big names in- James King, Lynn Morris, Continental Divide, John Reischman & the Jaybirds, Laurie Lewis, Dale Ann Bradley, David Davis- and some lesser lights- The Earl Brothers, Four Chords of Wood, David Peterson- and almost all performed wonderfully for us at our 49 concerts.

But I am almost as excited about this weekend’s mini-fest at the Westerner Grounds as part of the Canadian Supreme Horse Show as I was for any of the big-named acts we have had come through. This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time- a day of Alberta bluegrass- and we’re glad that it came together this year at the behest of the CSHS. That it falls on the weekend set aside in Alberta as “Arts Days” was a beautiful coincidence.

The Tragically Hick has played for us before and they always perform a high-calibre set of music that blends bluegrass with country touches. I’ve seen Wild Rose Xpress on a couple occasions, but we never had the opportunity before to bring them to Red Deer. Performing as a quartet this coming weekend, I am looking forward to being impressed.

Local band Coal Trail features local players and Waskasoo Bluegrass members who have played together previously and have been woodshedding this past month to ensure a tight, enjoyable set.

Admittance to the horse show is only $12 and we’re hoping that we’ll attract a couple hundred people to the Parkland Pavilion at Red Deer’s Westerner Grounds. It is hard to promote bluegrass- real hard, just ask us- but we’re hopeful that many of our members and friends will come out for something a little different- an early fall mini-fest featuring regional bands of a high calibre.

Visit for additional information.

That’s Saturday afternoon, which will certainly be a wonderful way to start the day before settling into a house concert performance featuring the near-legendary Katy Moffatt and Andrew Hardin. I previously posted about this show at

This past week I’ve been listening to all my Katy Moffatt CDs and I’ve been in heaven. What a voice, what style. I started last week listening to Walkin’ on the Moon, the 1989 Philo album co-produced by Moffatt and Hardin. Featuring just the pair playing songs, I’m hoping the magic they captured more than twenty years ago holds this weekend; I trust it will.

Moffatt’s albums have a great range of sounds and features. 1990’s Child Bride is more elaborate and certainly more rockin’ but very similar in mood to Walkin’ on the Moon. 1994’s Hearts Gone Wild and 1996’s Midnight Radio are gobsmackingly brilliant examples of mature, occasionally lusty and dark, and entirely soulful country-hybrid music with razor-sharp slices of life, real and imagined. Midnight Radio would most likely be on any list of Top 100 Americana/Roots albums I ever assembled. As would be The Greatest Show on Earth, an album I didn’t listen to this week as my only copy is a cassette that I can’t locate in the many boxes competing for space in my garage and closets.

An album I’ve owned for a few years but can’t recall previously listening to is Angel Town. Again, masterful stuff with a killer rendition of “Miss Otis Regrets.” I’ve saved 2005’s Up Close & Personal until this week and look forward to again hearing these minimally adorned takes recorded in 2002 as I drive to and from work tomorrow. Later this week I’ll get to the duets albums with brother Hugh and Kate Brislin.

She has a list of brilliant songs that could fill a three-hour show with ease, not that I’m expecting that on Saturday night. “Walkin’ on the Moon,” “This Heart Stops for Railway Crossings,” “Sojourner Truth (Ain’t I A Woman)”, “Child Bride,” “Midnight Radio,” “Hank and Audrey,”…realizing that she didn’t write all of them, it is still an impressive folio on which to draw.

As I’ve reflected on my listening relationship with Katy Moffatt over the past couple weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that alongside Steve Earle and Joe Ely, Moffat was among the first ‘Texas’ singer-songwriters I heard and admired. Years before I knew who Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt were, long before I discovered Nanci Griffith on a second-generation, dubbed cassette in La Loche, Saskatchewan, and almost a decade before I knew that I had already been introduced to Tom Russell through her albums, I was listening to Katy Moffatt. Before Guy Clark, darn it. Imagine.

Her beautiful blending of sounds and influences- her obvious love of expansive sounds, pop music, and country traditions- won me over early and hard.

To have the opportunity to again hear her music live, and in the intimate setting of a house concert, is going to be incredible. Yes, I’ve got a bit of a red-headed gal crush goin’ on; it will take all I’ve got to maintain a bit of professional distance. To have Andrew Hardin accompanying her- and I’m sure performing his own music- is just a bonus that is almost too much to expect.

In the province to play a show, I’m not sure how Laura and Andy met up with Katy to arrange the house concert, but I’m giddy just thinking about it. I can’t wait.

As mentioned last week, invites and tickets are available through Andy and Laura at rajco[at] If roots is your thing and you’re in the Red Deer region, you are bound to enjoy the show.

That’s what I’ll be doing on Saturday!

As always, thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald

Bluegrass in Red Deer, Alberta October 1   Leave a comment

The Canadian Supreme Horse Show presents an afternoon of bluegrass October 1. Featuring local performers Coal Trail as well as Calgary’s Wild Rose Xpress and The Tragically Hick- without a doubt, the best name in Canadian bluegrass- full day access to the various happenings of the horse show including admission to the bluegrass show is $12. The Prairie Pavilion on Red Deer’s Westerner Grounds is the venue.

The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society has been charged with organizing this event and are looking forward to presenting not only two of Alberta’s most experienced and sought-after bluegrass bands, but also Coal Trail featuring people familiar to area listeners: Scott Barnabe, Doug Schatz, Louise Stuppard, and Jason Bernard.

Come on out October 1 and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Canadian Supreme Horse Show and at 2:00, the sounds of Alberta bluegrass!

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald

The Lost & Found- Red Deer May 1, 2011   Leave a comment

Since its inception in the autumn of 2000, the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society has presented 48 concerts featuring around 60 different groups and performers, and I’m both proud and honoured to say that I had attended and helped organize every single one of those shows. That streak is now over as my trip to Chicago- which I couldn’t turn down- coincided with The Special Consensus’s appearance in Red Deer last month. Still, a pretty good record and I get to start it all over again on May 1 when we bring The Lost & Found to Red Deer’s Elks Lodge.

Performing since 1973, The Lost & Found have made rare Alberta appearances and this will be the first time they’ve visited our fair city. Pasted below is the release we’ll be sending out to members this month as a reminder; if you’re in the area, make a point of visiting with us. It should be a wonderful bluegrass show, and a marvelous way to mark our 49th concert.

The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society is excited to present The Lost & Found May 1. The Lost & Found have been a performing unit for almost 40 years, always led by a true southern gentleman, Allen Mills. One of the most highly-talented and respected bands touring, The Lost & Found are well-known for their terrific instrumental and vocal skills. This concert presentation will mark the first time the Virginia-based The Lost & Found have appeared in Red Deer.

The band’s current formation is as strong as ever with Allen Mills remaining on bass, Scottie Sparks on guitar, Ronald Smith on banjo and newest member Scott Napier (formerly with Larry Sparks and Dale Ann Bradley) on mandolin, replacing the legendary Dempsey Young who passed away December 10, 2006. The band’s most recent recordings, It’s About Time and 2009’s Love, Lost and Found stand with the classic albums the band has recorded. With no shortage of material or inspiration, a concert with The Lost & Found is sure to be an enjoyable experience.

The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society presents The Lost & Found in concert at the Elks Lodge (6315 Horn Street, Red Deer) on May 1 at 7:00 with doors opening at 6:30. All who love acoustic music performed to the highest level are invited to experience this outstanding quartet. With this concert from the long-running Lost & Found, the Waskasoo Bluegrass concludes their 11th season of presenting the finest bluegrass talent.

Concert tickets are only $25. Children under 16 admitted free to the concert when accompanied by an adult, and tickets are available at all the usual Waskasoo Bluegrass outlets: Red Deer Book Exchange, Parkland Mall service desk, 53rd Street Music and the Key Hole; in Innisfail, Jackson’s Pharmasave; in Lacombe, Popow’s Auto Body; and in Olds from Ed at (403) 556-2616. For additional ticket information, please call Gale at (403) 347- 1363.

Additionally, Lost & Found information may be accessed at and in the Spring edition of That High Lonesome Sound, the newsletter of the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society:

This is the fifth concert of the eleventh bluegrass concert season presented by the WBMS. We’ll do it again beginning next fall.

Waskasoo Bluegrass Newsletter, Spring 2011   Leave a comment

The latest edition of the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society newsletter has been posted at; click on the handy link to access:

This issue, we have a few pictures from a recent jam and news on two upcoming concerts- The Special Consensus March 26 and The Lost & Found May 1. As well, we have a review of the new Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers gospel album recently out on Rebel Records and news of our annual jamming weekend coming this August.

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers- Chris Jones Interview   Leave a comment

Today’s Red Deer Advocate has a nice interview with Chris Jones advancing the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society’s concert presentation of January 29. An interesting read that reveals- not for the first time, but quite clearly- the possibilities technology and creativity allow for bluegrass professionals.

John Reischman & The Jaybirds- Red Deer Nov. 14   Leave a comment

Bluegrass returns to Red Deer with the appearance of John Reischman & the Jaybirds Sunday, November 14 at the Elks Hall. Retails at There is also a complimentary article published in the Red Deer Advocate The concert is presented by the Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society.