One never knows what they may find when logging onto the internet, and Chronicle-Herald entertainment columnist Stephen Cooke was staggered to discover himself acknowledged by a local act dubbed Stephen Cooke and the Respected Halifax Journalists. Cooke, who once manned bass duties in The Deluxe Boys and more recently during a one-off as a member of Les Coques et les Phoques, expresses surprise and flattery at the band named in his honour.
“Actually I was quite taken aback, but luckily I know everyone in the band,” says an affable Cooke. “I find it amusing, but not in a derogatory way.”
The project, which first hit the stage at Reflections, is composed of members of bands Scribbler and The Lampshades. While the supergroup’s debut showcased material focused entirely on creative musings about Danny Glover, who’s in Halifax filming Poor Boy’s Game, June 28’s show evolved in favour of praise directed at Canadian actor extraordinaire Keanu Reeves. When forced to choose, Cooke says Roger Murtaugh beats Jack Traven any day of the week.
“I think I’ll have to go for Glover, because he’s played the serious roles,” says Cooke. “Well, so has Keanu, but Glover’s actually good at them. And I’m not saying that just because he’s in town.”
If you thought the drive to Canso for this weekend’s Stan Rogers Folk Festival was long, consider how far South Australian acoustic pub outfit The Audreys have come. The fashionable ’50s-rock-attired, eclectic folkers have finished tour stops in Russia and most of Europe—and aren’t done yet.
“We’ve become quite nomadic, so we’ve come to quite enjoy it,” says ukulele-ist, harmonica-ist and serene vocalist Taasha Coates. “But it’s been about six or seven weeks now and we don’t even really have a home anymore. I really love it though.”
Coates is travelling along with guitarist and banjo player Tristan Goodall, violin and mandolin player Mikey G, double bassist Lyndon Grey and drummer David Ross MacDonald. They’ll carry their sound, which is on the country side of rock ’n’ roll with roots authority, from the Old Triangle on June 28 to Canso for Canada Day.
“We’ve never been to Canada before. I’m very excited about the festival, there’s so much music that I listen to that’s Canadian,” she says. “I haven’t quite mastered the difference between the American and Canadian accents though.”
As you plan your Canada Day weekend, consider taking in some of this weekend’s shows.
Highlights begin Thursday with the return of Nashville rocker Will Hoge at the Seahorse and Victoria’s Immaculate Machine in Hell’s Kitchen. Action in Hell continues Friday, with a visit from Toronto hard rockers From Fiction.
If you don’t automatically register the name Small Sins, you can be forgiven. The band, fronted by ex-Carnations leader Thom D’Arcy and last in town in December opening for Wintersleep, was forced to change its name from The Ladies and Gentlemen so as not to conflict with an American band of the same name. This newly branded version will play Stage Nine on July 1 with Jon Epworth. Sunday lays claim to the grand finale as Joel Plaskett plays Dartmouth with In-Flight Safety, Carmen Townsend and Caledonia, while 54.40 performs at Casino Nova Scotia.
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