Applewood Cottage filled with roots and folk

Two of the country's finest roots and folk musicians­­ are bringing their unique brand of music to the Applewood Cottage in Courtenay on April 6.

Although this is the first tour together for Anne Louise Genest and Chris Coole, it was a natural progression. The pair have spent countless hours lost in songs and tunes together over the past 10 years.

Both musicians stand out for their "serve the song" approach to playing music; an approach that makes the stories and tunes come to life. Old­time ballads and blues mix seamlessly with new heart­on­sleeve folk songs and banjo breakdowns to create a thoroughly compelling night of music.

Nestled amongst the trees at the end of a peaceful lane lies Applewood Cottage, a renovated barn on the edge of town. The cozy, intimate venue offers a unique live music experience.

Coole is known as one of Canada's finest proponents of old­time music. He is also a noted singer­songwriter, guitarist and sideman.

As the guitarist of the Foggy Hogtown Boys, he has taken bluegrass across this country and back, and to far-flung places such as Israel, Ireland, the U.K., Germany and the Czech Republic.

From his start as a busker on the streets and subway system of Toronto, to his busy current schedule playing and teaching around the world, he has made music his full­-time profession for over 20 years.

His banjo playing has been called "incomparable" (Penguin Eggs Magazine) and "highly accomplished and understated" (Bluegrass Unlimited). Chris juggles several musical projects, but has spent much of his time the past few years playing banjo and guitar for three-time Juno Award winner (and current nominee) David Francey.

Vancouver Island-based Genest has been touring major festivals and stages across Canada with her Juno-­nominated band Annie Lou for several years.

Drawn to the stringband sounds and story songs of old time mountain, bluegrass, and traditional country music, her original songs are steeped in these influences.

Genest’s debut Annie Lou album was nominated for a 2010 Juno award, and her latest release, Grandma’s Rules for Drinking, brought her two 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award nominations for English Songwriter of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year and was at the top of the International Folk DJ charts for 2012.

She writes and composes on both guitar and banjo, and her original songs, stellar playing, and great big vocals are the centrepiece of Annie Lou.

Coole and Genest play at Applewood Cottage on April 6 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, contact Suzanne at 250-334-­8687.

— Applewood Cottage

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