MC for the evening was Brian De Paoli. As for quite a few folks present, Brian was on the stage 35 years ago in 1982 when Homegrown Music began. “Oh but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now. (Artist? Composer? See Answer*below .)
The first performers were the four young ladies, Mismatched Socks (minus their fiddle player), on guitars, mandolin and drum. They harmonized varyingly and beautifully on four songs: Riptide by Vance Joy, led by Rachel Cleland, Jolene by Dolly Parton, led by Grace Cleland, All I Want (is nothing more to hear you knocking at my door) by Kodaline, led by Meghan Gaudet, and Ho Hey by The Lumineers, led by Rachel Gaudet.
Arne Sahlen. of recent magazine cover fame, always the character and one of those present 35 years ago, spoke of 1982 when Centre 64’s funding was cut. Homegrown was begun as one of the remedies to replace that funding. He began with Wonderful World – with feeling. Next was a delicate Bach piece, originally written in B Minor for flute, played in C Minor on piano. Then he played 2 pieces from his collection of WW1 music, The Kiss That Made Me Cry, sung by Arne in the voice of a departing soldier and a marching song The King Would Be Proud of Canada. He finished, to laughter, with O Carol (Neil Sedaka’s classic 1959 hit) in honor of Carol Fergus, Homegrown producer, chief baker and general backbone of C64. Don’t ever leave us…. Say you’ll never go ….Carol.
Rod Wilson played Amazing Grace on his guitar, mimicking a bagpipe tune. Next, he sang and played the traditional ballad Lord Franklin (Lady Franklin’s Lament). Rod finished with a Highland Pipe tune from WW1 Dovecote Park (https://www.shazam.com/track/5403588/dovecote-parkthe-glendaruel-highlanders). Rod found this in an old Kimberley Pipe Band songbook. With his intricate strumming and picking, you could hear it as a pipe tune.
Deb Anhorn and Ben VanderWerf on guitars began with Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (“But time makes you bolder Even children get older”) sung sweetly by Deb. Then “We’re gonna jazz it up a little” – Summertime, sung by Deb with Ben’s haunting harmonica refrain. Ben singing Neil Young’s (I’ve been a miner for a) Heart of Gold completed the set.
Gord Blake, with wife Chelsea in the 2nd row, got a big round of applause when he announced it was their (pick a big number) anniversary. Hopefully, they celebrated later. He led off with Gordon Lightfoot’s Circle of Steel (1974 It’s sobering to read the lyrics, which could read as today) followed by Punky’s Dilemma (1968) by Simon and Garfunkel; very weird, even for the 60’s! Lightfoot featured again, with much feeling, in a very clearly sung Too Late for Prayin’ (1974). “It was only yesterday When I heard the teacher say…”.
Intermission in the Studio was another pleasant part of the evening. Ron Davies, who was at the first Homegrown, played the grand piano while everyone enjoyed conversation, Carol’s baking, snacks, drinks and pick-me-ups. On the wall were some old photos of young musicians from many years ago, some of whom were entertaining this night.
Khoji Vihara led off the second half on his beautiful flute with Mozart’s 2nd Sonata in C Major. Next was Bach’s 2nd Sonata in D Flat, very moving, clear and crisp, excellent timing. Zeeland (perhaps) followed, with an exploration of the very large range on that flute! Khoji finished with Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major (c.1720); he shared that it was not unusual to play this on a flute.
John Gerlich presented three pieces with his blues style voice and guitar playing. First was a tune “about a hobo”, Reelin’ Down. Next was Sugar Babe “about a guy and a sweet talkin’ girl”. Last was I’m Goin’ to the Races, a trip back to the 20’s and 30’s, a time for most without radio.
Then came Homegrown originals and regulars, Stacey and father Bud DeCosse. Stacey beautifully sang Seven Year Ache (“So who does your past belong to today?”) by Rosanne Cash, with some strong picking by Bud. Next she sang (You take me) The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson and finished with a song about a woman who owns an Oldsmobile with a 455 V8 engine. They don’t make them like that anymore! 455 Rocket was first recorded by Kathy Mattea and song strongly by Stacey, with Bud joining on the chorus.
MC Brian listed many names who’ve performed over the 35 years. The proceeds, from the beginning, have gone to many community organizations. This night’s funds are going to the Give Us A Lift campaign. He mentioned that the powerful anti-war favorite Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream used to end all the Homegrown evenings. The song was written in 1950 by U.S.-born, naturalized Canadian folk singer Ed McCurdy and made famous by Pete Seeger.
Brian announced that the last performer, once known as The Organizer and Emperor and one of the instigators who started Homegrown, was Van Redecoff, accompanied by wife Shelagh on violin and Drew Lyle on mandolin. Van’s mother was in the front row to make sure he behaved. First was Blue Side of The Mountain, then Our House (is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard..) by Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Van led the singing for If It Hadn’t Been For Love, then the other two joined in. As well as singing so well, the three played guitar, violin and mandolin. Very fine!
Sixteen performers and instruments, one MC, 125 audience members and all the volunteers went home humming and singing (At least I did!) after another very enjoyable evening of music. We look forward to next Fall. In the meantime, there’ll be lots more music presented at Centre 64; see http://kimberleyarts.com/musiccentre64/.
(Answer*Made popular by The Byrds, composer Bob Dylan.)