Cindy Church Sees No Reason To Stop Lunching At Allen's
December 7, 2012, 10:16 am
As has been the case with a number of the interviews that CKUA technical producer Duke Paetz and I have documented over the past two-and-a-half years, we weren’t able to find room for all of the conversation we taped with Cindy a couple of weeks ago within the final edited segment of Points North.
Wanting to focus on material from her new album while reminding listeners of her deep roots in this province working with the Great Western Orchestra twenty years ago, we couldn’t even find room to shoehorn in a piece featuring her work with Ian Tyson or a tune from her recordings as a member of Lunch At Allen’s into the mix.
Lunch At Allen's
With Lunch At Allen’s kicking off a nine-date run in Alberta on Saturday December 8 in the community of Carstairs, I really can’t let Church’s comments about her well-spent time with Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan go to waste.
During our conversation I asked her to remind us how the foursome came together and off she went down memory lane.
“Well here we are 9 years and 3 albums later after Murray was offered a tour of Northern Ontario. It was to be presented as a Songwriter in the Round show and he initially asked Ian and Marc to tag alone and then I got a call. We had so much fun that it took off and we all made room for the project,” recalled Church.
As is the case with Quartette, Church says “the union is as much about friendship as it is performing, which doesn’t mean we don’t take the music very seriously.”
Comparing the experience to traveling with three older brothers, Church says the laughs the Lunch At Allen’s audience experience and partake in, “don’t stop once we’re off the stage.”
“It’s pretty much non-stop in that department,” adds the singer-songwriter who will, along with her bandmates, be performing numerous songs from the new Lunch At Allen’s secular Christmas season recording on this tour.
After dates in Okotoks, Olds, Brooks, and Medicine Hat between Dec. 9 and 12, Lunch At Allen’s pulls into the Arden Theatre in St. Albert for a two-night stand, then hits Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove on December 15 before winding the swing up at the Bert Church Theatre in Airdrie on December 16.
Even though summer is only a distant memory and the next round of warm weather is months away, festival directors have been busy signing acts for performances and the first bookings I’ve heard about will elicit smiles from our province’s loyal bluegrass audience.
Speaking with Larry Werner who books and produces the Big Valley Jamboree last week, amongst a list of superstar commercial country acts, Werner mentioned a duo that has had considerable success in the bluegrass world.
“I’ve been after Vincent and Dailey for three years and finally got them booked for Big Valley 2013,” said the producer who has made room for high-caliber bluegrass acts over the years.
No sooner had Werner mentioned the names of the three-time winners of the IBMA Entertainer of the Year award, then did Vincent and Dailey earn a Grammy nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year. The nomination was a response to their exceptional performances found on their latest disc The Gospel Side of Dailey and Vincent. The massive festival that begins August 1 in Camrose will also play host to Ontario’s Abrams Brothers, who will give the show another injection of bluegrass.
Meanwhile Norm Sliter, who all but devotes his life to the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, has landed a very big fish in the bluegrass world.
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder will be headlining the three-day event, which also takes place on the August long weekend.
“That booking is the kicker for us and Ricky will be playing Blueberry on the Saturday and Sunday. Along with his mainstage shows I’m hoping he’ll accept the invitation to host the gospel bluegrass show on the Sunday morning,” says Sliter who finalized the deal while attending the IBMA conference and awards show in Nashville back in October.
Early-bird weekend passes for Blueberry Bluegrass Festival are on sale in Edmonton at both Myhre’s Music and the Fiddler’s Roost for $110.00. A good bet if you are looking for a Christmas present for your favorite bluegrass fan.
While many more acts will be announced for the Blueberry 2013 line-up in the new year, Sliter is pumped about The Boxcars, an outfit led by the mandolin-playing Adam Steffey who was a member of Alison Krauss’s Union Station for seven years.
The collective resume of The Boxcars covers a considerable amount of territory in contemporary bluegrass as members have done extensive stints with J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Lynn Morris.
Updates on the Blueberry line-up can be found at blueberrybluegrass.com
Lorna Arndt and Jonathan Kertzer over at FolkwaysAlive! on the University of Alberta campus were pleased and excited for many of their colleagues at the Smithsonian Folkways headquarters in Washington D.C. this week.
When the Grammy nominations were announced Wednesday night the label that has documented the sounds of the world since 1948 was on the Grammy shortlists for five projects released over the past year.
Those Grammy nods point to a long line of excellence, and it should be noted that the selections are a reminder that the Folkways Smithsonian catalogue is flush with sounds that cover a vast musical terrain.
Not surprisingly, Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection received a couple of nominations, one for Best Historical Album and the other for Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. It is a remarkably well-conceived box set that captures the essence of Woody Guthrie’s character and his vast artistic achievements.
Other Smithsonian Folkways releases headed to the 2012 Grammy selection committee are the Quetzal’s Imaginaries disc which is up for Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album, and Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed: Songs For Children By Woody Guthrie. Of course that album landed in the Best Children’s Album category.
Continuing to cover the bases, Stephen Wade’s Essays, which are part of the Banjo Diary: Lessons From Tradition recording package, landed a nomination for Best Liner Notes.
You can get a taste of what all of the nominated releases are about by heading to the Smithsonian Folkways website.
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