Motown sounds, folk trio grace local stages
It was Much Mo' than one could ask for.
Motown-style show group The MuchMo' Band knows how to throw a party, as they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt for an appreciative full house – and a full dance floor – March 2 at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch.
It's still early days for the group, but they kept the old hits (Locomotion, Please Mr. Postman, My Girl etc.) coming virtually without interruption and with a welcome sense of show-business pizzazz, including frequent costume changes for vocalists Rosie Miller and Diane Cadieux.
The band is built on a musically sound base – Pete Tennant's on-the-money guitar and the rock-steady drums and acoustic bass of Gordon Brown and Ched Miller make a solid rhythm combo, beside adding a vocal blend to the mix. Saxophonist Tony Gallo wails with conviction and Miller and Cadieux clearly enjoy the material as much as their instrumental colleagues and communicate that to the audience, while providing strong vocals that hit the right note for the idiom.
On the basis of this showing I'd highly recommend the band to anyone who wants to have a fun evening and a healthy hit of nostalgia at the same time, or any event organizer who wants to provide a crowd-pleasing ambience.
Kudos too, for their choice of guest performers – Lois Stewart, better known as a visual artist, proved her vocal chops with a sassy retro-styled set, led by a bravura Johnny B. Good – with rocking guitar licks courtesy of Steve Hovan. And well-known blues aficionado Frisco Read delivered a dynamic performance on the classic There's A Riot Goin' On.
While acoustic roots/folk trio Tiller's Folly are finally receiving the national and international attention they've sought for years, thanks to manager Brian Smith of Georgia's Leadership Artists, they haven't turned their back on their roots in the Lower Mainland, and particularly the Peninsula.
To prove the point, singer-songwriter Bruce Coughlan and bandmates Laurence Knight (bass) and Nolan Murray (mandolin) will be back in the intimate space of White Rock's Blue Frog Studios March 29 at 8 p.m. for a follow-up concert to their videoed live show there last year.
The concert will prominently feature music from their most recent album, Go The Road, which signalled their shift from their original Celtic/Canadian sound to a more roots/heartland Americana orientation.
It's an approach that seems to be paying off – in the last 18 months they have been showcased at the Folk Alliance Conference, the Arts Northwest Conference and International Bluegrass Week, and have completed three successful tours of the southern US, including a live appearance before a sold-out house for Nashville's Music City Roots.
Broadcasts of the latter performance will be aired on PBS stations throughout this year, and also on Music City Down Under, a version of the show syndicated in the Australian market.
In May they'll also appear on the PBS show Bluegrass Underground in Tennessee as well as touring with John Cowan (New Grass Revival, The Doobie Brothers) who also guested on Go The Road.
First single from the album, Death & Taxes, featured guest vocals from Cowan and Josh Shilling of Mountain Heart, and was also named Top Social Action Song at the 11th annual Independent Music Awards.
For tickets ($35), call 604-542-3055 or order online at http://bluefrogstudios.ca/newshows.html