Big month coming for Showroom

Music fans are in for a superstar September at the Duncan Showroom with a series of great shows lined up for that month.

Music fans are in for a superstar September at the Duncan Showroom with a series of great shows lined up for that month.

It all happens in less than 10 days and starts on Wednesday, Sept. 16 with Leroy Stagger.

“He opened for Steve Earle in the spring ’cause he can,” the Showroom’s Longevity John Falkner said. “He has come a long way and you should check him out.”

Every one of these performers is a storyteller of some kind.

Stagger loves to include some of the backdrops to his songs. Talking on his website about his song, Living in America, he says he was coming home, flying high emotionally after three great shows with Steve Earle when he saw a young homeless girl at the airport.

“She was living there. At the airport. She was there when I landed and she was there when I left. Talking to herself, wandering aimlessly and asking for change at the coffee shops… People are slipping through the cracks every day. Yes, we are all guilty to some extent but I am trying in the ways I know to hopefully start to seal it shut.”

He will be joined by Jory Kinjo for the show in Duncan. Tickets are $20 each at the door.

Next up on Saturday, Sept. 19 is a superb double bill featuring Eric Bibb and Michael Jerome Browne.

“Eric returns to the Showroom by his choice. What a concert last year,” Falkner said.

In his teens Eric Bibb played in the house band for his father’s television talent show. He then tried a different tack at university but found the music kept calling.

Aged 19, he left for Europe and started to follow his real path, releasing a breakthrough album in 1997, featuring appearances from some of his personal heroes, among them Pops and Mavis Staples and Taj Mahal.

He then toured the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Sweden and Germany, and made consistently good records building an audience around the world.

And Browne, too, loves performing in the Cowichan Valley where his style on the slide guitar and other instruments has earned him a loyal following.

From him, you’ll hear blues, old time, Cajun, country, soul and swing, swirled together over his 30-year career into a tasty julep to savour as summer slips into fall.

Tickets for this great show are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Don’t wait.

You’ve heard the buzz and it’s true. Maria Muldaur is returning to the Showroom for a show Wednesday, Sept. 23. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door (if there are any left.)

You’ll remember Muldaur for her 1974 hit, Midnight at the Oasis, which received several Grammy nominations, and enshrined her forever in the hearts of baby boomers everywhere.

But she’s never rested on her laurels as a performer.

In her biography, she describes her 50-year career as “a long and adventurous odyssey through the various forms of American roots music” starting with the folk revival of the early ’60s. She then began exploring and singing early blues, bluegrass and Appalachian music, beginning her recording career in 1963.

In the 40 years since her chart-topping pop hit, Muldaur has toured extensively worldwide and has recorded 40 solo albums covering all kinds of American roots music, including gospel, R&B, jazz and big band (not to mention several award-winning children’s albums) but has now settled comfortably into her favourite idiom, the blues.

Rounding out a September to remember is a performance at the Showroom by Connie Kaldor on Thursday, Sept. 24.

“It’s Connie’s first visit to the new Showroom. We look forward to the engaging performance that we know she delivers,” Falkner said.

She was in the Valley for the recent Islands Folk Festival but if you missed her or just want to hear her again, this is your chance.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Kaldor was born into a musical family and has been performing for most of her life.

First it was theatre. She found her way to the influential Mummers Troupe and Theatre Passe Muraille. Although she left theatre to pursue her songwriting career quite early, her engaging character and storytelling skills are hallmarks of her live performances.

She has recorded 14 albums and, for decades, has been a folk festival favourite across Canada and the U.S., China and Europe, and has also shown her versatility by successfully venturing into the field of children’s albums.

Which just goes to prove that a good storyteller can always be counted on to share an engaging tale.