The songs of Belle Miners reflect their journey through the ups and downs of life. (Submitted)

Cowichan Folk Guild presents two great shows at Duncan United Church this month

High Quadra Ramblers are at the Coffeehouse Oct. 13, with Belle Miners in a special event on Oct. 25

The October Cowichan Folk Guild Coffeehouse at the Duncan United Church, on Saturday, Oct. 13 features The High Quadra Ramblers.

This oldtime string band are embarking on their Vancouver Island autumn tour this month and CFG artistic director Kelly Nakatsuka says, “The CFG is thrilled to welcome them as the featured artists. This year, the HQR released their self-titled debut album and have spent the past summer playing festivals all over B.C.

“The Ramblers were formed during a cold long winter over a need for mournful Appalachian mountain tunes and a love of traditional music.”

The group includes Mack Shields on fiddle and vocals, Kaitlin Chamberlin on banjo and vocals and Keith Rodger on occasional upright bass. Shields has played fiddle since he was eight, winning fiddle competitions and playing all around the continent developing his syncopated style. He has played in many bands over the years including the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, OQO, Ain’t Dead Yet, The Wicks and Kodou (a collaboration with classical pianist Shoko Inoue and Jacques Mindreau). Chamberlin picked up the banjo after playing guitar and piano all her life and in it found a rhythmic, melodic bliss. She is the recipient of the Victoria Bluegrass Association Nimblefingers bursary and plays in the Roma-ragtime-klezmer duo Button & String.

With beautiful oldtime vocal harmonies and skilled instrumentation, they weave intricate notes over the droning backdrop of clawhammer banjo. They play a wide range of traditional music, from Métis to Celtic, Appalachian, bluegrass, Cajun and roots.

So, Nakatsuka says, “Expect high-energy hillbilly hoedowns to droney, middle-eastern inspired instrumentals.”

Check them out at https://www.highquadraramblers.com

Doors open at 7 p.m., with an open stage starting at 7:30 p.m. The featured artists will follow the open stage. Find Kelly Nakatsuka at the event for open stage sign-up.

Admission is $10 per person or $5 for CFG members (which is surely the best entertainment deal anywhere because membership is very reasonable). Kids 12 and under are free.

***

In another CFG show at the Duncan United Church, CFG presents Belle Miners, with special guest Richard Garvey on Thursday, Oct. 25.“We’re so excited to welcome the folk-pop band Belle Miners for a concert,” said Nakatsuka.

Their album Powerful Owl has been garnering raves. On it, the trio, Canadian-based Felicia Harding and Marina Avros and Australian-based Jaime Jackett (Broome), combine exquisite harmonies and relatable stories into a 10-track upbeat journey covering love, loss, and overcoming life-threatening illness. ‘Strange World’ and ‘Night Flight’ are inspired by Jackett’s 11 years spent living with brain cancer. Lead single ‘Fall In Love With Me’ is dedicated to same-sex marriage, and ‘25 Years’ is an ode to enduring relationships.

Talented Ontario singer-songwriter Richard Garvey from Ontario will be opening. Check him out at http://www.richardgarvey.ca

Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20 ($23 at the door), $15 for CFG Members ($18 at the door), and $10 for youth 13-18, with kids 12 and under free. Tickets are also available at: https://islandsfolk.tickit.ca/events/5142-belle-miners-west-coast-warmth-tour

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