by Ashley Janes
Highly celebrated music ensemble, Front Porch Roots Review, will be performing on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre (MCCC). Having recently toured with their show Up On Cripple Creek: the Songbook of “The Band”, a performance that was named “One of the top 15 shows of 2012” by the Calgary Herald, their upcoming appearance will showcase a variety of Country, Folk and Blues music.
This time around, members include bandleader, singer and bassist Ron Rault, harmonica ace and vocalist Crawdad Cantera, award-winning Pop-Folk singer Karla Anderson, former K.D. Lang guitarist Gord Matthews, and drummer Thom Moon. Special guest is Front Porch alumni Stewart MacDougall, who has recorded three albums of his own and collaborated with Ian Tyson on Yellowhead To Yellowstone, an album Tyson recorded which was hailed as a masterpiece.
“As we do from time to time, we tailor-make a show, depending on the time of the season and what we feel a particular audience might like to hear,” said Rault. “Considering Stewart not only wrote with Ian Tyson but played with his band for a few years, and that Gord toured with Ian for a decade and Thom has been Ian’s drummer on his recordings for 30 years, we’ll definitely be inserting a tribute to Tyson in the midst of one of the sets.” added the bass-playing singer.
Front Porch producer Peter North explained that the upcoming show will be set up like a cabaret, with tables throughout the room and a bar off to the side. “We do a few Blues tunes that are great for dancing, as well as a few Country waltzes. It really is a show for everybody, which flows together nicely.” North also mentioned that some of the music from Up On Cripple Creek will sneak its way onto the stage, but that it would be an entirely different type of performance. “We wanted to do something that had more seasonal stuff and more country for Morinville.”
Having played prestigious venues like the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, as well as impressive upcoming shows scheduled in 2014 at Vancouver Island Music Fest, Jul. 11-14, and Edmonton Blues Festival, Aug. 15-17, North commented that things never get stale for this multi-talented group. “The chemistry between all these guys and gals is great. Everybody really enjoys each other’s company. They love rehearsing and they love working out new stuff.” He believes that the positive feedback they’ve received in the press as well as the major show bookings they’ve recently landed say something about the quality of performance the group delivers.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a December show without a few Christmas melodies sprinkled throughout the set. “There’s going to be some Big Band Blues stuff. Stuart MacDougal, the piano player, will do some more traditional stuff like “Good King Wenceslas,” and then there will be some humorous stuff like a country song called “Christmas in Jail” that’s pretty funny.”
This being their first trip to Morinville, North admitted that he’s not sure if people in Town will know who they are or not, but hopes that their recent success and connections to Ian Tyson will strike a chord with residents. “With four vocalists in the band, if you don’t like one singer, you’re bound to like someone else!” For more information visit the MCCC website at www.morinvillecentre.ca or call 780-939-7888.