Country front and centre at Aeolian on Friday night
It was an evening of sweetheart heartbreak at Aeolian Hall Friday night as a double-bill of two musical couples ran through an evening’s worth of country laments.
London’s Tom and Tara Dunphy of the Rizdales and Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish of UK’s My Darling Clementine made for a quietly dazzling night of pure country music straight out of Nashville by way of both Londons.
The Rizdales were not in full-force that night as the Dunphys were accompanied only by guitarist Blair Heddle. Despite that seeming drawback, all three of them revelled in the sparseness, allowing the songs to stand front and centre and the sound to rumble evocatively throughout the Aeolian. Taking full advantage of the relaxed yet atmospheric backing, the trio tackled material they admitted they hadn’t played in years. As such the mournful title track of How The Marriage Ended and Radio Country’s This Is My Story were marked by an aural expansiveness and starkness rare for the usually boisterous Rizdales. Although there are few country pleasures that top that of a Rizdales barroom gig, their Aeolian Hall performance revealed a more relaxed yet pensive side that the venue and an attentive audience allowed them to explore. It was a different Rizdales on stage. They should do it more often and soon.
For their part My Darling Clementine showed why they’ve become a critical sensation across the pond. Michael Weston King has been described as a cross between Nick Cave and Rodney Crowell while his wife Lou Dalgleish is a superb country heartbreaker with a voice that has elicited comparisons to Tammy Wynette. Although their acclaimed CD How Do You Plead? boasts a backing band with a liberal smattering of British vets of bands like Graham Parker’s Rumour, and Nick Lowe’s touring outfit, they took the Aeolian stage armed only with King’s guitar, Dalgliesh’s tambourine and a liberal sprinkling of Brit charm and droll wit.
Their show focussed fairly tightly on their new CD How Do You Plead? with a few covers tossed in for both good effect and occasional tribute. In particular Dalgleish’s solo take on Elvis Costello’s Indoor Fireworks was both hypnotic and moving in a way made Costello’s take sound rote by comparison. The Costello tribute continued with their cover of George Jones’ A Good Year For The Roses, covered rather well by Costello on his Nashville record some years back.
At one point in the evening King shouted out a quick survey of how many audience members were ‘real country fans’. The strong applause reassured him that they were in front of the right audience.
The reverse was also true of course. The satisfied Aeolian patrons knew this was a night of real country music. That it was also superb was a given.
Bob Klanac has been scribbling about music since he was young enough to know better. For more, go to klanac.blogspot.com. Watch for his Reviews online at beatmagazine.ca and his Sound Bites columns in The Beat.
Mozart's Requiem a collaborative effort
Orchestra London will have lots of musical company for Mozart's Requiem, its Masterworks Series concert this Saturday, March 8 at Centennial Hall.
Joining conductor Alain Trudel and the orchestra will be soprano Frédérique Vézina, mezzo-soprano Sophie Roland, bass Theodore Baerg, young tenor Isaiah Bell, and the Amabile Chamber Choir under the direction of Carol Beynon and Brenda Zadorsky.
In addition to the Requiem, the orchestra and its guests will be performing Mozart's Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter."
Register now for March Break, Spring and Summer pottery classes
The London Potters Guild is accepting registration for its Spring Session of pottery classes for adults, teens, children and parent/child which begin the week of March 17 and run for seven weeks. Registration for March Break, March 10-14, and Summer Clay Camps, which run in July and August, is also now open. All classes are held at the London Clay Art Centre at 664 Dundas Street.
Nooks n’ Crannies: Have You Heard of Willie Royal?
It’s not every day I’m asked to write a children’s book – about the Korean War.
The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, located in London’s historic Wolseley Barracks, is a hidden gem that, unfortunately, many Londoners have never visited. One could easily spend hours inside, learning the history of local soldiery from the War of 1812 through to the Afghanistan Conflict.
Somewhere in all these exhibits on cannons and campaigns, there is a photograph of a kneeling soldier and a smiling child. This is the touching story of an orphaned Korean boy who was, at least for a while, adopted by the Second Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, then seeing action north of Seoul. His actual name was Nong Joo Noh, but to the soldiers who looked after him he was “Willie Royal.”
The Hub comes to Old East Village
Followers of social media have probably noticed a new entry on their computer screens in the last couple of weeks.
Home to a large number of artists, performers, multicultural dining, the Western Fair Farmer’s and Artisans Market, unique shopping experiences, services and several arts and culture venues, Old East Village (OEV) is quickly becoming a vibrant and rapidly growing cultural district.
Thanks to the efforts of Old East Village advocates like the Palace Theatre's General Manager Faith Coates and long-time OEV resident Jo-Anne Bishop, an exciting new initiative -- the Old East Village Hub (OEV Hub) -- has been established to raise awareness of and provide information about "What's Good in the 'Hood.'"
Faith Coates and Jo-Anne Bishop recently spoke with The Beat Magazine Online about the OEV Hub and its mission to help make OEV London's art and cultural centre.