Laurie Stewart acted as MC and again voiced several groaners, including: “When you dream in colour, is it a pigment of your imagination?”
Alphonse Joseph led off with his easy voice and his guitar. His song, (You were) So Pretty Then, was about a girl he had a crush on in high school. A jazzy take on the old (1971) favorite Ain’t No Sunshine (when she’s gone) followed. He finished with a song about the girl (his wife) he’s with now Tell Me That You Love Me.
Gwen Davies is in Grade 12, but she’s been at Homegrown for a few years; as Laurie said, “she’s a beautiful singer.” She performed three of her original pieces. Pencil Heart, and Monkey (Back when the monkey was my friend.) were both accompanied with impressively minimalist piano. She concluded with a funny Super Cheesy Love Song with the always less than serious instrument, the ukulele. Folks are always on your side when you’re brave enough to play a ukulele to an audience.
The accomplished twelve string guitar player Rod Wilson began with The Miner, a traditional Australian song. (He’s off to the mine, hail, rain or shine That his dear ones at home may be fed.) Kimberley miners could identify with that. Next, he gave us a cowboy song, Summerlea, by Canadian singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith. The third song was a little different, about an Australian cowboy, The Diamantina Drover by the band Redgum.
Doug Mitchell, guitarist and another repeat performer, completed the first half of the evening with three travel songs. The first was about beautiful Portugal. The small community on Flores Island BC, accessible only by water or air, gave him the song Ahousaht. He completed his set with an amusing Nelson. Yes, about that BC town.
Intermission, with the usual treats prepared by Carol Fergus, followed in the Gallery. That gave people the chance to chat and to view the intriguing Christmas artwork show. In Yorkville coffee houses in the sixties, we drank tiny cups of expensive black espresso. We’ve aged; now it’s decaf coffee with cream. Oh well. (For a pleasant picture of Yorkville, go to https://knowyourgrinder.com/coffee-houses-of-the-60s/.)
Kurtis Myers, who’s lived here about two years, began the second half with two original songs. First, Kootenay Pickup Truck (Yep, it was not new and shiny.) He gave the audience a choice for the second number; a political or a hillbilly song. Predictably, Kimberley chose the Hillbilly song This Guitar (might be out of tune but so are you). The third was by the famous (but not to me) band Death Cab For Cutie; a love song titled I Will Follow You Into The Dark. His guitar playing was strong and enjoyable. Laurie announced that Kurtis is now officially a long time Kimberly citizen.
The couple Deb Anhorn and Ben van der Wert returned to Homegrown with their quietly beautiful guitar playing and blended voices. They began with I’m Yours, sung by Deb and joined by Ben on the chorus. The second song was a little different; the lyrics were poet Robert Frost’s Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening (The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep). Suggest you check out the lyrics and listen to Chor Leoni’s version online. Deb then sang Autumn Leaves (A 1945 jazz standard) slowly and beautifully, with a fine guitar intro by the two and smooth mild harmonica by Ben.
Fraser Armstrong, with teens Declan on drums and Sonja on guitar, began with Sounds of Silence (Hello darkness, my old friend) a 1964 song by Simon and Garfunkel; all three sang in unison. That took us back a few years. Next was Middle Of The Road by The Pretenders (1984) with some gentle guitar by Sonja and rousing harmonica by Fraser. The lyrics are deeper than the title suggests. Declan also gave us some jokes almost as bad as Laurie’s. Their set finished with a classic sixties song California Dreamin (on such a winter’s day) by the Mamas and the Papas.
Carol Fergus announced that the evening’s $1000 proceeds were being donated to the Food Bank. She also advised that the new elevator for the disabled (to access the theatre) has been completed and will be active as soon as the government inspection has been completed. Hopefully, this will be soon.
The last group of the night were longtime Homegrown favorites Larry Tuck and Sam Hornberger on guitars and Dave Carlson on mandolin. Just To See You Smile by Tim McGraw began the set, sung by Larry with Sam joining the chorus and Dave on mandolin. Sam followed with a smooth Song For The Life, a top ten country hit in 1995. Then Larry and Sam sang together on the 2010 hit I Gotta Get To You. This fine group finished the evening with the John Denver classic (Hey it’s good to be) Back Home Again. Through all these Dave did some fine pickin’ on his mandolin.
Another wonderful evening with friends listening to Kimberley’s fine local musicians. The next Homegrown evening is January 19.