Final Home Grown performance of the season


Mistress of Ceremonies Margaret Moe led off the evening by introducing Dave Carlson, who was asked to perform by Carol Fergus (his wife) at noon on the day of the performance, due to a last-minute cancellation. How could he say no? Dave of course handled it very well. He surprised us all by playing his new acoustic steel stringed guitar and not his usual mandolin. He began with Tell Me Baby Why You’ve Been Gone So Long, a la Desert Rose Band. Next Dave gave us “a sorrowful song” Just Bidin’ My Time, (while the glow from the wine makes a fool of me) written by Gene MacLellan and also sung by Anne Murray. His final number was The Eagles’ Tequila Sunrise from their classic album Desperado; that took the audience back. Dave played that new guitar like an old friend.

Something completely different followed with Jeannie MacDonald on her beautiful as new flute and Margaret Mayes on Centre 64’s old piano. Margaret was part of the scene when Home Grown began. They performed two movements of one of J.S. Bach’s Flute Sonatas, written in the early 1700s. It was fascinating to hear the flute and piano together; the flute is pitched in the upper piano ranges above middle C. The two intertwined, with the piano sometimes weaving notes around the intricate flute; at times, the two played alternately. They were to perform Jean Gabriel-Marie’s La Cinquantain, but unfortunately Jennie’s mouth wore out after the demands of Bach. Maybe next time Jeannie?

Then we had a switch to the sometimes funny sometimes weird poetry of Jeff Pew, He read: The Romance of Crutches (from a humorous personal experience), The Mud People, The Confusing Shape of Things and Finally Some Answers. These were from his latest book One Foot In; it’s available in the Platzl’s bookstore Paper and Cup.

Between each performance Margaret explained what happens evenings at our Arts Centre. One new feature is Latin Dance Nights on Monday evenings. Seems like something’s happening every day! Go to to check it out.

The last act before intermission was The Tick Magnets with Steve Knowles and Gord Jolie from Cranbrook and Rollie Cummins from Wycliffe. The Tick Magnets have been around about three years; these three have been a group for about a year. Rollie introduced the first song, Sylvia’s Mother by Shel Silverstein, as “arguably the saddest song ever written”. Do not look up the lyrics; it’s a terrible earworm – I know! Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain followed; it began as a Rollie solo, then all three joined in. Finally, a happy song – Johnny Cash’s (You are the) Rose Of My Heart.

Intermission, as usual in the art gallery, was a pleasant few minutes of goodies, conversation and the chance to view the wonderfully colorful paintings by the Purcell Mountain Painters.

Sugar Moon led off the second act. Five strong singers, Valerie Hillstrom, Robin Sudo, Brenda Harris, Frankie Reekie with Bill Betcher also playing guitar. First came Sam Cooke’s 1963 hit Another Saturday Night with the verses as solos and all joining in on the chorus “Here another Saturday Night and I ain’t got nobody, I got some money ….”. The song was originally released on a 7 inch 45 rpm single record; remember those? Next up was another single, Lean on Me from 1972 by Bill Withers. “Just call on me brother, when you need a friend.” If I Had A Hammer followed, written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays and recorded by The Weavers, Peter Paul and Mary and Trini Lopez. A very special song, new to me, was next: Lianna Klassen’s A Song For Canada: “A song for unity and a song for freedom…”. Beautiful imagery in the lyrics and well worth looking up on YouTube for the photos alone. The group’s fifth song was a modern hymn, Across the Great Divide, by Kate Wolf. When all the group sang as one, they sounded wonderful. It’s a bluegrass tune, starting with: “I’ve been walkin’ in my sleep countin’ troubles instead of sheep…”. Sugar Moon finished with Lead Belly’s bluegrass tune from 1940, Cotton Fields, a popular song in the 60’s.

Jim Marshall gave three self composed guitar pieces, Silent Anticipation, Forever and Lanky Blues. A pleasant change; with no words, one could just focus on his lovely guitar playing and the clear notes, plus Jim had an accompanying quiet percussion sound track. He then sang and picked Hey Jude by some now ancient British rock group.

The last act of a long evening was an uninjured (for a change) Craig Hillman, singing and playing a guitar he found a while ago at Kimberley’s reuse centre; he claimed he’d only just added the missing sixth string. It is a Harmony 1971, worth $81.50 when new. It worked, though the sound didn’t quite match the other beautiful guitars played that night. First was Ken Mo’s 1994 tune Am I Wrong (falling in love with you…). A version of the traditional Divin’ Duck Blues followed, then Muddy Waters’ Got My Mojo Workin’ with the audience joining the chorus. Craig finished with his own fun version of Willie Nelson’s On The Road Again, called On The Phone Again (“like a bunch of zombies walking into light posts”). The audience, toe tapping along, loved it!

This was the final Homegrown evening until next fall. A special thanks to all the volunteers and especially to Carol Fergus who manages to convince enough East Kootenays musicians to volunteer and entertain the always full houses. In her spare time (There’s a concept!), she bakes the goodies for intermission too! Thanks Carol from everyone!

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